Believe it or not, the mixing process (so to speak) of blood and alcohol can be a bit more complicated than you think. If you are a recovering alcoholic or abuser, then you are fully aware of how your body quickly reacts to this depressant, but did you know how toxic this drug can truly be? Obviously, you are aware of blood alcohol poisoning, or may have suffered a few unfortunate bouts of it, but what process takes place to change your body’s chemistry? Let’s take a closer look at the sweet, poisonous nature of alcoholic drinks.
You Mean “Ethanol”
Whenever people talk about alcohol, they are actually, and maybe unknowingly, referring to a chemical called “ethanol,” a compound that’s produced via the fermentation of grains or veggies which occurs when yeast converts foods into starches and/or sugars. In essence sugar + yeast = alcohol.
One Dangerous Martini
So what exactly takes place each time someone gulps a martini or sips on a few margaritas? Here are some more details about the process:
- Once you drink alcohol, it enters the stomach (obviously).
- From there, the stomach lining absorbs the alcohol and distributes it into the bloodstream.
- After reaching the brain, alcohol connects with neuron membranes and begins to dampen functions of the nervous system due to depressant qualities.
- Ethanol restricts ADH, a hormone that controls the regular flow of urine, resulting in frequent visits to the bathroom and subsequent dehydration.
- Ultimately, ethanol triggers the release of dopamine, which ultimately dilates blood vessels, resulting in a flushed face and a happy feeling.
A Death Machine
Now, let’s take what we know and explore why alcohol can kill you. In an infamous case, singer Amy Winehouse died due to blood-alcohol poisoning after reaching 416 micrograms per deciliter blood-alcohol content (BAC), roughly .416%. Now, consider that any amount of alcohol above 0.5% restricts your heart rate and breathing.
Simply put, drinking more than the standard drinks for your sex is life-threatening.
Seeking Treatment for Alcohol Abuse or Alcoholism
Alcohol withdrawal can easily be one of the most frightening aspects of healing. During the course of the recovery process, you will suffer from minor to severe symptoms that may include night sweats, hallucinations, fevers, anxiety, and sadness, but always remember that you can find the strength to overcome these problems. However, you must always seek medical attention when you have decided to cut ties with alcohol, as the withdrawal process can be notoriously dangerous. Never attempt to do this without the supervision of a trained specialist.
If you are suffering from a severe case of alcoholism or alcohol abuse, or have a friend or loved one who is coping with this illness, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process of alcohol withdrawal and detox and guide you along the rocky road of rehabilitation. Soon enough, you will experience a faster and much more efficient recovery.
If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how you can overcome your mental illness and take an extra step toward becoming a healthier person.