Alcohol's Affects


| 2 Comments
It's Saturday night and Penn State just had a great win on the football field. You stood out in the pouring rain all afternoon and you deserve to have a good night. Penn State won so why wouldn't you go out and celebrate? You take a few shots or maybe pound down some beers and you're feeling good for the rest of the night. But how? How does something that can look like water have such a strong affect on your body, motor skills, and decision making? I've asked myself this so many times because I've never understood how alcohol actually works and gets you drunk.Well my friends, I think I have finally found my answer.
As most of us know, alcohol can refer to many things; beer, vodka, whiskey, gin, etc. However, when people say "alcohol" they really are referring to ethanol. When you go and buy alcohol in the liquor store, when it says 40% alcohol on the bottle, what that actually means is 40% of that drink is ethanol. To see the alcohol chemical make up of ethanol click on that link above.
As far as how alcohol actually affects your body, about 20% of what you drink does directly into your bloodstream. Alcohol's main affect is that it tries to slow the brain down and as you drink more, more and more parts of the brain are being slowed down. Ever wonder why you don't feel pain as much when you're drunk? No, you didn't become invisible with a few sips of alcohol. Since your brain is being slowed down, when you experience physical pain your body is still feeling it but your brain can't send that message to the rest of your body quickly enough. What's the scientific reasoning behind eating before you drink you ask? Well the 80% of what you drink that doesn't go straight to your bloodstream goes to your small intestine. If you eat more, the alcohol won't go into your stomach walls as quickly.
So clearly there are many different ways alcohol gets you drunk. To read why you always have to use the bathroom when you drink or to get more detail on how the brain is affected, check out the second link I posted.
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2 Comments

This is a really interesting post because it can appeal to most of the kids studying here at Penn State. I always knew a little about alcohol but the second link you posted was really interesting and I never knew that you don't feel things when you're drunk because that your brain can't send it to the rest of your body as quick. This is a link I found after I read your post just with some more facts about alcohol in general- http://www.pbs.org/inthemix/educators/lessons/alcohol1/factsheet.html

Obviously going to a large school like Penn State makes for big parties every weekend. I think this is a great post because it is so important to be educated on the effects of alcohol on the mind and body. Most people throw so much of it down without even knowing what they are doing to themselves. There is a way to drink responsibly and be safe while taking care of your mind and body. After reading your post, I decided to look into Penn State drinking habits. This is the article I found. I think it is beneficial for Penn State students to look into because its imporant to know what the people around you are doing in order to make smart and informed decisions.
http://onwardstate.com/2013/06/24/penn-state-students-drink-alcohol-still/

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