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Health Risks of Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol is the most abused drug in our socio-cultural environment, which most abused and the most social and health problems causes (traffic accidents and labor, abuse, health problems, alcoholism, etc.).

It is a central nervous system depressant that slowly freezes the operation of the higher brain centers, causing behavioral and emotional Disinhibition. It is not a stimulant, as is sometimes believed: the initial euphoria that causes is that the first inhibitory action occurs on brain centers responsible for self-control.

Alcoholic beverages are basically classified into two groups, depending on the preparation process:

Fermented beverages: They come from the fermentation of the sugars contained in various fruits (grapes, apples, etc.) are characteristics of this group beer, cider and wine. Its alcohol content is between 4 and 12. Its discovery was accidental, as a result of natural putrefaction of stored fruit.

Distilled beverages: They are debugging fermented beverages to obtain higher concentrations of alcohol. These are beverages like vodka, gin or rum, ranging between 40 ° and 50 °. The distillation was invented in the seventh century by the Arab alchemists, from whom its name from al-kohl substance.

Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol consumption is measured in units drink (UB). A UB is equivalent to 8-10 grams of pure alcohol.

Glass of beer / cider = 1 UB

Glass of wine / champagne = 1 UB

Glass of cognac / brandy = 2 UB

Whisky / Vodka / combined UB = 2

Vermouth / Jerez = 1 UB


  • The effects of alcohol depend on several factors:
  • Age (drinking alcohol while the body is still maturing find particularly harmful)
  • The weight (affects more severe manner to people with lower body mass)
  • Sex (by physiological factors, female tolerance is generally lower than male)
  • The amount and speed of intake (more alcohol in less time greater intoxication)
  • The simultaneous ingestion of comidad (full stomach, especially fatty food poisoning difficult)
  • The combination with carbonated drinks (tonic, Coca-Cola, etc.) that accelerate poisoning

Psychological Effects depending on the dose, different effects may be experienced:

  • Disinhibition
  • Euphoria
  • Relaxation
  • Increased sociability
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Difficulty putting thoughts
  • Motor in coordination
  • Physiological effects

The effects of alcohol depend on the amount present in the blood (BAC, measured in grams per liter of blood):

0.5 g / l: euphoria, overvaluation of faculties and decreased reflexes

1 g / l: Disinhibition and difficulties to discuss and coordinate movements

1.5 g / l: drunkenness, with loss of control of the higher powers

2 g / l: uncoordinated speech and gait, and double vision

3 g / l: state of apathy and drowsiness

4 g / l: eat

5 g / l: death by paralysis of the respiratory centers and vasomotor

Risk reduction / Damage

The diseases that may be related to alcohol abuse are:

Muscles: Acute or chronic myopathy

Nervous System: alcoholic polyneuropathy, optic neuritis, Wernicke encephalopathy, Korsakoff psychosis

Stomach / esophagus: Acute and chronic gastritis, gastro esophageal reflux, heartburn and vomiting, esophageal carninoma

Cardiovascular: hypertension, arteriosclerosis, alcoholic cardiomyopathy

Liver: fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, alcoholic cirrhosis

Pancreas: Acute and chronic pancreatitis

Intestine: Nutritional deficiencies, diarrheas and malabsorption

Genitals: Decreased libido, impotence, testicular atrophy, infertility

A behavioral alcohol level was found to originate great violence and aggression manifested in street fights or domestic violence.

Alcohol acts ‘inhibiting the inhibitor’ so that when acting under its effects is likely that preventive having sex (condom use) measures, thereby increasing the risk of HIV infection are adopted.

Alcohol consumption is associated with reckless and negligent driving, so many accidents occur because drivers had been drinking above the levels tolerated by law.

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