26 August 2010

Alcohol and your Brain

An amazing 3D representation on the effect alcohol has on your body and brain. Find out more about the metabolism of alcohol and what is Blood Alcohol ...


[Applause] [Music] it may be legal but it is still a drug be safe be sensible know your limit alcohol is a drug to think before you drink your body belongs to you the purpose of this presentation is to help you understand the impact that alcohol has on your brain and the damage it can do our goal is to provide you with information which will enable you to make informed choices in relation to safe alcohol consumption did you know healthy people metabolize alcohol at a fairly consistent rate as a rule of thumb a person will eliminate one standard drink or 10 mils of alcohol per hour and remember it's not how many drinks you have but how much alcohol you consume several factors influence this rate including gender age height weight general health the presence of food in the stomach the concentration of alcohol in the drink and prescription or illicit drugs taken by the person it's the blood-alcohol concentration or BAC which is the key to why we are affected by alcohol basically your blood alcohol concentration is the

relationship between the total amount of alcohol in your system divided by total body water because alcohol is dissolved and diluted in water so that's also why drinking lots of water with any alcohol consumption is a really good thing the BAC and the effects of alcohol go up when the body is taking in alcohol faster than it can metabolize it for example if you binge drink and consume a 750 ml bottle of rum or 3 bottles of wine that's around 26 standard drinks between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m. your body will need until sometime around 6 p.m. the next day to process and get rid of the alcohol and that's why driving or operating equipment the next day is not only illegal but just crazy particularly when you consider what this is doing to your brain let me explain alcohol enters the body and ends up in the stomach at which point about 20% is absorbed immediately and the other 80% is absorbed in the small intestine the heart then pumps the absorbed alcohol to every part of the body including the central nervous system which consists of the brain and spinal cord and it gets to the brain really fast so that's why even after just one drink you can feel

light-headed or relaxed alcohol acts primarily on the nerve cells within the brain and interferes with communication between nerve cells and all other cells slowing everything down and that's why when we drink even a little we experience the effects of alcohol on our emotions judgment balance memory speech and anger levels just to name a few did you know that your brain is still developing until you around 20 to 25 so we need to be really careful because alcohol can do some irreversible damage to various parts of our brains for example drinking affects the cerebral cortex which controls our senses and inhibitory centers which is why when you drink you become more talkative more self-confident and less socially inhibited it also controls our thought processes so alcohol affects our ability to make good judgment or think clearly the brains frontal lobes are important for planning forming ideas making decisions and using self-control so when alcohol affects the frontal lobes of the brain you may find it hard to control emotions and urges and you may act without thinking and even sometimes become violent or act

completely out of character does this sound familiar the cerebellum is important for coordination thinking and being aware so again you may have trouble with these skills when alcohol affects the cerebellum that's why people affected by alcohol sometimes can't walk properly or lose their balance and fall the hippocampus is the part of the brain where memories are made so when alcohol reaches the hippocampus you may have trouble remembering something you just heard or even worse have a blackout and not be able to remember what you did last night if alcohol damages the hippocampus you may find it hard to learn or remember things in the future the hypothalamus is a small part of the brain that does an amazing number of the body's housekeeping chores after a person drinks alcohol blood pressure hunger thirst and the urge to urinate increases while body temperature and heart rate decreases and finally the medulla controls the body's automatic actions such as your heartbeat it also keeps the body at the right temperature because alcohol chills the body drinking a lot of alcohol our doors in cold weather can cause a

person's body temperature to fall below normal this dangerous condition is called hypothermia your body belongs to you get the facts alcohol is unsafe for the developing brain alcohol can damage your brain forever the long-term functioning and health of your brain depends on the choices you make today your responsible attitude toward alcohol can have a positive influence on your friends and family your body belongs to you take care of it it's the only one you have [Applause] thanks to the following drink wise Australia for their generosity in granting funding for a major portion of this production Australian Lions drug awareness foundation for their import and support throughout the production of this presentation 3d me a look inside for their in-kind contribution to a portion of the script research development creative processes and production of this presentation for more information or to download the Australian alcohol guidelines please visit [Music] you