How does a person’s body deal with alcohol?
Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream through the stomach and small intestine. If the stomach already has food in it, the rate at which alcohol is absorbed is slowed down. However, all alcohol that is drunk will eventually reach a person’s bloodstream. The main organ purifying the blood (and breaking down the alcohol) is the liver. A person’s breath, sweat and kidneys remove the remaining alcohol. The liver works at a fixed rate, removing about one standard drink (10 grams of alcohol) an hour. If a person drinks a lot at night, there may still be a high level of alcohol in his or her bloodstream the next day.
What are the long-term effects of using alcohol?
Drinking heavily over a long period of time can cause damage to many parts of a person’s body.
Can a person overdose on alcohol?
Yes. An overdose of alcohol can result in a person having nausea, vomiting, falling into a coma, having shallow breathing, pale skin and loss of bladder control. Acute alcohol poisoning can lead to death.
What does it mean to ‘binge’ drink?
Binge drinking is when a person drinks heavily over a short period of time, drinking continuously over a number of days or weeks, or drinking with the intention of becoming intoxicated. Binge drinking is harmful. Besides the damage it can do to a person’s body, it can lead the drinker to take risks or to put him or herself in dangerous situations. After binge drinking, people may suffer hangovers, headaches, nausea or vomiting and shakiness.
What happens if someone mixes alcohol with other drugs?
Mixing alcohol with other drugs (including prescribed medicines) can be dangerous. The effects of one drug may increase the effects of the other, or they may hide some of the effects, making it hard to tell exactly how the drug has affected the user. He or she may think they are OK without really knowing what is going on inside their body.