Alcohol consumption has both physical benefits and drawbacks to the body.

Once alcohol enters your system, there are immediate physiological changes among your organs including the brain, heart, and liver which can lead to long-term health complications.

Here are some little and well-known facts about your favorite cocktails, liquors, beers, and wines.

  • The alcohol we consume in our beverages is ethanol, the only form of alcohol you can drink without severe damage to your body.
  • Alcohol is a depressant that slows down the brain’s activity.
  • A positive effect of alcohol is that it triggers dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and satisfaction
  • Alcohol consumption also relieves stress by binding to the neurotransmitter GABA, causing one to feel relaxed and tired.  Stress relief is another side effect of drinking alcohol. This is caused by an increase in the uptake of another neurotransmitter, called GABA.
  • An American Journal of Medical Genetics study for those people with blue eyes may have a higher risk of alcohol dependence compared to their peers with brown eyes
  • Alcohol use disorder or AUD has a genetic component that is thought to account for about half the risk factor
  • Men are more likely to suffer from AUD than women however the health consequences of long-term drinking are more severe for women than men
  • Alcohol consumption is as old as civilization itself where alcohol residue was found in China dating back to 7,000 to 6,600 B.C.
  • Culture plays a significant role in alcohol consumption.  Families who drink together at family meals tend to have fewer unhealthy drinking habits later in life
  • Excessive use of alcohol or binge consumption has been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia
  • Moderate consumption of red wine is thought to have benefits for your heart by controlling cholesterol and preventing blood clots
  • Hangovers are caused by the chemical by-products of your body processing alcohol
  • Alcohol is absorbed and metabolized faster in the muscle than fat.  People who are lean, with a higher muscle content have a higher alcohol tolerance
  • Muscles absorb alcohol faster than fat. As a result, people who have lean muscle and less body fat have a higher alcohol tolerance.

Three widely held alcohol myths debunked

  1. It is acceptable to get drunk every now and then.  The truth is that binge drinking can cause health problems like cancer and heart disease and may also include unintentional injuries
  2. Drinking in moderation is safe.  The truth is that for some, alcohol consumption can create higher health risks; those at a higher risk are
    • women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant
    • take medication that negatively interacts with alcohol
    • have heart disease
    • have liver or pancreatic disease
  3. Coffee helps you sober up more quickly.  The truth is that the caffeine in coffee can make you feel more alert, but it does not aid your body in processing alcohol more quickly

Useless alcohol trivia

  1. Shine a UV light on the glass of your Gin & Tonic and see it glow in the dark
  2. Milkshakes historically were made with alcohol.  In 1885, a milkshake more resembled eggnog, made with whisky, eggs, and cream.
  3. In Scotland, you can drink ‘Snake Venom’ beer, the strongest beer in the world with an alcohol content of 67.5%
  4. The effects of consuming alcohol are felt in 90 seconds, your mouth and stomach can absorb alcohol directly into your bloodstream in a little more than a minute.

Your story can be one with peace and serenity, where you begin your journey of healing from alcohol use disorder by making the decision to seek help now. Healing Springs Ranch, a treatment center in Tioga, Texas, offers the opportunity to find sobriety in a beautiful lakefront environment on 80 serene acres. For more information about treatment options, please call today.