Beer, wine, and hard liquor (distilled spirits) all contain alcohol. The following common alcoholic drinks contain equal amounts of alcohol and are often referred to as a drink or a standard drink:
• One mixed drink containing 1.5 fl oz(44 mL) of 80-proof hard liquor, such as Gin, Whiskey, or Rum
• One 5 fl oz(148 mL) glass of Wine
• One 12 fl oz(355 mL) bottle of Beer or Wine cooler
Proof is the amount of alcohol in hard liquor or distilled spirits. The percentage of pure alcohol in the hard liquor is usually one-half the proof. For example, a 100-proof liquor is about 50% pure alcohol. Thus, the higher the proof, the more pure alcohol the hard liquor contains.
The body has more than 100 circadian rhythms that are unique and influence various aspects of body functions, including heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, hormone levels, pain threshold and even the ability to fight disease.
Drinking alcohol can have negative consequences on these biological rhythms, research reveals.
Extensive research supports the observation that smokers drink and drinkers smoke and the heaviest alcohol consumers are also the heaviest consumers of tobacco.
Alcohol’s damaging effects on the Brain
Difficulty walking, blurred vision, slurred speech, slowed reaction times, impaired memory: Clearly, alcohol affects the brain. Some of these impairments are detectable after only one or two drinks and quickly resolve when drinking stops. On the other hand, a person who drinks heavily over a long period of time may have brain deficits that persist well after he or she achieves sobriety. Exactly how alcohol affects the brain and the likelihood of reversing the impact of heavy drinking on the brain remain hot topics in alcohol research today.
Blackouts and Memory lapses
Drinkers who experience blackouts typically drink too much and too quickly, which causes their blood alcohol levels to rise very rapidly.
College students may be at particular risk for experiencing a blackout, as an alarming number of college students engage in binge drinking.
Binge drinking, for a typical adult, is defined as consuming five or more drinks in about 2 hours for men or four or more drinks for women.
Once addicted to both alcohol and prescription drugs the alcoholic experiences a much more complex combination of withdrawal symptoms, and his mental and physical torment is multiplied.
The dual addicted alcoholic is now caught in a brutal cycle of increasing pain and decreasing benefit. Now he must increase his use of alcohol and pills to medicate himself against the ever increasingly sever withdrawal symptoms.
In this situation the danger of overdose is ever increasing because the combination of alcohol and tranquilizers or sedatives can cause respiratory failure.