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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

How much a person can drink and not be drunk?

Does it take you one 12 oz. beer to be tipsy while it takes your friend a full six pack? There are plenty of factors that could answer why it is that some people can drink more than others. Some of it is genetics, other factors include their environment and influences, however, below you will find a few factors that you may or may not have taken into consideration.
 
What is Your Level of Tolerance?
 
Most state laws will say that drinking any more than three beers could get the average person (weighing about 155 lbs) drunk. However, the truth of the matter is, this is only the average recommendation, experts believe that not many people know what their tolerance level is and that there could be other contributing factors to figuring it out.
 
Size
 
The heavier you are the more alcohol you can consume before you become tipsy or drunk. Medical studies show that the average person can metabolize one drink in about an hour. Those who weigh less however, can be greatly affected by consuming the same amount of alcohol as a heavier person. Since there is a larger body mass index and increased levels of plasma in the body, these all contribute to why someone who is bigger can drink more.
 
Ethnic Background
 
Ethnic background believe it or not can have something to do with how much a person drinks. Medical studies show that the enzymes that would metabolize alcohol could be less present in certain groups. For instance the Asian community has a genetic enzyme called acetaldehyde that produces a rapid heartbeat and rosy drinks after a small amount. Also if drinking is a cultural experience you are more likely to drink heavier than others.
 
Food
 
Eating can make you feel less drunk than you are. The more fats/carbs you consume the more you put off feeling intoxicated. However, you should be forewarned that you’re not stopping your body from absorbing the alcohol; you’re only delaying it so that it does not take affect so fast. The emptier your stomach is the more alcohol will affect you.
 
Time/Frequency
 
What could time have to do with drinking more or less than someone else? A person who drinks more often is likely to develop a higher tolerance to those who only drink occasionally.
 
Perception
 
Last but not least is perception. While this factor does not affect how drunk you are for some people it can affect how drunk they feel. For instance, if you were to give a group of people a drink and tell them that there is alcohol in it, their brains may automatically begin to display signs of feeling tipsy, however, if you don’t tell those same group of people that their drink is spiked and they drink it, chances are they are not going to feel as drunk.
 
These few factors can greatly sway how much a person can drink and not be drunk. It is always best even equipped with this information that you drink in moderation. Alcohol does not affect everyone the same and therefore trying to “keep up with the Jones” is a surefire way to get drunk.

Learn more about the stages of an alcoholic

Are you feeling concerned that you or someone you know may be an alcoholic, but you want to be certain? Recognizing the stages of alcoholism can certainly help you to admit the problem and hopefully get the help that you/they need for treatment. While some would argue that there are no stages of alcoholism, others would agree that there are at least four to five stages of an alcoholic. The stages discussed below will be pre-alcoholic, early alcoholic, middle alcoholic, and late alcoholic.

Pre Alcoholic

The pre-alcoholic stage typically shows no real signs of there being a problem. To anyone on the outside looking in, the person would appear normal. In the beginning stages drinking is more of a social outlet. However, as the stage progresses drinking then becomes a more frequent player in the person’s life, generally as a means to ward of stress. During this stage most of the symptoms are psychological. The person affected will become alcohol tolerant. This means that they are able to drink large amounts while still being able to function. After long periods of tolerance the person then needs larger and larger amounts of alcohol to reach the same level of satisfaction.

Early Alcoholic

The early alcoholic stage is best described as a stage in which the abuser is starting to realize they have a problem, but do not possess the mental “knowhow” to resist taking another drink. At this stage they will begin to feel ashamed of their actions and will begin to tell lies to friends and family members about how much they actually drink. They begin to look less obvious in their drinking even putting alcoholic beverages in soda or coffee. Alcohol tolerance continues to increase to very dangerous levels.

Middle Alcoholic

It isn’t until about the middle alcoholic stage that friends and family members can begin to see the change in their loved one. The person affected will begin to remove themselves from daily activities such as work and other social engagements as a result of being hung over or needing to drink. They begin to lose concept of what is appropriate and what is not and will begin drinking whenever necessary whether at work, in front of children, or elsewhere. Physical symptoms are typically increased irritability, argumentative, and aggressive. Some of the changes to the physical appearance could be facial redness, bloating, weight gain/loss, or sluggishness. However, during this middle stage is also when the abuser will try to seek help through support groups and other treatment options but will likely fail a few times.

Late Alcoholic

Last in the stages of an alcoholic is the late stage. Drinking has consumed their daily life and taken over their social life. At this point they have likely lost their jobs, and isolated themselves from others. There are diseases that can occur that might include cirrhosis of the liver and/or dementia. During this stage it is also common to see paranoia and anxiety. It is at this point that the stages can become fatal and long lasting which is why if you or a loved one has reached this stage it is time to get help.

Several signs to someone having an alcohol problem

Alcoholism is a serious disease that if not treated can be fatal. If you believe that you or someone you know is an alcoholic or abusing alcohol, knowing what the signs and symptoms are will help you in getting them the help that they need. There are several signs to someone having an alcohol problem. Alcoholism is a very progressive disease which means that the symptoms you or your loved one is experiencing are going to become increasingly more critical as time passes on.

Everyone is Different

Not everyone is going to show symptoms of alcohol abuse or alcoholism right away or in any particular pattern. However, those who do abuse alcohol will begin to start with early symptoms and later begin to show signs that are increasingly worse. 

Early Signs of an Alcohol Problem

A person who is dealing with an alcohol problem is not going to be fully aware of it. Some of the earlier signs of a problem are: a routine pattern of drinking heavily, recklessly drinking without a care for the outcome, and frequent intoxication. Other signs you might notice are their changes in behavior as they drink. Those with a problem tend to have a drastic personality change in which they can go from normal to angry or even violent in a matter of seconds.

Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse

You can really begin to see the signs described above get progressively worse the more a person abuses alcohol. Some of the things you might need to pay attention to are: if they continue to drink despite the fact that it is causing an increasing amount of complications. At this point you might also notice that the person is willing to drive drunk, they prefer to drink over handling responsibilities such as going to work, and are even willing to face getting in trouble with the law without any signs of caution.

Symptoms of Alcoholism

If nothing is done when the above signs are displayed, alcohol abuse can quickly turn into alcoholism which in many ways is an uncontrollable disease. A person that has become dependent upon alcohol feels as if they need the alcohol to get through the day.

When abuse of alcohol is allowed to reach this level of dependency, the affected person is likely to experience other symptoms that might include: neglecting their daily activities, excessively using alcohol, inability to control the need for alcohol, large portions of their daily lives revolve around alcohol related activities, and withdrawal symptoms if alcohol is not within reach.

What Can You Do?

If you or someone you know is dealing with an alcohol abuse or dependency problem, the sooner you act to get help the better off you will be. If you are the abuser, consider talking with a doctor or psychiatrist about your problem to receive professional assistance in kicking the habit for good. However, if you are a friend or family member of an abuser, all you can do is be there to support them and try to guide them in the right direction. Remember, no one can be treated from this, until they are fully ready.

Few ideas of treatment options for alcoholism

There are plenty of options for treating alcoholism. The main priority however, should be to get the abuser to remain sober. An alcoholic in otherwise good health is in most cases able to make a full recovery when they have the love, support, and motivation of others. Whether you are a family member or the person in need of help you should first start by understanding that treating alcoholism may involve a series of remedies that include therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. Other thing to keep in mind is that recovery is not going to happen overnight and relapse can occur. Below are a few ideas of treatment options for alcoholism.
 
Conventional Medication
 
An alcoholic can only receive effective treatment if they are willing to get help and acknowledges that they do have a problem. It is possible that your loved one will need to take medications in order to get their condition under control. Anti-anxiety drugs such as Benzodiazepines are used to treat withdrawal symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, seizures, and anxiety. These medications are generally used during the detox phase which is when most symptoms are displayed. Another common medication type that is used is antidepressants. They may help in controlling the person’s feelings of anxiety or depression. These medications are generally an aid provided after detox has already taken place.  
 
Therapy
 
Once an alcoholic has gone through detox the road to recovery has only just begun. Because alcoholism is a disease that takes over the brain, relapses can be quite frequent which is why getting help mentally is the next step to treatment. The doctor will typically recommend a therapist that you should meet with to learn new ways of dealing with underlying problems. (Since in most cases, alcoholism is a result of stress or depression). Cognitive therapy practices are taught in which they help them learn new methods of dealing with stresses in life.
 
Lifestyle Changes
 
Recovering from alcoholism does not stop at the doctor or therapist. Treatment also has to take place in the home. Physical affects that are common for alcoholics include: vitamin A deficiency, Vitamin B complex, and deficiency in other substances such as vitamin c, folic acide, zinc, magnesium, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. In order for the body not to remain weak and dependent it becomes imperative to develop a healthy change in lifestyle. Taking a multivitamin and eating a well balanced diet is ideal for full recovery.
 
If you’re going to stay abstinent it becomes imperative that you take these steps to changing your life around and removing yourself from negative influences. Some changes you will have to make include: removing yourself from people and places in which drinking is a normal thing, join a group where you can get support from others going through the same thing, talking with your family members about your problems and asking for support, taking on new hobbies that will keep your mind off of alcohol, and also exercising so that brain chemical levels can return to normal.
 
Remember to keep in mind that this is not an easy process and everyone recovers differently. Some can do it without medication and therapy, while others need lots of support and love. Whatever option you choose, the best thing you or your loved one could ever do is get help.

Genetic factors that make any particular person become an alcoholic

Ever wonder why you drink two shots of vodka and can feel wasted and another person can take back five shots and only feel a slight buzz? There is serious research and debate still to this day on the potential genetic link to alcoholism. Some wonder if there are inherited reasons or factors that might make a person more likely to become an alcoholic than another person. In fact, according to studies conducted by the research group Alcoholism and Drug Addiction from the University of Granada, while there are no actual reasons to become an alcoholic, there are plenty of social, genetic, environmental, and family factors that could contribute to how it’s developed. The study concluded that the lack of endorphins (which can be hereditary) can mean that there are genetic factors that make any particular person become an alcoholic.
 
What Are Endorphins?
 
Beta-endorphins are chemicals that are naturally released into the brain. It releases as a response to many different situations including pain. In some ways these chemicals are said to dull or numb pains. When studies looked further into those who possessed lower levels of beta-endorphin levels and chronically abused alcohol, they found impressive discoveries. Jose Rico, a lecturer of medicine at the academy believed that low levels of endorphins can easily aid in determining if a person may become an alcoholic. The way it is described is that if a person with low levels suddenly experiences an artificial rush (from alcohol) of endorphins then they will become more dependent upon alcohol as their natural levels of endorphins fail to produce.
 
What Does All of This Mean?
 
In the study conducted by the University of Granada, they gathered information from 200 families in the Southern Spanish province. The results found that from the time of birth, each child had a predetermined level of beta-endorphins present. The study concluded that children who had parents that were abusers and low endorphin levels were ten times as likely to be vulnerable to alcoholism and abuse.  According to the studies, while alcohol consumption does not affect everyone the same way, that differences in endorphin levels can obviously make a person more vulnerable to alcohol. When lower levels are present, they have a higher chance of developing a dependency.
 
The Jury is Still Out
 
To this day scientist and medical professionals are conducting studies to determine the genetic link to alcoholism. While some argue that there are other factors including environmental, social, and genetic that all determine vulnerability, more and more studies are proving that it could be inherited.
 
What Can You Do?
 
Whether you drink once in a blue moon, socially, or frequently, your best bet is to learn your family history. The more you know about your family member’s drinking problems, the better prepared you will be. Talk with  your parents and grandparents to see if you can get a better understanding of how vulnerable you could be. If you find that you have a history of alcoholism or abuse in your family, you may consider minimizing your drinking and monitor it responsibly. Since there is no hardcore proof that it’s genetics, you don’t want to take that risk.
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