How Alcohol Affects the Body

Published On: August 3, 20142.3 min read467 wordsCategories: Addiction Treatment And Rehab
Alcohol is a drug. It distorts a person’s perceptions and judgment. People under the influence of alcohol often find that their reaction time is slower than it is when they have not been drinking.This is dangerous because many will take chances they would never take when sober. All too often, those choices turn fatal. When alcohol is consumed, it gets absorbed into the bloodstream by small blood vessels in the walls of the stomach and small intestine. Roughly 20% of alcohol is absorbed through the stomach. The remaining 80% is absorbed through the small intestine.An alcoholic drink stays in the body for about 2 hours once consumed. This time period can vary depending on the person’s weight, gender, and other factors.Within minutes, the alcohol can travel from the stomach to the brain. In some, it quickly begins slowing down your nervous system.

Alcohol is also carried by the bloodstream to the liver. The liver eliminates the alcohol from the blood through a process called metabolizing. This process converts the alcohol to a nontoxic substance. Your liver can only metabolize a certain amount of alcohol at a time. This leaves the excess circulating throughout your body. This is why the intensity of the alcohol’s effect on the body is directly related to the amount a person consumed.

When the amount of alcohol in the blood exceeds a certain level, the respiratory system also slows down. By not breathing enough, a person could slip into a coma or die. When oxygen no longer reaches the brain, a person has little chance of a full recovery.

Alcohol can affect the heart in both good and bad ways. Studies have shown that moderate drinking, one to two drinks a day for men and one for women, can actually lower the chances of developing heart disease. Heavy drinking, however, can damage the heart. Long-term alcohol use can also result in high blood pressure. This increases a person’s risk of heart disease and heart attacks. If you stop drinking, your blood pressure can go back to normal within a few months. That is if there is not a lot of damage to the heart.

We should note that it is not possible to predict how alcohol will affect the risk for cancer in any one woman, but some research suggests that as little as one drink per day can slightly raise the risk of breast cancers in some women. This is especially concerning for women who have been through menopause or have a family history of cancer.

If you are struggling with substance abuse, be it drugs or alcohol addiction, please call Freedom Detox. We are a highly rated Charlotte, NC drug detox facility that specializes in getting you clean and sober in a holistic and nurturing manner. Reach for help today.

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