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on psychiatry and psychology

Short Term Physical Alcohol Effects, Alcohol Poisoning

Abstract: This article describes the successive effects accompanying increasing levels of alcohol in the blood.

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Short Term Physical Alcohol Effects, Alcohol Poisoning

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Question(s): 
Written by: Wendy Moelker, Psychologist in charge, tutor, Emergis center for mental health care, Goes, the Netherlands.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 19 Feb 2011.

What are the alcohol effects?

Answer:

Alcohol is converted in the body into acetaldehyde. This substance is responsible for, among others, hangovers. These chemical conversions take place in the liver.

Furthermore, the following changes take place when drinking alcohol (Alcohol level in per mille, 1/1000):

Alcohol
level
For
women
For
men
Effect
0-0.5 About 1 glass About 2 glasses The blood vessels under the skin dilate, causing a warm feeling. Taste, smell and vision are reduced a little, and also the sense of pain is reduced.
0.5-1.5 About 1 to 5 glasses About 2-7 glasses There is a change of mood and behavior. There is overestimation. A numbing effect starts to play a role. Memory decreases, judging situations become more difficult, and speed of reaction is reduced. Muscle coordination is affected, vision changes.
1.5-3 About 5-9 glasses About 7-14 glasses All the above-mentioned effects are enhanced. Behavior becomes excessively emotional. Self-criticism disappear. The face becomes red and gets swollen, pupils dilate. The chance of nausea and vomiting is high.
3-4 9-13 glasses 14-19 glasses The senses get numbed. The drinker is totally confused. He hardly notices what he hears and sees.
4 The risk of unconsciousness is very high. There is danger to life. He or she can go into a coma and possibly die of a heart attack or respiratory arrest.
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