Write Your Own Story

Alcohol and Other Drugs

Think you or a friend might have a problem with alcohol use?  Take an annonymous screening:  http://www.alcoholscreening.org/Screening/Page02.aspx

Please remember that all Alcohol is not the same:

A 12-ounce beer = 5-ounce glass of wine = 1 ½ ounce shot of 80% proof liquor or lower = to 1 standard drink 

In general, the liver can process one standard drink in one hour.  If you consume more than this, your system becomes saturated, and the additional alcohol will accumulate in the blood and body tissues until it can be metabolized. This is why having a lot of shots or playing drinking games can result in high blood alcohol concentrations that last for several hours.

Physical effects of alcohol can include:

  • impaired behavior                                                                    
  • loss of inhibitions
  • impaired judgment
  • poor memory
  • impaired concentration
  • coordination problems:  staggering, slurred speech
  • extreme mood swings and emotional outbursts
  • double vision
  • impaired sexual functioning

Dont forget, the impact of alcohol on your body may vary! 

The following factors influence the effects of alcohol in your body:

  • amount consumed,
  • the rate of consumption,
  • presence or absence of ingested food
  • mood state,
  • gender (women metabolize alcohol at different rates than men),
  • weight,
  • previous experience with alcohol,
  • use of prescription medication and or other drugs 

Alcohol poisoning is the most serious consequence of binge drinking.  The brain is deprived of oxygen when too much alcohol is consumed, therefore, inhibiting the brain from functioning.   Brain functions are ultimately depressed, effecting vital life systems that can lead to coma and then death.

The signs of alcohol poisoning are:

  • Nausea and/or vomiting (the body’s way of expelling excessive alcohol)
  • The person is unconscious or semi-conscious and can not be awakened.
  • The person feels cold and clammy
  • The person appears pale or bluish
  •  Breathing, when checked, is slow (less than 8 breaths per minute), or irregular (ten seconds or more between breaths)

Dos:

  • Do put the person on his/her side to prevent choking on vomit. 
  • Do call for help immediately:  call 911, staff member, public safety/security, anyone who could help.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t leave the person alone
  • Don’t think he/she will be alright
  • Don’t be afraid you are making something out of nothing

SIGNS OF ALCOHOL PROBLEMS

If you or someone you know shows any of the following signs talk to someone.  The office of Personal Counseling can offer assistance in a safe, private and confidential manner.

  1. Feeling guilty about drinking
  2. Feeling angry or annoyed when someone comments on your drinking
  3. Making high risk choices
  4. Drinking to solve or avoid problems
  5. Experiencing personality changes when drinking---loud, angry, violent, reclusive
  6. Passing out---unconscious
  7. Blacking out---lack of memory at a time when conscious
  8. Drinking before class, when doing homework, to sleep, to wake up
  9. Lying about drinking or hiding it
  10.  Attempting to cut down, or stop, but have not been able to
  11.  Engaging in high risk behaviors—driving, sexual activities
  12.  Missing classes due to drinking
  13. Being asked to leave a place because of drinking
  14. Having accidents in your room or at home because of drinking
  15. Drinking too much when there is no real reason

To find a treatment provider visit:  http://www.alcoholscreening.org/Get-Help.aspx or stop by Personal Counseling for a referral.

For more information about Alcohol and/or Other Drugs visit:  The New Jersey Prevention Network:  http://www.njpn.org/resources/