We covered some alcohol myths in one of our previous posts, but what do we actually know about alcohol that is true?
A lot of us are unaware about alcohol’s role as a depressant drug because it can make us feel happy and buzzed. Even worse, a lot of us are unaware of how alcohol affects our body, which poses a real issue with more drink drivers getting busted the day after drinking.
Here are 5 lesser known facts about alcohol and how it affects us:
Fact: Alcohol is a bigger problem than other drugs
In Australia, alcohol is a main problem both economically and socially. It is commonly perceived that illicit drugs are a far bigger issue due to the constant media attention on drug usage, most specifically heroin, ecstasy and cannabis.. but in fact, alcohol is counted as the second most preventable cause of health issues and death after tobacco.
In Australia, alcohol costs the community over $7.5 billion annually which accounts for 22% of the all-use social cost in this region.
Fact: Alcohol is fattening
It is commonly believed that since alcohol is liquid and not a food item, it cannot be fattening. The truth is exactly the opposite.
Although alcohol doesn’t itself contain fat content, it is loaded with calories and when mixed with another drink (for example a soft drink), the proportion of calories increases considerably.
A standard all-alcohol drink is about 70 calories and one glass of champagne is approximately 106 calories.
Fact: Alcohol affects everyone differently
The reactions and impact of alcohol vary from person to person. This is due to numerous reasons such as the type of alcohol consumed (strength, quantity), the drinker (person’s age, sex, body composition, weight and state-of-mind) and the environment where one is drinking (such as the time of the day and alone or with company).
Even if two people of the same gender, height, weight and health have the exact same drinks, they will not have the same BAC level because their body will process alcohol extremely differently.
Fact: Alcohol affects males differently to females
Females have higher tendency of experience increased BAC levels than males even when the female is of same height, weight as the male and the amount of alcohol consumed is also equal.
This happens so because alcohol absorption occurs differently in females than in males. Females have less water and more fatty tissues in their bodies, which alters the pattern of alcohol absorption.
Fact: Time is the only effective method of sobering up
It is widely believed that vomiting, having cold shower, drinking coffee and such other acts can help in sobering up after heavy drinking.
However, only time can be termed as the effective remedy for sobering up.
These methods may help in feeling better and alert but these cannot help in sobering up quickly.
Just because you feel sober, does not mean your BAC level is 0. Know that your BAC can still be over the legal limit the morning after!
So now that you know some alcohol facts, be sure that the next time you have a drink or two, you’re doing so responsibly taking into account all of the above.
If you plan to drink, don’t drive. And also, beware the morning after – your BAC can still be above the legal limit the next day, even if you feel sober. A lot of us are unaware of this, and it’s no wonder more drink drivers getting busted the day after drinking.
To be doubly sure of your BAC the next day after a big night out, use a breathalyzer. Or better yet, err on the side of caution and don’t get behind the wheel.
Read more alcohol facts from the Drug Info website here: Alcohol Facts