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April is Alcohol Awareness Month

The Effects of Alcohol

The month of April is designated as Alcohol Awareness Month and the National Drug Council (NDC) will be disseminating information throughout the month to bring about an awareness of the effects of alcohol on your brain and body.

We have become so desensitized to the presence of alcohol, given that it is a widely accepted beverage, that we barely recognize it is a drug.  It is depicted in television commercials, provides a source of humor in movies and regularly viewed television shows, and is present in many of our homes. Today alcohol has become the featured beverage at our parties, socials, sporting events and on many occasions has become the beverage option at dinner.  People drink to socialize with friends and family, to celebrate events, and to merely relax.  Nevertheless we should not become overly casual about its presence or appealing advertising image. Alcohol is a very powerful and dangerous drug!

Alcohol enters your bloodstream as soon as you take your first drink and its immediate effects can appear within 10 minutes. As you drink, you increase your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level, which is the amount of alcohol present in your bloodstream.  The higher your BAC, the more impaired you become by the alcohol’s effects.

The immediate effects of a small amount of alcohol include: a change in your brain’s chemistry which results in reduced inhibitions, impaired judgment, slowed reactions, slurred speech, memory problems, breathing problems, loss of coordination, and in some cases, death.   Those who are under the influence of alcohol are also highly likely to find themselves in unsafe situations.  Alcohol can be a contributing factor in many of our altercations, assaults, car crashes, and deaths.

Those persons who consume large amounts of alcohol over a longer period of time tend to have a high tolerance, allowing them to mask behavioral cues that might otherwise indicate intoxication. The long term affects of drinking too much include: the increased risk of developing health problems such as liver disease, heart disease, sleep disorders, depression, stroke, bleeding from the stomach, sexually transmitted infections from unsafe sex, and several types of cancer.  In addition, women who consume alcohol while pregnant add the risk of causing brain damage along with other serious problems to their unborn babies.

If you’re of the legal drinking (18) age and you choose to drink be aware that:

  • In comparison to men, women are more likely to become intoxicated as they are typically smaller and carry a higher percentage of body fat.
  • The faster a person consumes alcohol the more rapidly they will become intoxicated.

Don’t be deceived by alcohol’s advertising image or believe the myth that alcohol doesn’t affect you. The truth is alcohol is a powerful and dangerous drug which carries many risks that include health complications and can ultimately lead to alcohol addiction. No one starts drinking intending to become an alcoholic, contract a sexually transmitted disease or a serious illness. The negative effects and consequences of drinking far outweigh the positive image portrayed in advertisements.

For more information on alcohol and other drugs please contact the NDC by phone at 949-9000, email us at info@ndc.ky or visit our website at www.ndc.ky

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For more information Contact:

Brenda Watson
Programme Manager
PO Box 10007 | Grand Cayman  KY1-1001 | CAYMAN ISLANDS
Ph: +1 345 949-9000 | Fax: +1 345 949 6264 | Web: www.ndc.ky