Should you quit drinking?
We all love drinking to some degree. It seems it is an integral part of our lives in the culture we live in. It is firmly enmeshed in our lives in some way or another. Alcohol to celebrate, the “God I need a drink days” and the summer day cold beer is an absolute must. All of our movies, TV, books, stories we share with friends, stories our parents told us, we all have alcohol stories. But is it necessary in our lives and just how much damage does alcohol do? Is it worth it? Would we be able to have as much fun without it? With it? Let’s have a look at our lives and see; should we give up drinking?
Let’s face it, we’ve all been hungover to some degree or another. Unlike the movies, we rarely wake up married to find a sexy tiger in the bathroom. (er, you can take that literally or figuratively)
Most can be managed with 2 aspirin and a glass of water but some….YIKES! I don’t have to tell you, some hangovers are so bad you’d rather be put into a coma to ride it out than deal with the pain. I call mine the “dry wasps nest” because I picture my brain a dry grey mass of angry buzzing wasps. It’s so flammable a single rational thought will torch it in seconds.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Well mainly because once you start drinking your judgment gets worse and worse as you get drunker and drunker, so drinking more seems like a better and better idea. Yikes what a twisted logic that is! Seems like as well as a designated driver, we should have a designated thinker in the group!
What really happens to our bodies when we drink? What causes us to feel the ‘buzz’ or ‘euphoric’ feeling?
Alcohol is a mood altering substance. It affects the nerves that pass messages around the body by slowing them down and the more you drink the greater the effect. The reason people often get more lively when they’ve had a drink is that alcohol affects parts of the brain responsible for self-control.
Your reactions also slow down, and you may become uncoordinated or unsteady on your feet. Your speech may get slurred and you may start seeing double. If you’ve had a lot to drink you may also experience strong emotional responses – for instance you may become aggressive or tearful and because your judgment is impaired, you may do things that you might not normally do – from dancing on tables to going home with strangers. They may seem a good idea at the time, but can be extremely dangerous.
That’s where your designated thinker would come in handy! Unfortunately too many people can be predatory too and are watching for potential sexual targets who are too drunk to resist or to rationally make decisions.
Alcohol is also very bad for our liver, the filter of our body.
Your body can’t store alcohol, so it has to break it down – mostly via your liver. Through a complex metabolic process the liver firstly changes alcohol into acetaldehyde, a highly toxic substance. The acetaldehyde is converted by the liver into acetate, a harmless substance, which is then turned into carbon dioxide and water which are then simply excreted from the body.
About 90% – 95% of alcohol consumed is metabolised by the liver. The remaining 5% – 10% is excreted through urine, breath and sweat. Your body’s ability to process alcohol depends on various things, like your age, weight and sex. Your body breaks down alcohol at a rate of roughly one standard drink per hour.
Because it takes time for your body to break down alcohol, drinking more than one unit of alcohol an hour will build up your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and it may be many hours before you are safe to drive.
After a night of heavy drinking you risk being over the drink drive limit the next morning. So Even if you stay overnight somewhere, hopefully somewhere safe, you can still get a DUI. You do NOT want one of those on your record.
Seems as if the price of drinking is pretty high.
It can be so fun!!!
Just here do we draw the line? Should we give it up entirely?
Here’s what happens when you stop drinking. Of course if you are a serious drinker, If you’ve been binging for more than a week, you cannot quit cold turkey. You could die. We don’t want that! Still too much fun to be had! You should consult a doctor and slowly wean yourself off. But for most of us, it isn’t a concern and a good detox from alcohol is very beneficial to the body, mind and spirit. Take a break, consider it a spring cleaning for your body! A month is a good amount of time to replenish yourself.
Keep alcohol for special, you don’t need to drink every day. What are we here, Mad Men? Though I wouldn’t kick ol Don Draper out of my bed for drinking martinis!
Remember kiddies, we’ve got a lot of living to do and we’ve got a lot of loving to do, so keep your body strong and rock on.