Booze Truths

  1. Alcohol is toxic to the human body. TRUE: There is a limit to the amount of alcohol the human body can tolerate. When you drink too much, your blood alcohol level can rise to a point where it actually becomes poisonous.
  2. Devouring a burger after drinking all night will help you sober up. FALSE: The liver can break down alcohol at a rate of about .5 ounces per hour. This is only half the amount that is present in a standard drink. Once alcohol is in your bloodstream, nothing can speed this rate of metabolism. Not caffeine. Not food. Not water. You might be full, but you won't be any less drunk.
  3. Alcohol, food, and non-alcoholic beverages are all digested the same way. FALSE: Alcohol is not digested like other foods or beverages. It passes directly into the bloodstream through the tissue that lines the stomach and small intestines.
  4. Taking a nap helps you sober up. FALSE: Sleeping does not increase the rate at which your body can metabolize alcohol. It will still be processed at .5 ounces per hour, even while you snooze. So it is possible to wake up and still be drunk.
  5. Alcohol doesn't affect your body's organs unless you get really drunk. FALSE: When you have an empty stomach, alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream in about five minutes. As soon as alcohol is in your bloodstream, it only takes about 90 seconds for it to be carried to all of the body's organs, including the brain.
  6. You can suffer alcohol withdrawal symptoms after your first drink. TRUE: Alcohol, like other drugs, has withdrawal symptoms. The common hangover has symptoms like nausea, headache, dehydration, and the shakes.
  7. As long as you have gotten a few hours of sleep, you'll be fine to drive the morning after you've been drinking. FALSE: You motor coordination can be affected for up to ten hours after you finish your last drink. So before you get in the car to drive home, think twice about your ability to drive safely.
  8. Passing out can be life threatening. TRUE: If you drink so much that you pass out, it is because the alcohol has caused your brain to start shutting down, resulting in your loss of consciousness. The amount of alcohol it takes to pass out is dangerously close to the amount of alcohol it takes to kill you.
  9. Getting drunk will help you perform better sexually. FALSE: While alcohol consumption may loosen your sexual inhibitions, heavy alcohol consumption can cause impotence in men and decreased vaginal or clitoral sensations in women.
  10. Even though alcohol is a drug, you can't overdose on it. FALSE: A dangerously high blood alcohol level can cause your heartbeat and breathing to stop altogether, which mean you can die from drinking too much.
  11. Your family history can influence your drinking habits. TRUE: Children of alcoholics are three to four times more likely to become alcoholics themselves.
  12. Every time you drink alcohol, you kill 10,000 brain cells. FALSE: Not exactly. It is unlikely that a single drink will kill brain cells. However, long-term, chronic drinking can cause permanent memory loss and brain damage.