Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that affects every organ in your body as it is rapidly absorbed from the stomach and small intestine into the bloodstream. Alcohol is metabolized in the liver by enzymes; however, the liver can only metabolize a small amount of alcohol at a time, leaving the excess alcohol to circulate throughout the body. The damage it does now can impact the rest of your life.
Also Known As
AKA a drink, booze, brew or brewski, forty, hooch, poison or the hard stuff among others.
What Is It
Alcohol is a depressant derived from the fermentation of yeast, sugars and starches. These are brewed and distilled into a wide range of beverages with various alcohol contents. Ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, is the intoxicating ingredient found in beer, wine and liquor.
Although you may hear that it will loosen you up and help you relax, what you may not hear is that alcohol can damage the part of your brain that controls coordination, memory, judgment and decision-making. Straight up, you are dumber when you drink. You might slur your words and lose coordination, as well as your reactions becoming slower.
If you drink a lot and/or drink fast (binge drinking) you really put yourself in danger. With binge drinking, the depressant (or dumbing) effects of alcohol can overwhelm the body’s defenses leading you to do stupid, risky and reckless things that are unsafe and even lethal.
The Long-Term Effects
Alcohol travels through your bloodstream and damages your brain, stomach, liver, kidneys and muscles. As a teenager, your body is still developing, so damage done to it now can affect the rest of your life.
The Bottom Line
Alcohol use is illegal for people under 21. One reason is that alcohol can potentially have serious and long-term impacts on a body and brain that are still developing. Also, statistics show that more teens are killed by alcohol than by all other illegal drugs combined.