Alcohol is directly toxic to the brain (e.g., every time you drink enough to “feel good,” you’ve likely destroyed a few thousand brain cells. (O’Brien, Mary, MD. Successful Aging. p 85-86. CA:Biomed General. 2007.)

Alcohol is the oldest and most widely used anxiety-reducing drug. This is an undesirable solution for severe or chronic anxiety because alcohol is intoxicating and addictive. (LeDoux, Joseph. Synaptic Self. p 5, 282. NY: Penguin Books, 2002.)

Some brain damage from alcoholism may be reversible. CAT scans of recovered alcoholics show regeneration of some brain cells after just 3 weeks of abstinence. (Wonder, Jacquelyn, and Priscilla Donovan. Whole Brain Thinking. p 117. NY:Ballantine Books, 1984.)

Alcohol requires no digestion, reaches the brain within 60 seconds, interferes with frontal lobe functioning, slows down activity of the central nervous system, depresses brain’s production of antidiuretic hormone, prevents REM sleep, and can cause destruction of brain cells (even with only 1-2 drinks per day). (Greenwood-Robinson, Maggie, PhD. 20/20 Thinking. p 180-182. NY:Avery, Putnam Special Markets, 2003.)

Alcohol is toxic to brain cells. (Chopra, Deepak, MD. Ageless Body, Timeless Mind. p 206-210. Books, 1993.)

Specific factors can influence a brain that was genetically destined for brilliance to be cognitively impaired instead (e.g., mother ingests excessive alcohol during pregnancy, a child has a diet deficient in specific nutrients). (LeDoux, Joseph. Synaptic Self. p 5, 282. NY: Penguin Books, 2002.)

Alcohol impacts the right hemisphere more than the left, initially and long-term. The right brain gets drunk first and loses its usually superior visual and motor functions. Then this normally mute hemisphere intrudes upon the left’s speech style (e.g., speech loses its precision). (Wonder, Jacquelyn, and Priscilla Donovan. Whole Brain Thinking. p 117. Ballantine Books, 1984.)

Alcohol has such a simple chemistry that it passes directly into the bloodstream much like a simple sugar; even though (except for cordials or after-dinner drinks) alcohol contains little sugar in its pure form. (Appleton, Nancy, PhD. Lick the Sugar Habit, Sugar Counter. p 21. NY Avery Penguin Putnam, 2001.)

The liver and stomach make an enzyme (alcohol dehydrogenase) designed to convert alcohol from its active form into a second chemical (acetaldehyde). A person who is drunk will remain intoxicated until the body converts much of the alcohol into acetaldehyde. Males and females both produce this enzyme but females have much less of it in their stomach so are at a disadvantage for alcohol consumption. (Hopkins, Gary, MD, Dr.p.H. and John V. Stevens, Jr., JD. Is Alcohol Really Good for You? p 18. Vibrant Life, Sep/Oct issue. MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1998.)

Alcohol consumption increases 50% among people in the 40-65 age bracket compared to those in the 30ish age group. (Conway, Jim. Men in Midlife Crisis. p 77. IL: David C. Cook Publishing, 1978, 1980.)

Reshaping of the DNA scaffolding that supports and controls the expression of genes in the brain may play a major role in alcohol withdrawal symptoms, particularly anxiety, that make it so difficult for alcoholics to stop using alcohol. These "epigenetic" changes are minor chemical modifications of chromatin, dense bundles of DNA and proteins called histones. (Brain DNA Remodeled in alcoholism. http://medicine.physorg.com/sub_Research/, 2008. http://www.physorg.com/news126353910.html)

It can be dangerous to ingest alcohol in combination with benzodiazepines. (LeDoux, Joseph. Synaptic Self. p 5, 282. NY: Penguin Books, 2002.)

Data from the 1994 USDA nationwide survey (CSFII) on 190 non-smoking males (aged 20-29) were used to propose a method for adjusting total water intake for the diuretic effects of caffeine and alcohol: Under the assumption that subjects were in water balance at the start of the survey day, water losses due to caffeine were 1.17 ml/mg caffeine and due to alcohol were 10 ml/g alcohol. (http://grande.nal.usda.gov/ibids/index.php?mode2=detail&origin=ibids_references&therow=417001; http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/klu/ejep/1999/00000015/00000002/00197217)

Specific substances (e.g., caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates) definitely impact the brain and brain function. (Greenfield, Susan, Con. Ed. Brain Power. p 90-94. Great Britain: Element Books Limited, 1999.)

Drugs that impact behavior (e.g., heroin, marijuana, Librium, PCP or angel dust) create an altered state of consciousness in the users, and can precipitate a radical change in their emotional state. (Pert, Candace, PhD. Molecules of Emotion. p 30. NY: Scribner, 1997.)

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