Alcohol

People have been drinking alcohol in various forms for thousands of years. It was even more commonly consumed than water during times when no one could be sure of the water’s cleanliness. It’s part of the human condition to enjoy oneself and alcohol goes hand in hand with this, but there is a dark side.

Alcohol is a depressant; it slows down the brain and body’s responses, making us more relaxed, more sociable and reducing our inhibitions. This is why it’s particularly dangerous to drive while under the influence, when our reaction times are so much slower than normal.

alcoholDue to its profound effects on sociability, confidence, and its ability to calm anxiety levels, alcohol is sometimes abused. Its accessibility and affordability combined are a dangerous combination for those who are prone to addiction.

More immediately, alcohol can reduce people’s inhibitions so much that it can lead to very out of character behavior, including violence, aggression and a lax attitude to risk and danger. People who have been drinking alcohol are much more likely to have unprotected sex and take risks that they would never take while sober.

Even those who only drink socially and feel able to control their drinking can find themselves feeling strange and perhaps unpleasant while under the influence of alcohol. Mixing different drinks, drinking too fast, and drinking on an empty stomach all intensify the effects of alcohol and can get people drunk much faster. Women have a lower tolerance than men because they’re generally smaller and more slight, and younger people can do significant damage to their body and brain by drinking underage when they are less developed.

Like all drugs, alcohol carries risks, and it’s important to understand them.


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