Alcohol is one of the most widely used mood-altering drugs in our world. In America alone, alcohol use is associated with over 18,000 traffic fatalities each year, and is a leading cause of accidental injury and premature death.
Of the two-thirds of American adults who drink, approximately 10% develop a serious drinking problem. The only “safe” use of alcohol is non-use.
It takes your body 1-1 1/2 hours to process one drink— one “jigger” of liquor, one 12 oz. bottle of beer, or one 4 oz. glass of wine. When you consume alcohol faster than your body can metabolize it, your Blood Alcohol Level (BAL) rises, and you become intoxicated. The best advice is to pace yourself — sip your drink slowly, and do not have more than one drink in a one-hour period.
Lessen The Effects
You can also lessen alcohol’s effects on your body by making sure that you have eaten at least 15 minutes prior to taking a drink. (The food in your stomach will act like a sponge and slow alcohol absorption.) You can also dilute the alcohol concentration by adding ice or water to your drink. (Do not use carbonated water or mixers since these actually hasten alcohol absorption.)
Whenever you drink, exercise caution. Designate a driver who will not drink alcohol and who will be responsible for driving you to and from your destination. If a guest at your home has had too much to drink and insists on driving, take away his or her keys — call a cab or invite your guest to spend the night — but do not let the person drive.