Facts About Alcohol

1. Alcohol affects men and women differently.

After a young woman and a young man drink the same amount of alcohol, the woman will have a higher blood alcohol level. This is because younger women produce less of the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase, which breaks down alcohol in the stomach.

2. Alcohol can lower blood sugar levels.

3. The symptoms of alcohol intoxication and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) are similar. Diabetics should monitor their blood sugar levels while drinking, as hypoglycemia requires appropriate medical attention. If you are diabetic, talk to your doctor before drinking alcohol.

4. Moderate alcohol consumption could help protect against heart disease.

5. According to the American Heart Association, moderate alcohol consumption increases good HDL cholesterol and reduces plaque buildup in the arteries.

6. Moderate alcohol consumption means no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men. To reduce your risk of heart disease, increase your physical activity and eat a healthy diet.

7. Many factors influence how people react to alcohol

8. Your age, gender, genetics, overall health and history of alcohol abuse can influence how your body reacts to alcohol. Alcohol flows through your organs based on the amount of water that is in them. Typically, women and older men have less water in their organs. As a result, less alcohol can enter their organs, so it stays in their bloodstreams for longer periods of time instead.

9. Drinking does not actually warm you up

10 Consuming alcohol causes blood to rush to the skin's surface, which makes you feel warmer. However, alcohol causes blood vessels to dilate, making you actually lose heat more quickly. Alcohol also impedes the body's warmth process by causing chills.

11. Alcohol affects your brain and body

12. Excessive  alcohol consumption leads to reversible brain damage. It affects brain structures such as brain cortex,  hypothalamus, small brain, and amygdala. These structures are responsible for coordinating movement, balance, physiological functions, and emotional stability.

13. Chronic and excessive alcohol consumption leads to dangerous and illegal behaviors and addiction. It causes liver cirrhosis –  liver insufficiency, and consequently death.

14. Ethanol is the most popular psychoactive addictive substance

15. Those who tried alcohol in childhood have increased the risk to become addicted. Recent research shows that 70% of college students drink alcohol almost every day. Nearly 17 million Americans suffer from alcohol abuse.

16. Binge drinking is dangerous

17. Concerning fact is that many young people report excessively drinking in a short period of time. For men, it is more than five, and for women more than four alcoholic drinks within two hours. Large amounts of ethanol provoke vomiting, dehydration, and depresses breathing.

18. Alcohol has a negative impact on your hormones

19. Large amounts of alcohol have negative health consequences for both men and women. It can impair the physiological hormone balance of the ovaries and testes.

20. Binge drinking increases circulating estrogen level and decreases sex hormone binding globulin, which increases the risk of breast cancer. It also lowers testosterone level, which leads to decreased sex drive, low energy, depression, reduced bone, and body mass.

21. Alcohol abuse has a genetic component

22. Children who have someone in their family suffering from alcohol use disorder, have a higher risk of becoming addicted. Scientists have found specific genes that contribute to alcohol use disorder.

23. Dark colored drinks cause severe hangovers

24. Brandy, bourbon, red wine, and whiskey contain natural chemicals called congeners. These chemicals give the drinks their dark color and irritate blood vessels in the brain, which makes a hangover worse. Drinking light colored drinks may give you less of a hangover. However, the best way to prevent nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, etc. is just to drink less.

25. Some drinks contain more pure alcohol than you think

26. It is not recommended to drink more than 14 alcohol units per week. If you drink beer, be aware of light beers because sometimes they contain more pure alcohol compared to others. You should avoid drinking cocktails because you will never know how many units your drink contains.

27. Red wine is good for your body

28. A 5 oz glass of wine is usually recommended by health professionals. Good red wine contains antioxidants, reduces blood pressure, cholesterol, and the risk of a stroke. It improves memory and protects the brain from neurodegenerative diseases.

29. Alcohol is a leading cause of violent behavior and traffic accidents

30.There is a strong link between alcohol abuse and violence. Men behave more violent after alcohol intake when compared to women.

31. Alcohol increases the risk of car accidents and violent deaths, especially on weekends.

32. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms range from mild to serious

33. Withdrawal symptoms show up as early as eight hours after you stop drinking. They can be different and their characteristics depend on the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption.

34.  Symptoms include sweating, anxiety, headache, insomnia, depression, etc. Serious symptoms may require treatment by health care professionals. In these conditions, a person’s struggle with addiction becomes more intense.

35. Different factors in a person’s life may lead them to struggle with alcohol abuse. Nowadays, there are different treatment options available that can help you win the battle against addiction. Detoxing, medications, supplements, social, and family support are extremely important for those who are determined to start a new life.

36. About 95,000 Americans die from alcohol-related causes annually.

That’s about 68,000 men and 27,000 women, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in this country. And its deadly impact is on par with the overdose crisis, which claimed about 100,000 American lives in the most recently measured 12-month period.

37. Alcohol makes the use of some medications and other substances more dangerous.

Even amid the “opioid epidemic,” most overdose deaths involve more than one substance. When combined with benzodiazepines or opioids (either prescription pills or heroin), alcohol can intensify the drug’s effects and lead to overdose. About 22% of overdose deaths involving prescription opioids also involve alcohol.

38. Alcohol misuse can lead to health problems.

The most common of which are liver disease, heart disease, stroke, cirrhosis, certain cancers, and hypertension.

39. Alcohol misuse has a ripple effect, causing issues that go beyond substance consumption alone.

Violence, car crashes, accidents that bring people to the emergency room—the World Health Organization has found that alcohol use contributes to lots of other problems that go beyond a person’s individual body and use.

40. American drinking is on the rise.

The stress of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to more drinking, especially binge drinking (which means having 4–5 or more drinks on a single occasion).

41. A national survey found that Americans’ excessive drinking increased during the pandemic by as much as 21%. According to research published in Hepatology and reported on by the Harvard Gazette, just a one-year increase in this kind of drinking will result in “8,000 additional deaths from alcohol-related liver disease, 18,700 cases of liver failure, and 1,000 cases of liver cancer by 2040.”

42. Alcohol use disorder is treatable, and there are many options.

This can all sound a bit scary. But it’s only scary because we rarely talk about it. By being honest about alcohol’s impact on our society and our own lives, we can chart a course toward healthier consumption patterns, or toward treatment and recovery when appropriate.

43. The “alcohol” in alcoholic beverages such as wine, beer, and spirits is actually ethanol, or ethyl alcohol. It’s the only type of alcohol that you can drink without causing serious damage to your body.

Alcohol is a depressant. This means that it slows down activity in the brain.

44. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 86.4 percent of adults reported having drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime.

45. The NSDUH also found that 70.1 percent of American adults had had a drink in the previous year, and 56.0 percent had had one in the previous month.

46. Alcohol has a wide variety of effects. In the brain, it triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that’s associated with pleasure and satisfaction.

47. Stress relief is another side effect of drinking alcohol. This is caused by an increase in the uptake of another neurotransmitter, called GABA.

48. Alcohol is among the most commonly misusedTrusted Source addictive substances. About 12.7 percentTrusted Source of American adults meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder (AUD). That’s 1 in 8 adults.

49. According to a 2015 studyTrusted Source, light-eyed Americans of European descent consume more alcohol than dark-eyed Americans of European descent.

The same studyTrusted Source found that blue-eyed Americans of European descent had the highest levels of alcohol misuse, suggesting a genetic link that makes them more susceptible to AUD.

50. Alcohol is processed in the liverTrusted Source, where enzymes help break down ethanol into acetaldehyde and acetate.

Alcohol has different health consequences for men and women. Long-term drinking is more likelyTrusted Source to have negative health effects for women compared to men, even if the woman drinks less for a shorter period of time.

51. The effects Trusted Source associated with drinking occur when ethanol enters your bloodstream and passes through the membranes of cells in your brain, heart, and other organs.

Research Trusted Source suggests that rates of alcohol use and high-risk use increased between 2001 and 2013.

52. AUD has a genetic component Trusted Source. Researchers estimate that genes account for approximately half of the risk.

53. Men are more likely Trusted Source to use alcohol than women.

55. Women who are dependent on alcohol are 50 to 100 percentTrusted Source more likely to die from alcohol-related causes than men who are dependent on alcohol.

56. Alcohol-attributable deaths are the third-leading preventable cause of death in America. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 88,424 people die from alcohol-related causes each year in the United States.

57. Alcohol may be nearly as old as civilization. Residues from an alcoholic beverage that dates back to 7,000 to 6,600 B.C. have been found in China.

58. Archaeologists have also found evidence suggesting that the workers who built the Great Pyramids of Giza were paid in beer.

59. Binge drinking is a pattern of alcohol consumption that involves drinking a lot in a short period of time. For women, four or moreTrusted Source drinks in two hours is considered binge drinking. For men, it’s five or more drinks in two hours.

60. Teens who start drinking before the age of 15 are more likelyTrusted Source to develop alcohol dependence later on in life.

61. Symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) include hallucinations, seizures, and, in severe cases, even death. People who are dependent on alcohol should seek medical assistance to stop drinking.

62. Culture has a significant influence on how people consume alcohol. A study that explored family drinking in Italy found that Italians who drank at family meals while growing up were less likely to develop unhealthy drinking habits later on in life.

63. Alcohol use is a significant risk factor for dementia.

64. Drinking red wine in moderation is believed to be good for the heart. Red wine contains resveratrol, a substance which helps control cholesterol, prevent blood vessel damage, and stop blood clots.

65. Binge drinking can lead to a hangover the following morning. Hangovers are caused by chemical byproducts created during alcohol processing.

Hormonal changes lead to unpleasant hangover symptoms. For instance, hormonal changes cause you to urinate more, which can lead to dehydration.

66. Dark liquors, such as red wine or whiskey, are more likely to result in severe hangovers. White or clear liquors are less likely to result in a hangover.

67. Around the world, minimum legal drinking ages range from 10 to 21 years.

68. Muscles absorb alcohol faster than fat. As a result, people who have more muscles and less body fat have higher alcohol tolerance.