Alcohol Info

Physical Effects

Alcohol causes physical effects that are predictable (we know how alcohol makes people feel) and progressive (as a person becomes more intoxicated, physical effects build and intensify).

BAC Effects
.02-.04 Inhibitions lowered, feelings of warmth
.05-.07 Inhibitions definitely lowered, judgment impaired, feeling buzzed and relaxed
.08-.10

Impairment in judgment, reaction time, motor control, and other things that affect

one's ability to make decisions or drive. A person's speech and balance is noticeably impaired.

.11-.15 Coordination is definitely, possibly severely, impaired.
.16-.19 Nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, and disorientation likely
.20-.24 Blackouts and vomiting are very likely. Person will display mental confusion and probably need assistance to walk.
.25 & up Passing out likely. All cognitive, voluntary, and involuntary CNS functions are severely impaired.
.31 & up

This level of intoxication is equivalent to surgical amnesia and acute alcohol poisoning is probable. Immediate medical care is critical.

Drinking Less May Lead to More Fun

Many people believe that more is better. Research says that the most positive effects of alcohol are experienced at or around .05 BAC. At the point of diminishing returns (BAC ≤ .05) more alcohol will not necessarily make a person feel any better, but will contribute to that person becoming more impaired.

Chart of the myth that more alcohol leads to more fun. This chart describes an arrow rising to the right as more alcohol is consumed. This is a cultural myth. The next pictures describes what actually happens.Research says that the most positive effects of alcohol are experienced at or around .05 BAC. After that one experiences less of a 'buzz' and more of feeling 'drunk'.

Images courtesy of http://www.alcoholinformation.org

Alcohol Poisoning

Death due to alcohol poisoning occurs because a very high blood alcohol content has caused critical life functions (like breathing) to become dangerously slow or stop completely. Know the signs of alcohol poisoning. Even one of these signs indicates a medical emergency:

  • Passed out and cannot be awakened
  • Shallow or infrequent breathing
  • Cold, clammy, or bluish skin
  • Vomiting

If you suspect alcohol poisoning, follow these steps.

  1. Get help. Call 911 or get an RA.
  2. Roll the person on his/her side.
  3. Stay with the person until help arrives.

Avoid giving the person food or water. The only thing that can sober a person up is TIME.