Alcohol is the world’s most prevalent drug– and also the one that most often sends users to the hospital. Still, less than 60 percent of heavy drinkers even know that their habits place them in grave danger, indicates the 2014 Global Drug Survey.
That’s because, for a variety of different reasons, many drinkers don’t take their drinking seriously. Fortunately, Kenneth R. Warren, Ph.D., deputy director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), helped debunk some common myths surrounding the potent drug.
Myth 1: You can have one alcoholic drink per hour and be able to drive home.
You might have heard that your body can process one drink per hour– but in truth, it’s more like two hours. “The average rate of alcohol metabolism is 100 milligrams of alcohol per kilogram of bodyweight per hour,” Warren says. “For a typical 160-pound man, this would translate into seven grams of alcohol in an hour. The so-called standard serving, a 12-ounce bottle of bear, is 14 grams of alcohol, so it would take two hours to fully metabolize it. For most people, if you drink one drink an hour, you’re going to become more and more impaired each hour.” For a typical 160-pound person drinking one drink per hour, four hours of drinking would get you to a blood alcohol concentration of .08 — which is considered legally drunk.
Myth 2: You can sober up faster if you need to.
In truth, nothing speeds up the sobering process. Caffeine, in fact, can do more harm than good: “Caffeine is a stimulant, and because of that, a person’s going to be more awake but just as much impaired,” Warren quips. “It can give an individual a false degree of confidence that they are not impaired,” which could lead to chancier behaviors and dangerous choices.
Myth 3: Go once– and you’ll spend the night over the urinal.
Drinking alcohol will get you going to the bathroom more often than if you don’t drink. That’s because alcohol suppresses your hormone vasopressin, which makes it so more liquid gets redirected to the bladder than normal. Alcohol is also a diuretic, meaning more water comes out of each cell in our bodies when we down booze. The excess fluid is also sent to the bladder. As you continue drinking, the fluids you need to dispose of only increases; it has nothing to do with how long you you take before your first trip, though.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.
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