It’s no secret that alcohol drastically affects the body: it slows down reflexes, impairs judgment, and could even affect your newborn if you are drinking while pregnant or breastfeeding. But alcohol damages us in a number of other ways. As a DUI accident lawyer, here are a few ways alcohol can affect the body:
• Alcohol Affects the Brain:
There are reasons behind why so many countries have strict regulations regarding permissible alcohol limits for drivers. Researchers have found that consuming too much alcohol could even cause temporary amnesia! Alcohol consumption releases two neurotransmitters, GABA and dopamine—each of these is responsible for calming the brain and offering pleasure. This is why the brain seeks alcohol; in a sense, you are rewarded for seeking alcohol. The problem, however, is that too much of these neurotransmitters can cause high blood pressure, hallucinations, and increased aggression.
• Alcohol Affects the Liver:
Constant drinking takes a heavy toll on the liver, mainly because alcohol is metabolized in the liver. Alcohol is metabolized at a very slow rate—it takes almost an hour to metabolize just one ounce of alcohol. Even if you stick to the proverbial “one drink a day” rule, you may be doing a lot of damage to your liver. Alcohol in the liver becomes acetaldehyde, a toxin that causes cancer. Drinking also causes fatty liver disease, a condition where the liver is so clogged with fat it cannot perform efficiently. Constant drinking also causes cirrhosis of the liver, where the liver becomes so damaged that its cells cannot regenerate.
• Alcohol Affects the Central Nervous System:
Slurred speech and blurred vision aren’t the only aftereffects of alcohol. Constant drinking, along with a Vitamin B1 deficiency, can lead to Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. In the long-term, alcohol causes personality changes, depression, anxiety, etc.
No wonder drunk driving is such a huge problem in the United States—thousands of lives are lost every year! If you or a loved one was injured in a drunk driving accident, contact DUI accident lawyer Jarrett Blakeley for more information.