Alcohol’s devastating effects have been felt by individuals, their families and our society for thousands of years. The first mention of alcohol in the Bible is related to an episode in the life of Noah where he becomes intoxicated. This tragic event with its associated negative consequences on Noah and his family is recorded in Genesis 9:20-27. The undeniable pain associated with alcohol consumption continues to prevail today. Despite the overwhelming body of evidence that associates alcohol with physical, psychological and spiritual destruction and death many continue to look at it’s consumption as a right of passage. Alcohol is deemed a recreational beverage allowing the user to have a “better time.” This is tragically obvious during the holiday season.
One young man told me the reason he started drinking alcohol was to “take away my shyness.” He went on to tell me that when he drinks “everyone enjoys being with me…I am finally fun to be with.” This young man, as well as countless others, perceives alcohol to be beneficial because it makes them more at ease in social situations. A drinking myth that many believe is this, “An individual can drink and still be in control.” The truth is, “Drinking alcohol of any amount impairs an individual’s judgment, which increase the likelihood that they will do or say something they will later regret.” There is absolutely no doubt that alcohol changes a person’s behavior. To understand how it accomplishes this altered mood, we must first understand how alcohol works on the brain. Alcohol is readily absorbed into the blood stream through the lining of the stomach and small intestines. It then quickly enters the brain to begin its devastating work. Most people begin to feel the effects of alcohol between ten and twenty minutes after taking their first drink. Alcohol, just like any other mind and mood-altering drug, affects the brain by manipulating the body’s own natural neurotransmitters. In tomorrow’s article we will look at the details on how alcohol works in the brain and in the body and the devastating and deadly effects it has on the individual.