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factors affecting alcohol absorption

- AMOUNT OF ALCOHOL CONSUMED: Drinks that contain more than one serving of alcohol should be counted as two or more drinks. Count the amount of alcohol, not the drink.

Composition of Drinks

Each of the following drinks contain about ½ ounce of alcohol:

-	12 ounce glass of beer. 

-	4.5 ounces of 12% table wine 

-	A straight drink (only beverage alcohol) or a mixed drink 			with 1.5 ounces of 80 proof liquor. Or 1.0 ounce of 100 			proof liquor.

- They all have approximately the same alcohol content ! !

- TIME- Consuming more than one drink per hour will increase the amount of alcohol absorbed into the bloodstream. Burn off rate = approximately 1 drink per hour. Cold showers and coffee DO NOT sober up a person.

- FOOD: Fatty and high protein food slow the absorption of alcohol into the small intestine.

- WATER: Water dilutes alcohol and relieves thirst.

- CARBONATION: Carbonation speeds alcohol’s absorption into the bloodstream.

- BODY SIZE: A large person can consume more beverage alcohol and take a longer time to react to that alcohol than a small person.

- FAT-TO-MUSCLE RATIO: A person with more body fat will become intoxicated by drinking less beverage alcohol than a person with less body fat.

- GENDER: Women tend to become intoxicated more quickly and with less beverage alcohol than men.

- RAPID OR ERRATIC ABSORPTION- High Risk Individuals:

-	Stress, depression, dieting and fatigue can affect the 			absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream. The effects 			can be delayed or immediate, but the reactions are 				always strong.

- Altitude can increase the effects of alcohol. Especially true for those individuals not use to higher altitude areas.

-	Tolerance is the ability to endure the effects of alcohol 			without exhibiting the usual symptoms. Long time drinkers 		(or alcohol abusers) can build up tolerance to the effects 			of alcohol. 

You cannot tell how much alcohol is in a person’s system by just looking at them. Depending on gender and tolerance levels, each person will show signs of intoxication after a different number of drinks. Medications can strongly influence the effects of alcohol by magnifying the impact of both the drug and the alcohol. This can occur with a little as one drink. Mixing alcohol with sedatives will multiply the sedative effects of both drugs and slow the central nervous system. Mixing alcohol with marijuana can decrease motor control and mental concentration.

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