April 9, 2008
How does alcohol affect you?
People who have had the same amount of alcohol can react differently. But in general, alcohol slows down your reaction times and your body‚??s functions. When under the influence of alcohol, muscle coordination becomes more difficult, and your reflexes (automatic reactions, such as swerving away from an oncoming car) become slower. Alcohol reduces self-control, making you more likely to do stupid or unsafe things. It can also make you throw up, black out and/or forget everything you do while drunk.
Even if you don’t have a lot to drink, you might wake up with a headache and feel sick the next day. This is called a hangover. But large amounts of alcohol can do even more serious damage. Over a long period, alcohol can hurt organs and increase the risk for certain diseases, including cancer. If someone drinks too much at one time, the brain and body can slow down so much that the heart stops beating and the person stops breathing. This can cause the person to go into a coma or even die.
The scariest fact? Alcohol-related incidents are the number one cause of death for 16- to 24-year olds. Alcohol is involved in many cases of drowning, car accidents, murder and suicide. These incidents could have been prevented if alcohol had not been involved.