Alcohol is know by two other names: ethyl alcohol and ethanol. It affects every part of your body from the moment of consumption. Alcohol is a depressant that is absorbed through the stomach and small intestines, directly into the bloodstream. Your liver then metabolizes the alcohol. While your central nervous system feels the effects of the depressant. This reaction can happen from one drink and in about 10 minutes you can begin to feel the effects to your body.
What kind of drinker are you?
Are you a moderate drinker, a heavy drinker, or an alcoholic? According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans a female moderate drinker is defined as a 1-drink-per-day while 2-drinks for men. A heavy drinker is defined as women who consume 8 drinks or more per week. While men who consume 15 drinks or more per week are in the heavy drinker spectrum. Alcoholics are people whose drinking causes trouble in their lives. This could be in the form of problems in their relationships, school, work, social activities, personal feelings, and how you think.
What is Binge Drinking?
What is binge drinking? College students are amongst the highest group to consume alcohol at binge drinking rate. Binge drinking is a pattern of alcohol consumption at a BAC level of 0.08% or higher. This pattern is established by having 5 or more drinks in about 2 hours for men and 4 or more drinks for women.
What are the Risks?
What are the risks? Heavy and binge drinkers increase their risks of serious problems in their future. Some examples include:
- Alcohol withdrawal syndrome
- Brain damage and other issues to an unborn child for pregnant women
- Car accidents resulting in serious injuries or death
- Liver disease
- High blood pressure
- Heart muscle damage also known as Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy
- Sudden death if you already have cardiovascular disease
- Cancers in the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and breast cancer.
How can I know if I have an alcohol disorder?
If I drink excessively do I have an alcohol disorder? Drinking excessively does not necessarily mean you have an alcohol use disorder or AUD. Most excessive drinkers do not fit the criteria of AUD. Before the term AUD was used by professionals the common names it was known as was alcohol dependence and alcoholism. AUD is a chronic disease. For a diagnosis seek professional help. Some signs of severe alcohol use disorder include:
- The inability to limit drinking
- Continuing to drink regardless of personal or professional problems
- Needing to consume more to get an effect
- Wanting to drink so much that it is the only thing you can think of.
First, alcohol consumption takes roughly 10 times to begin taking affect over your entire body. Second, there are different levels of drinking and they do not necessarily mean you have a problem. But you could develop one after long periods of time. Third, binge drinking is a pattern that can easily be established. Fourth, heavy drinking increases your risks of developing health issues in your future. Fifth, AUD is the correct term to use. We know it may be hard to keep up with the changes in medicine, but we will keep you updated.