Copyright Goodheart-Willcox Co., Inc. Chapter 9 Alcohol 293 Summary Lesson 9.1 The Effects of Alcohol Alcohol is a drug found in drinks that can cause a person to act and feel differently. Depending on the amount consumed, drinking alcohol can be considered moderate drinking, binge drinking, or heavy drinking. Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is the percentage of alcohol in a person’s blood. People with a BAC of 0.08 or above are considered intoxicated. As a person drinks alcohol, brain functions slow down. This may result in the following: stumbling, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, seizures, and frequent urination. Most people who drink too much will experience a hangover. Symptoms may include headaches, muscle aches, vomiting, dizziness, and sensitivity to light and sound. Alcohol poisoning is a medical emergency that results from too much alcohol in the bloodstream. Extreme cases can lead to permanent brain damage or death. Drinking alcohol long-term is associated with serious consequences, including permanent problems with learning and memory and chronic diseases like cirrhosis. Alcohol is the most commonly abused drug among youth in the United States. Young people who drink alcohol are at greater risk of experiencing problems with their physical health, at their school, with their family and friends, and with the law. Drinking alcohol also puts people at greater risk for accidents. Alcohol-use disorders occur when the use of alcohol causes problems that interfere with a person’s health and responsibilities. People with an alcohol addiction continue to drink despite these problems. Lesson 9.2 Preventing and Treating Alcohol-Use Disorders The people in a young person’s life can influence their decision to drink or avoid alcohol. These people may include a person’s siblings, parents, peers, friends, and media figures. Young people are more likely to experiment with alcohol use if their parents or older siblings use or abuse alcohol. Their friends and peers may also try to pressure them into trying alcohol. The messages young people see in the media, such as TV commercials, social media, or in magazines, can also influence this decision. Education programs can help disprove the beliefs young people have about drinking and help them learn the physical, social, and mental consequences of alcohol use. Refusal skills can also help young people avoid drinking alcohol. The government has made alcohol difficult to obtain for young people with a minimum legal drinking age and sales tax. People with severe alcohol-use disorders can use detoxification, support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, and self-management strategies for treatment. Enabling a person’s unhealthy behaviors by covering up their problems will not treat the alcohol-use disorder. Chapter 9 Review and Assessment
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