Myths and facts about alcohol consumption

Humans are to have consumed alcohol for thousands of years. Remains from an alcoholic beverage that dates back to 7,000 to 6,600 B.C. have been found in China. Archaeological experts have also found evidence suggesting that the workers who built the Great Pyramids of Giza were paid in beer. And apparently, it is believed that beer was invented before writing.

 

Alcohol is among the most commonly misused addictive substances because it is known to trigger the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter, that’s associated with pleasure and satisfaction. Stress relief is another known effect of drinking alcohol. This is caused by an increase in the uptake of another neurotransmitter called GABA. Alcohol also comes with many harmful effects.

 

This blog will list out some prevalent myths about alcohol and present you with a few real facts.

 

  1. Myth: It’s alright to get drunk every once in a while.

Fact: Alcohol is a depressant. This means that it slows down activity in the brain.

Binge drinking is associated with serious health problems, including unintentional injuries, cancer and heart disease. Binge drinking is a pattern of alcohol consumption that involves drinking a lot in a short period of time. For women, four or more drinks in two hours are considered binge drinking. For men, it’s five or more drinks in two hours.

 

  1. Myth: Drinking is always safe in moderation.

Fact: Moderate alcohol consumption may have some health benefits. However, that doesn’t mean it’s risk-free. For some people, the risks might outweigh the possible benefits. These include people who:

  • are pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • take prescription medications that interact with alcohol
  • plan to drive or operate machinery
  • Suffer from heart failure or a weak heart
  • had a stroke
  • have liver or pancreatic disease
  • have AUD, alcohol dependence, or a family history of either

 

  1. Myth: Wine or beer won’t make you as drunk as hard liquor.

Fact: All types of alcohol contain the same active ingredient. The “alcohol” in alcoholic beverages such as wine, beer and spirits is actually ethanol, or ethyl alcohol. It’s the only type of alcohol that you can drink without causing serious damage to your body. The effects associated with drinking occur when ethanol enters your bloodstream and passes through the membranes of cells in your brain, heart, and other organs. Wine and beer if consumed in large quantities can also make you dizzy.

 

  1. Myth: Drinking isn’t a problem as long as you can be sober.

Fact: Being able to drink without feeling the effects could be a sign that you’re developing alcohol tolerance. Over a period of time, regular alcohol use can put you at risk for alcohol use disorder (AUD).

 

  1. Myth: You can sober up quickly with a cup of coffee.

Fact: Coffee contains caffeine, a central nervous system stimulant which can make you feel more alert and awake. It doesn’t help your body process alcohol faster. If you’ve been drinking, giving your body time to break down the alcohol in your system is the only way to sober up.

May 02, 2019

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