Kerry Herndon, MSW, LAC-E Western Montana Addiction Services Project SUCCESS- Sentinel HS. Alcohol. First Thing First…THE BRAIN . Age 25: Fully Developed Age 30: Fully Mature Younger Chemicals Are Introduced, the Greater the Risk to Brain Development
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Kerry Herndon, MSW, LAC-E Western Montana Addiction Services Project SUCCESS- Sentinel HS Alcohol
First Thing First…THE BRAIN • Age 25: Fully Developed • Age 30: Fully Mature • Younger Chemicals Are Introduced, the Greater the Risk to Brain Development • More than 4 in 10 who drink before age 15 will become alcoholics
A couple terms…. • Neurotransmitters • Send and receive messages in the brain • Neuron • The chemical (message) being sent
Tolerance • Decreased responsiveness to a stimulus, especially over a period of continued exposure. • The capacity to absorb a drug continuously or in large doses without adverse effect; diminution in the response to a drug after prolonged use. • Physiological resistance to a poison. ** increased tolerance DOES NOT mean you are any less drunk – your BAC does not change because your tolerance increases. **
Alcohol • Depressant • Suppresses Central Nervous System • Slows Breathing • Slows Heart Rate • Slows Reflexes • Stimulates Dopamine • Neuron • Feel Good Sensors • Example: Runner’s High
Alcohol & The Brain • Shrinking of the Brain • Hippocampus –Learning and Memory • Prefrontal Cortex – Decision Making/Personality • Reticular Formation – Sleep/Awake Cycles & Consciousness • Spinal Cord • Cerebral Cortex – Thinking and Problem Solving • Cerebellum – Body Movement & Coordination
Alcohol & The Heart • Irregular heart beat • Weakens heart muscles • Decreases heartbeat • High blood pressure • Increased risk of heart attack • Some research shows a correlation of an enzyme found in red wine used in moderation can have a positive effect on the heart. This is dependent on many other factors.
Alcohol & The Lungs • Slow or irregular breathing • Choking or asphyxiation • Lowers protective antioxidants in lung lining • Keeps proteins our lungs need out impacting capacity.
Alcohol & Mental Health • Mental Health Diagnosis • Increases risk of substance use • Most common among • Depression • Anxiety • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder • Bi-Polar Disorder • Schizophrenia • Other Personality Disorders
Alcohol, Mouth, Throat, Stomach, Kidney, Pancreas and Liver • Cancer of the Mouth & Throat • Cancer of the Pancreas • Cirrhosis of the Liver • Kidney Failure • Stomach Ulcers • Too much alcohol to metabolize leads to alcohol poisoning, possibly death
Alcohol & The Immune System • Lowers the immune system • More prone to disease & illness • Prevents nutrients from absorbing • Decreases a lymph node's ability to release antibodies into the blood to protect you from illness.
Alcohol & Musculoskeletal System • Weakens Muscles • Nerve functions • Decreases testosterone needed for building muscle or maintaining muscle tone • Weakens Bones • Overtime osteoporosis • Decreases bodies ability to absorb calcium
Wernicke’s Encephalophay • Inability to absorb vitamin B • Causes: • Lack of Coordination • Impaired Vision • Short-Term Memory Problems • Confusion
Alcohol & Reproductive System • Infertility • Male • Decreased testosterone • Shrinking Testacies • Impotence • Female • Reduces estrogen • Abnormal menstrual cycles and ovulation cycles • Spontaneous abortions • Early menopause
Alcohol: Pregnancy • Biggest impact in first weeks of pregnancy when most vital organs are starting to form (you may not even know you are pregnant) • Can take 1 drink, can take 50 drinks during pregnancy during any stage of gestation • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome • Physical and Mental Health • Fetal Alcohol Effect • Mental Health
Other Health Risks w/ Alcohol • Can cause seizures • Hypothermia (Low body temperature) • Enhances carcinogens in other chemicals, such as tobacco or marijuana • Can cause damage to DNA cells • Hypoglycemia (Low blood sugar) • Dangerous for someone with diabetes
Alcohol Poisoning • Binge Drinking • 5 standard drinks in 2 hours for males • 4 standard drinks in 2 hours for females • Too much too quickly • Body can’t metabolize alcohol that quickly • Males metabolize alcohol more quickly than females
Alcohol: Dangerous Games • Higher risk for sexual assault • Rape case investigations last year in Missoula showed that most victims were drinking at the time of their rape. • Rapid drinking on a bet or a dare • Alcohol hits stomach faster than your body can process/metabolize the substance • Girls keeping up with boys • Girls metabolize alcohol slower than boys
Signs of Alcohol Poisoning • Mental confusion, stupor, or coma • No response when pinching skin • Vomiting while sleeping • Seizures • Slow or irregular breathing • Low body temperature • Bluish skin color, paleness
Alcohol Poisoning & Death • Hypoglycemia (Low blood sugar) • Seizures • Choking or asphyxiation on vomit • Breathing slows, becomes irregular, stops • Heartbeat irregular, stops • Hypothermia (low body temperature) • Causing cardiac arrest
Alcohol: What You Can Do • Know the signs of alcohol overdose • Be aware of your responsibility • Ask for help • Don’t be embarrassed • Know what to do if someone overdoses • Be honest about how much they drank • Seek medical assistance • Don’t leave them alone
Alcohol: Sobering Up Eating, drinking coffee, sleeping it off, taking a cold shower, walking it off, and being left alone just create a very….. Full, wide awake, well rested, dripping wet, exercised and possibly irritated drunk. Only TIME sobers a person up. Your body can only get the alcohol out of your body as fast as it can metabolize it.
Withdrawal Symptoms of Alcohol • VERY DANGEROUS. • 2 hrs – weeks after use • Shakes/Tremors • Chills • Sweating • Nausea • Anxiety • Nervousness • Depression • Irritability • Heart issues • Jumpiness • Mood Swings • Nightmares/Terrors • Clammy Skin • Dilated pupils • Insomnia • Headaches • Rapid heart rate • Confusion • Hallucinations • Seizures
Alcohol Facts (From 2011 Study) • Alcohol is the most abused drug in the USA • Alcohol related crashes cost the State of MT approximately $511 million per year • Youth that drink are 50x more likely to use cocaine than those who never drink. • Binge drinkers are more likely to drive impaired than non-binge drinkers • More than 4 in 10 people who begin drinking before age 15 eventually become alcoholics. • This increases if you have a family history of substance abuse