Binge Drinking? Heavy Social Drinking? Alcohol Abuse is NOT Alcoholism
Posted Feb 20 2012 10:57am
When a person drinks, the alcohol bypasses the normal digestive process and enters the bloodstream through the walls of the small intestine, where it dissolves in water and travels through the bloodstream to areas of the body high water concentration and /or having lots of blood vessels – like the brain.
Alcohol leaves the body through the liver, and as a very GENERAL rule of thumb, it takes the liver about one hour to metabolize — rid the body of — the alcohol in one standard drink. What happens to the excess alcohol – the more than one drink per hour? It sits in the body waiting to be metabolized.
Alcohol “sitting” in the brain is what suppresses normal brain functions because it changes the way neural networks in the brain work. And here’s the problem. Drinking is not just normal or alcoholic – there’s a whole gray area of drinking – the level of drinking that causes chemical and structural changes in brain cells and neural networks. These changes cause a person to engage in drinking behaviors as a result of these brain changes because the brain controls everything we think, feel, say and do. The drinking in this range is known as alcohol abuse, and it consists of at-risk drinking patterns like repeated binge drinking or routine heavy social drinking. Watch this 10 minute video to learn more… alcohol abuse is NOT alcoholism.