President's Prescription: Alcohol and Holidays - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

President's Prescription: Alcohol and Holidays

Source: KCBD Video Source: KCBD Video
(KCBD) -

Many holiday celebrations and engagements include alcohol and, while some people use drinking at parties to loosen them up, it always comes at a cost. 

A glass of champagne may make you feel bubbly and excited to see old friends, but the feeling will fade with each passing glass. Alcohol is a depressant, and after it's initial effect, it quickly works to slow down the respiratory rate, speech and decision making skills, particularly if drinking is done in succession.

At higher levels, alcohol can cause blackouts, which are bouts of amnesia where a person does not recall what happened while they were intoxicated. Life-threatening impairment occurs at 0.31 to 0.45 percent blood/alcohol concentration, but impairment begins the second you take a sip.

Blackouts are extremely dangerous. A person that has reached the blackout phase may continue to interact with others, but they will not be able to create new memories of these events. Drinking to this excess puts partygoers at risk for alcohol poisoning.

Sobering up is not as easy as a cup of coffee or a cold shower. Neither of those myths work at all. Alcohol will effect the body as long as there is alcohol in the bloodstream. Even after the last drink, alcohol in the stomach will enter the small intestine where it is absorbed into the bloodstream, making alcohol's impairment last for hours. 

Space alcoholic drinks out between non-alcoholic ones. There's no way to cheat the system to make your brain recover more quickly from alcohol's effects. If you drink, be sure to coordinate your drinking with a designated driver. It's best to call a cab or just spend the night. Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle puts more than just yourself at risk. 

So keep the holidays happy and bright by creating a plan. While parties are a great way to spread cheer, if you've been drinking, make sure that you do not have the keys. 

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