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Encyclopedia > Drunk

Drunkenness, in its most common usage, is the state of being intoxicated with alcohol (i.e. ethanol) to a sufficient degree to impair mental and motor functioning. Ethyl alcohol, also known as ethanol or grain alcohol, is a flammable, colorless chemical compound, one of the alcohols that is most often found in alcoholic beverages. ...

Contents


Effects of alcohol on the body

Alcohol is a potent drug and consequently it has a range of side effects, some pleasurable and some less so. The amount consumed and the circumstances under which the alcohol was taken can play a large part in determining the extent of drunkenness. Drinking after eating a large meal is much less likely to induce drunkenness compared with drinking on an empty stomach. This is because the presence of food in the stomach is able to slow the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream, spreading its effect over a longer period of time. A drug is any substance that can be used to modify a chemical process or processes in the body, for example to treat an illness, relieve a symptom, enhance a performance or ability, or to alter states of mind. ... In anatomy, the stomach (in ancient Greek στόμαχος) is an organ in the alimentary canal used to digest food. ... Red blood cells (erythrocytes) are present in the blood and help carry oxygen to the rest of the cells in the body Blood is a circulating tissue composed of fluid plasma and cells (red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets). ...


Cell membranes are highly permeable to alcohol, so once alcohol is in the bloodstream it can diffuse into nearly every tissue of the body. This can contribute to the correspondingly dramatic effect seen when large amounts are taken. Drawing of a cell membrane A component of every biological cell, the selectively permeable cell membrane (or plasma membrane or plasmalemma) is a thin and structured bilayer of phospholipid and protein molecules that envelopes the cell. ... Biological tissue is a group of cells that perform a similar function. ...


Alcohol has a biphasic effect on the body - its effects transform over an evening of drinking, from initial feelings of relaxation and cheerfulness to blurred vision and problems with coordination. After excessive drinking, unconsciousness can occur and in extreme cases (when the concentration of alcohol in the bloodstream is over 0.5 percent) alcohol can even cause death. Death can also be caused by asphyxiation (choking) as a result of vomit blocking the trachea. An appropriate first aid response to an unconscious, drunken person is a maneuver known as the recovery position. Unconsciousness is the absence of consciousness. ... Death is either the cessation of life in a living organism or the state of the organism after that event. ... Asphyxia is a condition of severely deficient supply of oxygen to the body. ... Vomiting (or emesis) is the forceful expulsion of the contents of ones stomach through the mouth. ... The trachea (IPA /treikiə/), or windpipe, is a tube extending from the larynx to the bronchi in mammals, and from the pharynx to the syrinx in birds, carrying air to the lungs. ... First aid is a series of simple, life-saving medical techniques that a non-doctor or layman can be trained to perform. ... Recovery position. ...


Intoxication is an altered mental and physical state caused by ingesting alcoholic beverages or other psychoactive drugs. Alcoholic beverages are drinks containing ethanol. ... A psychoactive drug or psychotropic substance is a chemical that alters brain function, resulting in temporary changes in perception, mood, consciousness, or behaviour. ...


Sometimes, people in such altered states act irresponsibly because of reduced inhibitions. The term intoxication is typically used in legal proceedings when some crime has been committed during a state of intoxication. An inhibitor is a type of effector that decreases or prevents a chemical reaction. ... Law (a loanword from Old Norse lag), in politics and jurisprudence, is a set of rules or norms of conduct which mandate, proscribe or permit specified relationships among people and organizations, provide methods for ensuring the impartial treatment of such people, and provide punishments for those who do not follow...


Moderate doses

Although alcohol is commonly thought of purely as a depressant, at low concentrations it can actually stimulate certain areas of the brain. Alcohol sensitises the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) system of the brain, making it more receptive to the neurotransmitter glutamate. Stimulated areas include the cortex, hippocampus and nucleus accumbens, which are responsible for thinking and pleasure seeking. Another one of alcohol's agreeable effects is body relaxation, possibly caused by heightened alpha brain waves surging across the brain. Alpha waves are observed (with the aid of EEGs) when the body is relaxed. Heightened pulses are thought to correspond to higher levels of enjoyment. See also sedative. ... In the anatomy of animals, the brain, or encephalon, is the supervisory center of the nervous system. ... NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartic acid) is an amino acid derivative acting as specific agonist at the NMDA receptor, and therefore mimics the action of the neurotransmitter glutamate on that receptor. ... NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartic acid) is an amino acid derivative acting as specific agonist at the NMDA receptor, and therefore mimics the action of the neurotransmitter glutamate on that receptor. ... Neurotransmitters are chemicals that are used to relay, amplify and modulate electrical signals between two neurons: the presynaptic neuron and the postsynaptic neuron. ... Glutamic acid or glutamate is one of the 20 most common natural amino acids. ... In neuroanatomy the cortex is the outermost layer of the brain. ... The location of the hippocampus in the human brain. ... The nucleus accumbens is a collection of neurons in the basal forebrain region of reptiles and higher organisms which play an important role in reward, pleasure and addiction. ... Thought or thinking is a mental process which allows beings to model the world, and so to deal with it effectively according to their goals, plans, ends and desires. ... EEG can mean: Electroencephalography - the method and science of recording and interpreting traces of brain electrical activity as recorded from the skull surface or the device used to record such traces Emperor Entertainment Group - A Hong Kong entertainment company. ...


A well-known side effect of alcohol is lowering inhibitions. Areas of the brain responsible for planning and motor learning are dulled. A related effect, caused by even low levels of alcohol, is the tendency for people to become more animated in speech and movement. This is due to increased metabolism in areas of the brain associated with movement, such as the nigrostriatal pathway. This causes reward systems in the brain to become more active, and combined with released inhibition can induce people to behave in an uncharacteristically loud and cheerful manner. An inhibitor is a type of effector that decreases or prevents a chemical reaction. ... Santorio Santorio (1561-1636) in his steelyard balance, from Ars de statica medecina, first published 1614 Metabolism (from μεταβολισμος(metavallo), the Greek word for change), in the most general sense, is the ingestion and breakdown of complex compounds, coupled with the liberation of energy, and the consequent generation of waste... Dopaminergic pathways are neural pathways in the brain which transmit the neurotransmitter dopamine from one region of the brain to another. ...


Behavioural changes associated with drunkenness are, to some degree, contextual. A scientific study found that people drinking in a social setting significantly and dramatically altered their behaviour immediately after the first sip of alcohol, well before the chemical itself could have filtered through to the nervous system. Likewise, people consuming non-alcoholic beer or "shirley temple" mixed drinks have been observed exhibiting increasingly drunk-like behavior on a par with their alcohol drinking companions even though their own drinks contained no alcohol whatsoever.


Excessive doses

The effect alcohol has on the NMDA receptors, earlier responsible for pleasurable stimulation, turns from a blessing to a curse in the long run if further alcohol is consumed. NMDA receptors start to become unresponsive, slowing thought in the areas of the brain they are responsible for. Contributing to this effect is the activity which alcohol induces in the gamma-aminobutyric acid system (GABA). The GABA system is known to inhibit activity in the brain, and would cause other areas to slow down. GABA could also be responsible for the memory impairment that many people experience. It has been asserted that GABA signals interfere with the registration and consolidation stages of memory formation. As the GABA system is found in the hippocampus, (among other areas in the CNS), which is thought to play a large role in memory formation, this is thought to be possible. Chemical structure of GABA Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a neurotransmitter in widely divergent species. ... The location of the hippocampus in the human brain. ...


Blurred vision is another common symptom of drunkenness. Alcohol seems to suppress the metabolism of glucose in the brain. The occipital lobe, the part of the brain responsible for interpreting vision, has been found to become especially impaired, consuming 29 percent less glucose than it should. With less glucose metabolism, the cells work less efficiently and aren't able to process images properly. A space-filling model of glucose Glucose, a simple monosaccharide sugar, is one of the most important carbohydrates and is used as a source of energy in animals and plants. ...


Often, after a lot of alcohol has been consumed, it is possible to get the sense that the room is spinning, a type of nystagmus referred to as positional alcohol nystagmus. Although motor areas of the brain are usually heavily affected at this time, it is not directly the brain which is responsible here; alcohol has affected the organs responsible for balance (vestibular system), present in the ears. Balance in the body is monitored principally by two systems: the semicircular canals, and the utricle and saccule pair. Inside both of these is a flexible blob called a cupula, which moves when the body moves. This brushes against hairs in the ear, creating nerve impulses that travel through the vestibulocochlear nerve (Cranial nerve VIII) in to the brain. However, when alcohol gets in to the bloodstream it distorts the shape of the cupola, causing it to keep pressing on to the hairs. These 'fake' nerve impulse tells the brain that the body is rotating, causing disorientation and making the eyes spin round to compensate. When this wears off (usually taking until the following morning) the brain has adjusted to the spinning, and interprets not spinning as spinning in the opposite direction causing further disorientation. This is often a common symptom of the hangover. Nystagmus is rapid involuntary rhythmic eye movement, with the eyes moving quickly in one direction (quick phase), and then slowly in the other (slow phase). ... In biology, an organ (Latin organum: instrument, tool) is a group of tissues, which perform a specific function or group of functions. ... The vestibular system, or balance system, is the sensory system that provides the dominant input about our movement and orientation in space. ... A left human ear. ... See also Labyrinth, an article treating the mythical maze that imprisoned the Minotaur. ... Otolith organ Utricle is also a fruit type, found in beet and dock. ... Categories: Stub ... Schematic of an electrophysiological recording of an action potential showing the various phases which occur as the wave passes a point on a cell membrane. ... The vestibulocochlear nerve is the eighth of twelve cranial nerves, and also known as the auditory nerve. ... Cranial nerves are nerves which start directly from the brainstem instead of the spinal cord. ... A hangover, medically termed veisalgia, is the after-effect following the consumption of large amounts of one drug or another. ...


Extreme over-indulgence can lead to alcohol poisoning and death due to respiratory depression. For biological toxicity, see toxin and poison. ... Death is either the cessation of life in a living organism or the state of the organism after that event. ... Respiration can refer to: Cellular respiration, which is the use of oxygen in the metabolism of organic molecules. ...


Severe drunkenness and diabetic coma can be mistaken for each other, with potentially serious medical consequences for diabetics. Diabetic coma is a medical emergency in which a person with diabetes mellitus is unconscious because the blood glucose level is too low or too high. ... This article is about the disease that features high blood sugar. ...


A person who is an alcoholic or habitually drunk is often referred to as a 'drunk', or, more traditionally, a 'drunkard'. This article needs cleanup. ...


Cultural attitudes

Many societies have cultural stereotypes associated with drunkenness - where the ability to drink vast quantities of alcohol is thought to be worthy of respect. Arguably, such an attitude can be regarded as pathological, leading as it often does to alcoholism. Conversely, a person staying sober or refusing (offered) alcoholic drinks is often associated as 'atmosphere spoiling', one might say that the person is perceived as stubborn or boring and not willing to 'let go'. Therefore, in many public places for alcoholic consumption such as bars, not drinking alcohol can be a socially unacceptable behavior. Nevertheless, an intoxicated person is often seen as not able to control his/her urges or acknowledging limits of drinking and is thus treated with disrespect, related to -- as commonly may be seen in bars -- perceived uncontrollable, annoying, or intrusive behavior. Polish propaganda poster saying: Stop drinking! Come with us build happy tomorrows. ...


Drunkenness is generally felt to be a good thing by the drunk person, at least until it wears off and the associated hangover starts, mostly a result of dehydration and exhaustion. A hangover, medically termed veisalgia, is the after-effect following the consumption of large amounts of one drug or another. ...


The Ancient Greeks believed that putting a piece of amethyst in the glass or in one's mouth while drinking prevented drunkenness, although this usage may be related to a play on words (Ancient Greek: "a-methyst" meaning "not intoxicated"). This also works in the game of Nethack. Amethyst is a violet or purple variety of quartz often used as an ornament. ... A pun (also known as paronomasia) is a deliberate confusion of similar-sounding words or phrases for rhetorical effect, whether humorous or serious. ... NetHack is a roguelike computer game. ...


Many religions discourage or prohibit alcohol consumption. The Qur'an, or book of Islam, declares that God prohibits the consumption of alcohol by humankind, because of harmful effects for the body, harmful effects for the consumer's life and family, social problems, and distraction from mindfulness of God. The Quran (Arabic: al-qurān; its literal meaning is the recitation and is often called Al Qurān Al KarÄ«m: The Noble Quran or The Glorious Qurān, also transliterated as Quran, Koran, and less commonly Alcoran) is the holy book of Islam. ... Islam  listen? (Arabic: al-islām) the submission to God is a monotheistic faith, one of the Abrahamic religions, and the worlds second largest religion. ...


The Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church states in paragraph 2290: The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine. Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and others' safety on the road, at sea, or in the air. The church does not mind the use of alcohol if it is done in moderation. Catechism Lesson, by Jules-Alexis Meunier, 1890 A catechism is a summary of Christian religious doctrine. ... Saint Peters Basilica in Rome. ...


See also

Addiction is an uncontrollable compulsion to repeat a behavior regardless of its consequences. ... Alcoholic beverages are drinks containing ethanol. ... Polish propaganda poster saying: Stop drinking! Come with us build happy tomorrows. ... Alcopop is a term coined by the popular media of the United Kingdom to describe alcoholic soft drinks. In the alcohol industry they are known as RTDs (ready to drink) or FABs (Flavoured Alcoholic Beverages). ... Beer goggles is a slang term for a phenomenon in which ones consumption of alcohol makes physically unattractive people appear beautiful. ... Blind drunk is a stage of drunkenness in which one is incapable of recognizing the persons and objects around oneself. ... Ethyl alcohol, also known as ethanol or grain alcohol, is a flammable, colorless chemical compound, one of the alcohols that is most often found in alcoholic beverages. ... A hangover, medically termed veisalgia, is the after-effect following the consumption of large amounts of one drug or another. ... Slang terms for being drunk include: aled up (mainly North UK) arseholed ball hair battered beered up bevvyed bladdered blasted blitzed ** blotto blootered bollocksed bombed bulletproof buzzed * caned ** cooked crunked destroyed discombobulated faced faded flaming fried frying fucked/fucked up (not exclusively for drunkenness, of course) ** gassed gone (e. ... A pub crawl is the act of visiting and drinking alcohol at a number of pubs in a single night with a group of friends. ...

Further reading

  • Stuart Walton: Out of It. A Cultural History of Intoxication (Penguin Books, 2002) (ISBN 0140279776).
  • 'Modern Drunkard Magazine', A humorous magazine about drink and the art of getting drunk.

  Results from FactBites:
 
DUI Lawyers, Drunk Driving Defense Attorneys and Information | DUI.com (0 words)
Most of the drunk driving lawyers listed in our DUI directory are members of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the National College of DUI Defense as well as certified in administering the standardized field sobriety test and intoxilyzer breath test.
Drunk driving offenders need a criminal defense lawyer who's law practice is primarily in the field drunk driving defense and is a qualified DUI lawyer or DUI attorney.
Meanwhile, the issue of a drinking problem or substance abuse is a subject that the DUI, DWI or drunk driving offender may be faced with.
Center for Problem-Oriented Policing (1860 words)
Drunk driving is one of a number of problems police confront that relate to impaired and dangerous driving.
One of the reasons drunk driving is of such concern to police is that it is an offense committed by a broad spectrum of the population, including those who are otherwise generally law-abiding.
Drunk driving is very much the result of a cultural norm that emphasizes drinking alcohol as a form of entertainment and driving as both transportation and entertainment.
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