Many people figure a few beers at a ballgame or a couple of glasses of wine with dinner won't put them over the legal limit for driving. But how alcohol affects people is highly individual, with a number of factors in the mix. Quick shots of liquor hit the bloodstream faster than slow sips of wine. Drinking on an empty stomach impairs reflexes more than consuming alcohol with food. And women and older drinkers generally hit legal intoxication levels sooner than men and younger people.
As a chemical, alcohol is a very simple molecule, but its effects on the brain are quite complex. And different people respond differently to alcohol in different situations.
If you’re drinking moonshine, yes. Although alcohol that’s properly manufactured and regulated does not by itself cause blindness, people sometimes do go blind from drinking bootleg beverages. One common concern with moonshine is lead poisoning, which has been linked to blindness.
A new study has found that boozers out on the town are more likely to underestimate their drunkenness if their companions are also drinking heavily. The lesson? Take a sober friend with you.
The effects of alcohol are often delayed. Many factors influence the amount of time between drinking alcohol and feeling its intoxicating effects — gender, weight, how much food is in the stomach, hormones, metabolic rate, race, as well as interactions with prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, dietary/herbal supplements, and illegal drugs.
Ethanol is the most frequently consumed recreational drug in the world.
Debaucherous evening last night? You’re probably dealing with veisalgia right now.
More commonly known as a hangover, this unpleasant phenomenon has been dogging humanity since our ancestors first happened upon fermentation.
Alcohol spares no part of the brain, including our memory. “It’s a systemic effect,” says William Barr, director of neuropsychology at NYU Langone Health, “So the alcohol is elevated in your blood levels and that’s going to all parts of the brain, so general brain functioning is reduced.”
These effects start after just one or two drinks.
A wearable that measures your drunkenness sounds embarrassing, but so does finding out the hard way (puking on the street).
First there was vodka tampons, and now teens getting drunk from hand sanitizer? According to reports, doctors in California are warning that more teens are turning to hand sanitizer to get drunk.
It’s an oft-repeated saying, based on the notion that lower oxygen levels at high altitudes impair the ability to metabolize alcohol, leading to quicker absorption and enhanced intoxication. But research suggests otherwise.
Is red wine good for you? Is it healthier to drink a little than not at all? Is there such a thing as hangxiety? It’s time to sort fact from fiction.
Do different types of booze get you drunk in different ways?
What tips the balance from drinking that produces impairment to drinking that puts one’s life in jeopardy varies among individuals. Age, sensitivity to alcohol (tolerance), gender, speed of drinking, medications you are taking, and amount of food eaten can all be factors.
We don't always know when we're standing over a large deposit of iron ore.
Alcohol acts as a central nervous system depressant. This means it slows down the rate at which brain cells and other nerves in the body communicate with one another.
Ideally, drink in a place where you can easily walk home or secure a ride from a sober friend, taxi, or shuttle. Do not drink to impress people or challenge others because you put yourself in the most danger when drinking as part of a dare or race.
Alcohol is a very simple molecule with incredibly complex effects. Although I already knew a bit about the neurobiology of alcohol, I just spent an afternoon reading a dense journal article that described roughly 50 different neural mechanisms it affects.
Our ambiguous relationship with alcohol is older than civilisation – in fact there’s a strong argument that it was the cause of civilisation itself. We’ve been drinking it since our dawn as a species, and it probably helped us evolve into humans in the first place. It may even have played a role in the very creation of life on earth. No, I’m not drunk. This is proper science.
Drinkers who think they can tell when they've had enough are very often wrong. "Alcohol can affect your reflexes even if you feel fine," says Samir Zakhari, director of the division of metabolism and health effects at the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
It is a temporary condition that comes with both physical and behavioral changes. It results from the consumption of an excessive amount of alcohol within a relatively brief time. When one consumes alcohol at a faster rate than their body can metabolize it, they become intoxicated.