The unknown in the house

Once drunk, how is alcohol managed by our body? What are the long-term effects of excessive drinking? Often, knowledge remains unclear and does not allow for a calm apprehension of the risks involved. The point with .

Short-term effects

Drunkenness is not the only manifestation of excessive drinking. Discover the path of alcohol in the body and its consequences.

The long-term effects

When consuming an alcoholic beverage, the alcohol it contains passes through the intestinal wall without undergoing any modification. It thus passes through the blood very quickly. 15 to 30 minutes are enough if the person is fasting, and 30 to 60 minutes elapse if this passage is slowed down by the presence of food. It is at this point that the blood alcohol level (presence of alcohol in the blood) is at its maximum before gradually decreasing.

Through the blood network, alcohol spreads throughout the body and in particular the most irrigated organs: the liver, the heart and the brain. It is the liver that will slowly transform 95% of the alcohol, the remaining 5% is eliminated by the lungs and expired air, kidneys and urine, skin and sweat.

The toxic effects of alcohol are now well known. The liver, brain and nervous system, heart and muscles can be affected. The digestive system is not spared. The mucous membranes, stomach and intestine are irritated with frequent burning sensations.

This psychoactive substance acts on the brain as well as cannabis or other drugs. Slow, disturbed, the brain is overwhelmed. Disorders of reflexes, vision and balance, loss of memory ... are frequent. Being addictive if consumed regularly, alcohol is akin to a drug.

The effects of alcohol can be increased by ingesting certain drugs such as sleeping pills or tranquillizers.

The immediate effects are well known, so drunkenness appears in a few hours due to excessive consumption. This state will be all the faster as the person will not be accustomed to drinking. Motor coordination, balance, perception and judgment are altered. There are invariably three phases that evolve from euphoria to falling asleep. According to the National Institute of Prevention and Education for Health 1, the state evolves thus

The decline in vigilance is at the root of risky behaviors. After a drink, the risk of road accidents or everyday life is multiplied by three, after three drinks, by ten. For example, drunkenness is associated with 40% of deaths in traffic, 25-35% in non-fatal car accidents, 64% in fires and burns, 48% in hypothermia and frostbite, 40% Of falls and 50% of homicides 2.

Alcohol is also a factor of aggression and is responsible for 50% of brawls, 50% to 60% of crime and 20% of crime.

Finally, drinking increases the risk of unprotected sex. And without a condom, only one report is enough to be infected with the AIDS virus, other sexually transmitted infections or to be unwittingly pregnant.

In the long term, alcohol can be responsible for many diseases: cancers (mouth, esophagus, throat ..), diseases of the liver (cirrhosis) and pancreas, diseases of the nervous system and psychic disorders (anxiety, depression, irritability , Etc.), cardiovascular disorders ... Due to higher consumption, men are more affected than women, and one in seven male deaths is attributable to alcohol.
Alcohol causes directly 23 000 deaths per year by cancers, cirrhosis or alcohol dependence. As an associated factor, it causes 45,000 deaths. This is the second cause of preventable death after smoking.

1 - INPES awareness campaign - "Alcohol, no need to be drunk, to die" - September 2001 2 - Source alcoweb.com, site on alcohol and alcoholism conceived and financed by ; Merck Health