Alcohol Simplified

BY SEAN RR HAMMOND

TOWER staff writer

 

Alcohol, chemically known as ethyl alcohol or “ethanol,” is the most widely used psychoactive by people. Alcohol affects the body and mind when it is absorbed through the walls of the stomach, and small intestine—and permeates into the bloodstream. Alcohol is then cycled through your body and ultimately to the brain, where it has its strongest effects.

The effects of drinking range from pleasant to “I’m never drinking this much again.” People consume alcohol as a social activity, trying to attain the stimulated excited level of intoxication. The “Pleasure Zone,” according to Wikipedia, notoriously known for being possibly non-factual, is a between 0.03 and 0.05% BAC. This is a “balanced” state where the consumption of alcohol is less unpleasant, and the threshold for alcohols depressive nature is unmet.

Bethany College has a heavy drinking culture—which is not a problem, but as Spiderman once said to me in my mind, “With great drinking culture comes great responsibility.” Let’s face it, a lot of people who come to college haven’t been the “secret basement drinkers” or the “my mom and dad have a liquor cabinet I’ve raided since I was 15” type of people. There are always the “noobs”, newbie’s, or newfellas that just haven’t grown up and aren’t ready for exposure to the laughs and harsh realities of new responsabilities. Let me remind you, readers, that drinking is legal by federal mandate for those 21 years of age or older.

But I digress. This concise and informational article can possibly help clarify and contextualize some of the loose ends of drinking and how you can do it right— without messing up and looking like a total “hashtag swagmeout 420 Capt’n Morgan” highschooler. Remember when drinking the goal isn’t to become drunk—this is when you have overshot the moon and are probably drifting into the blackness of space—or blacking out.

The amount of alcohol in your bloodstream, and your brain, determines the level of intoxication that you feel. A “Blood Alcohol Concentration,” or BAC, is a system used to gauge the amount of alcohol in your blood—for legal or medical reasons.

There are many common names for alcohol—spirits, beer, or wine (www.erowid.org).  People consume alcohol through the medium of cocktails, mixed drinks, beer, wines, and liquors. Each medium contains a different saturation of alcohol.

One 12 ounce beer = 5 ounce glass of wine = 1 ½ shots of 80 proof (40% alcohol) liquor.

After passing into your body through various linings and into your brain, alcohol is processed by another organ, your liver, where 90% of it is broken down. Your urine and breathe also exude traces of alcohol—this is how police utilize the infamously fun “breathalyzer.”

There is no way to expedite the process of becoming less “drunk” except for time itself. There are, however, few preventative measures that can be taken to regulate your alcohol intake. The amount of alcohol consumed, the time is takes to consume, how much food is in your stomach, and your body weight are all factors to pay attention to before an evening of drinking.

Above all there are three simple things to remember when drinking:

-Pay attention to your drink—both consumption wise and location; try not to let your drink leave your sight to avoid getting roofied!

-Be careful when consuming alcohol AND other medications and prescriptions. Many medicines have synergistically negative effects with alcohol, including the thinning of your blood.

-Respect the rights of individuals who do not wish to drink. (http://www.indiana.edu/~engs/hints/holiday.html) Many people enjoy drinking, some enjoy the social aspect of drinking, and some enjoy the combination of the two. But those who abstain from a drinking culture do so for personal reasons that should be respected.

Sources and More Information:

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_alcohol_content, NIAAA).

http://www.nhtsa.gov/links/sid/ABCsBACWeb/page2.htm

www.erowid.org). 

(http://www.pbs.org/inthemix/educators/lessons/alcohol1/factsheet.html)

http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/alcohol.html

(http://www.pbs.org/inthemix/educators/lessons/alcohol1/factsheet.html

 

The Tower • Bethany College • Department of Communications & Media Arts • Contact Us