ALCOHOL Intermediate 1 Biology Unit 1 – Health and Technology
Introduction • A drug is a substance that alters the way the human body works • Alcohol is the most commonly used drug in Britain • Alcoholic drinks vary in the percentage of alcohol that they contain
Alcoholic Content of Different Drinks Typical alcohol content (%) Vodka Whisky Buckfast Absinthe Smirnoff Ice Beer Cider Wine
Absorption of Alcohol • Once consumed alcohol is absorbed from the stomach and other parts of the gut • It is carried around the body in the bloodstream
Absorption of Alcohol • When alcohol reaches the brain it affects the brain’s activities • It often makes a person feel relaxed and uninhibited • Alcohol is slowly broken down in to harmless substances by the liver • Effects of alcohol gradually wears off
Absorption of Alcohol • The faster you absorb the alcohol, the higher your blood alcohol level will be, • The more alcohol in your blood, the greater its effect will be. • Absorption is more rapid if you: -drink quickly -add a fizzy mixer -drink on an empty stomach -are small, young or female
Units of Alcohol • One unit of alcohol is the quantity that can be broken down in a healthy adult’s liver in about one hour • The recommended limit per week for -men = 21 -women = 14
How many units of alcohol in the following? • A pint of Tenants - 2 units • A Barcardi Breezer -1.5 units • A vodka and diet coke -1 unit • A small glass of wine -2 units
Harmful Effects of Alcohol • In the short term an excess of alcohol in your bloodstream leads to -poor reaction time -poorer muscle control and coordination -poorer judgement when making decisions
Harmful Effects of Alcohol Long term abuse of alcohol can have a devastating impact on health, eg.: • Hangovers. • Weight gain. • High blood pressure • Depressed immune system • Cancer • Liver disease • Alcohol poisoning • Heart or respiratory failure • loss of appetite • Vitamin deficiencies • memory loss.
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