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Alcohol Facts

  • Studies of alcoholics have found that heavy consumption of alcohol can lead to neurodegeneration, death of brain cells and reduced brain tissue mass, and subsequent damaging effects such as a lack of impulse control and difficulty in setting goals.
  • Alcohol affects people differently, depending on their size, sex, body build, and metabolism.
  • Alcohol- is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream from the small intestine, and less rapidly from the stomach and colon. In proportion to its concentration in the bloodstream, alcohol decreases activity in parts of the brain and spinal cord.
  • In 1996 90% of adults reported using alcohol at some time during their lives.
  • Seventy to eighty percent of alcohol is absorbed in the small intestine.
  • Most body systems are affected by alcohol. Side effects include dilation of blood vessels and increased gastric secretion. Chronic alcohol consumption causes damage to body organs such as the brain, liver, heart, stomach, pancreas, and intestines.
  • In 1998, alcohol was a factor in more than half of all traffic fatalities.
  • More than 100,000 people die each year from alcohol related causes. Ranked independently, alcohol related deaths would fall between the 3rd and 4th leading causes of death.
  • Between 20% and 40% of all persons admitted to urban general hospitals have coexisting alcohol problems and are often misdiagnosed alcoholics being treated for the consequences of their drinking.
  • Liver cirrhosis is the 9th leading cause of deaths; each year 28,000 lives are lost to this disease.
  • In 1997, 111 million Americans ages 12 and older had used alcohol during the 30 days before an interview conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration in 1997.
  • The effects of drinking do not depend on the type of alcoholic beverage - but rather on the amount of alcohol consumed on a specific occasion.
  • Drinking heavily over a short period of time usually results in a "hangover" - headache, nausea, shakiness, and sometimes vomiting, beginning from 8 to 12 hours later.
  • A hangover is due partly to poisoning by alcohol and other components of the drink, and partly to the body's reaction to withdrawal from alcohol.
  • Combining alcohol with other drugs can make the effects of these other drugs much stronger and more dangerous.
  • In severe cases of alcohol addiction, sufferers may experience delirium tremens ('the DTs') when they withdraw from alcohol. Delirium tremens is a serious medical condition that can be fatal.


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  • Drug Facts
  • Cocaine raises body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure. Even one use causes heart palpitations or cardiac arrest.
  • OxyContin addiction creeps up on the individual until acquiring the drug becomes a full time obsession affecting friends, family, career, kids, finances and possibly involving the police.
  • The variability in quality of street heroin can range from 0-90%, which greatly increases the risk of accidental overdose and death.
  • Smoking marijuana decreases blood flow to the brain.