Page 79


• There are lots of myths surrounding hangovers but they are caused by a combination of three things... • Dehydration... alcohol is a diuretic... stimulating urination... up to four times the amount of liquid

lost as drunk... with dehydration the brain shrinks away from the skull... causing headaches!

• Low blood sugar... alcohol stimulates insulin production... reducing blood sugar level... this causes drowsiness, weakness, trembling and hunger

• Poisoning... alcoholic drinks contain impurities called congeners... darker drinks tend to have more than clear drinks and sometimes manufacturers add them for sweetness and taste... the liver can become overworked so other toxins are not broken down

• Drinking water in between alcohol reduces dehydration... on waking, rehydrate with water and replace lost glucose with fruit juices or eating... a 2005 study in the British Medical Journal said there is no effective cure for hangovers... avoid by drinking in moderation!


• Generally one unit of alcohol... 8g... will take one hour to be processed out of the body • Blood alcohol concentration... BAC... depends on the amount and type of alcohol, drinking speed, any

food eaten, gender... women can have a slightly higher BAC due to less body fluid to dilute the alcohol

• The recommended daily limit of alcohol is 3-4 units for men... 2-3 units for women... weekly limits 14 units for women and 21 for men... with at least 2 consecutive days off a week



• Liver... less than 10% of alcohol is eliminated from the body in urine, breath and sweat... 90% of all

alcohol has to be processed by the liver... this can lead to fatty liver and permanent scarring... cirrhosis

• Heart... cardiomyopathy, heart failure, high blood pressure, rapid pulse, weakness of heart muscle, anaemia, impaired blood clotting

• Stomach... inflammation, vomiting, diarrhoea, malnutrition, vitamin deficiency, ulcers • Brain... blackouts, memory loss, damage to nervous system, poor concentration, blurred vision,

headaches, insommnia, restlessness, loss of balance... loss of inhibitions, aggression, irrational behaviour, arguments, violence, depression, mood swings, anxiety, nervousness... loss of self-esteem

• Lungs... reduced resistance to infection, increased risk of pneumonia and tuberculosis, colds • Pancreas... digestion problems, inflammation of the pancreas, duodenal ulcer, acute pancreatitis... with vomiting and severe pain occurring even after treatment

• Throat... cancers of throat, mouth and oesophagus, chronic coughing, oesaphageal varices

• Kidneys... impaired function, urinary infections • Hands and feet... tingling, trembling, numbness, loss of sensation, peripheral neuritis

• Limbs... impaired sensation leading to falls and numbness • Face... facial deterioration, 'drinker’s nose', blood-shot eyes, puffy eyes, florid skin, spider veins on hands and face, premature ageing


The Drugs Book  
The Drugs Book  

The Drugs Book is an advice and help guide to the misuse of drugs aimed at teenagers and other educational providers