Chapter 12 – Alcohol and Tobacco

Central nervous system depressant slows down activity

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: less likely to die of heart disease (compared to heavy drinkers and abstainers) • heavier drinking: triggers release of free radicals (harmful oxygen molecules) – can increase risk of heart disease, stroke, cirrhosis of liver • alcohol can weaken heart muscle, causing cardiomyopathy Immune System • chronic alcohol use: inhibit production of both white blood cells (fight off infections) and red blood cells (carry oxygen to all organs and tissues) • cold or flu – alcohol interferes with body’s ability to recover – increases chance of bacterial pneumonia in flu sufferers Brain & Behaviour • at first, feel “up” – in low dosages, affects regions of brain that inhibit or control behaviour, so feel more relaxed • also experience losses of concentration, memory, judgement, fine motor control, have mood swings and emotional outbursts • moderate & heavy drinkers: show signs of impaired intelligence, slowed- down reflexes, difficulty remembering • heavy drinking depletes brain of dopamine, gamma aminobutyric acid, opioid peptides, serotonin – responsible for feelings of pleasure and well- being • promotes release of stress chemicals – CRF (corticotropin releasing factor) – create tension and depression • central nervous system depressant – slows down activity of neurons in brain – dulling responses of brain and nervous system • one or two drinks – tranquilizer or relaxant • additional drinks – progressive reduction in CNS activity leading to sleep, general anaesthesia, coma, even death • moderate amounts – effects on perception and judgment: o impaired perceptions – less able to adjust to bright lights, less able to distinguish between sounds or accurately determine source o dulled smell and taste o diminished sensation o altered sense of space o impaired motor skills o impaired sexual peformance Increased Risk of Harm and Dying • people who use alcohol...
View Full Document

Ask a homework question - tutors are online