Alcohol is almost everywhere you turn; sporting events, concerts, family celebrations, casual dinners, barbeques, and graduations. There’s no doubt that alcohol is indeed a drug, it’s a depressant that slows down the vital functions and literally poisons the body. The amount of alcohol consumed determines how significant the effects are, but overdoses can happen quicker than expected. 

Most people ingest alcohol for the purpose of social interaction. It makes you feel looser and gives you confidence, hence the nickname liquid courage. The type of alcohol you consume also plays a role in the effect it’s going to have on you. The usual alcohol content for each drink is as follows:

o Cider 4-8%
o Beer 2-6%
o Wine 8-20%
o Tequila 40%
o Rum 40% or more
o Brandy 40% or more
o Gin 40-47%
o Whiskey 40-50%
o Vodka 40-50% 

Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream through your stomach and small intestine. It only takes a few minutes for the alcohol you drink to reach the stomach, then the blood, and finally your brain. Once this process is seen through, the effects come on quickly. Studies show that about 80% of alcohol is absorbed through the small intestine while the other 20% is absorbed through the stomach. Your body tries to eliminate the toxic liquid from your body by metabolizing it by running it through your liver. Like anything, the liver can become overloaded and leave a ton of toxic alcohol to roam free in your body. This is why the amount you consume and how quickly you consume it alters the effects. 

Drinking alcohol is especially dangerous in young people because their body cannot cope with the overload the same way an adults’ body can. Because young adults are still undergoing brain development, drinking during this stage in the lifetime can lead to long-term negative effects like memory problems, motor skill issues, and even problems with coordination. 

Binge drinking is one of the largest issues amongst teens in today’s society. Binge drinking is when someone consumes large quantities of alcohol in a short amount of time. This is usually defined by 5 or more drink for a man and 4 or more drinks for a woman. Studies estimate that about 90% of the alcohol consumed by people under the age of 21 in the United States is done in the fashion of binge drinking. Too much alcohol in a short amount of time can lead to what would be known as an overdose relevant to other drugs, but better known as alcohol poisoning when it comes to alcohol. Too much can cause the respiratory system to slow down resulting ultimately in a coma or even death when oxygen can no longer reach the brain. 

If alcohol becomes an everyday necessity, you might be showing signs of early alcohol dependence. Unfortunately, something that’s so common in social settings can actually cause the downfall of many people. A few signs of alcohol dependence are:

o A strong need to have a drink 
o The inability to stop drinking once you start
o Withdrawal symptoms like sweating, shaking, anxiety, or sickness
o A built up tolerance; the need to drink more to feel the same effect 

Alcoholism is a progression that typically unfolds right before the eyes of the alcoholics loved ones’ eyes. Noticing signs early can save a life. Alcohol, a legal drug is a factor in the top three leading causes of death of people between the ages of 15-24 years old. These include accidents, homicides, and suicides. It’s especially important to identify the signs in younger people because those who begin to drink underage are 7.5 times more likely to end up using other illegal drugs, which are typically even more deadly. 

Luckily, people are realizing the alcoholism is a real problem and can lead to complete life disarray. Treatment centers in Los Angeles like Nexus Recovery offer treatment for addicts of all stages. Getting help is the first step to changing for the better.