Ethyl Alcohol - What is it?
Ethyl Alcohol - Sources
Absorption of Ethyl
Distribution of Ethyl
Alcohol in the Body
Metabolism of Ethyl
Effects on Organ Function
Maternal Drinking and
Effect of Alcohol on
Effect of Alcohol on the
Definitions of Substance
Use, Abuse and Dependence
Early Research about
Alcohol and the Brain
from a survey of college student
recently completed by the Harvard School of
Public Health. survey
include the following:
Overall, 44 percent of U.S. college students
engaged in binge drinking during the two weeks
prior to the survey. (For men, bingedrinking is
defined as having five or more drinks in a row,
and forwomen as having four or more drinks in a
I was having a great
night. I drank at least 15 beers, and
then I completely blacked out. This is
not uncommon for me.
-Survey of College Drinking
2. The extent of
binge drinking varied widely among U.S. colleges,
froma low of one percent of students to a high of
70 percent. At almost one-third of the colleges,
more than half the students were binge
the past two weeks.
Several people were
drunk at this fraternity party. Some of
the guys were kicked out because they
were so drunk they were urinating on the walls. The entire place reeked of beer,
and people were covered in it.
-Survey of College Drinking
patterns established in high school often persist
4. Compared to
other students, college students who were binge
drinkers in high school were almost three times
more likely to bebinge drinkers in college.
5. Being white,
involved in athletics, or a resident of a
fraternity or sorority made it more likely that a
student would be a binge drinker.
6. Very few
students--even those who binge drank three or
more times during the past two weeks said they
had a problem with alcohol at the time of the
My roommate and I went
to a party, and she got drunk. She
hooked up with this guy
from the fraternity and had sex with him
that night. I couldn't have stopped her because she
would have gotten mad. The next day we
found out that the guy is seeing someone else and is
known all around campus for taking
advantage of girls when they're drunk.
-Survey of College Drinking
7. Compared to
non-binge drinkers, a higher percentage of binge
drinkers had experienced alcohol-related problems
beginning of the
opinion is important.
1. Is the
term "binge drinking
2. And should
campuses establish "no
substance" dorms or living areas
apart from the rest of the student
Harvard wants to know. As
part of this unit you must answer the
1. Binge Drinking
2. Separate Campus
submit a copy of your answers as part of
your case report.
Smokey is a little
guy with a handlebar moustache and a crooked
back. He chooses the moustache to draw attention
from his bald head. The crooked back chose him as
result of being thrown from a bull when he was
young and wild and in living in Wyoming.
You can talk to him standing in the door of the ambulance in
Glenwood Springs, CO, arms folded and a tired
look in his eyes.
"I get to know the alcoholics," he
says. "We're a young town and some of
them get so bad, so young. I take them to
the hospital and I visit them there and they get
to know me. Some of them call me when they
need help before they call the ambulance.
Take Jolene. She couldn't stop
drinking. She worked at the community
college here, in the administrative office.
She knew the kids and she drank with them.
Fifteen years of that and her body went.
"I took her to
the hospital one night when her roommate found
her blacked out and bleeding at the bottom of her
stairs. She stopped drinking for a while
and she told me she went to Alcoholics Anonymous. But I
noticed she began to get really puffy, not fat
but puffy like she was retaining all kinds of
fluid. She called me last November and she was
drunk. She was crying and she said she
wanted to go to an AA meeting. Would I take
her? Well I knew where they were so I
dropped her off there. An hour later a call
came in from the church where the meeting
was. She had passed out and we took her to
the hospital. She never regained
consciousness and in three days she was
dead. Doc Hammer, the emergency room guy
said her whole system had shut down. Her
liver was shot and her whole system stopped
working. She was 36 years old."
|1. Review Effects of Alcohol on
|2. List the system
failures caused by chronic over consumption of alcohol on the :
d. Cardiovascular system
| 3. Read the
reference on cirrhosis of the liver and
answer the following questions on the
chemistry of cirrhosis:
||e. Vitamin E
prevents the formation of active chemical
species called free radicals. Alcoholic
drinking inhibits the ability of Vitamin
E to do its job.
oxidized to acetaldehyde in the liver,
and then, without the inhibitions offered
by Vitamin E, it is converted to damaging
free radical. Write the chemical
equations showing the oxidation of
ethanol to acetaldehyde and the formation
of a free radical from the acetaldehyde.
|4. Liver transplants
can restore critical functions lost
through alcoholic drinking.
||f. But transplants
pose an ethical dilemma. Should a
transplant liver be given to a person who
is still drinking?
Alli: "The thing
about Allie was he always crashed the same way.
Literally," Smokey says. " Allie is a
plumber and when he isnt drinking he is a
sweet, happy guy. And then he starts drinking,
and two things happen. He gets depressed and then
he crashes his car.
"Last year he had a year or two without a
drink and I saw him coming out of the liquor
store with a paper bag under his arm. Uh, oh, I
thought. He was doing plumbing in my house then
and one day he disappeared for two hours. I went
looking for him and he had crawled under the
house, into my crawl space, and he was just lying
there, his face into the ground. He was unable to
move, to do his job, to call for help. And the
next month he t-boned his car on route 40
he pulled right through a red light. I was in the
ambulance and when I got there, he was bad! Not
hurt, but wild, biting, kicking and foul, foul
language. He blew a 0.26 up in the
dangerous range and we had to put him in
restraints in the hospital!"
Smokey said he has lost touch with Allie for
now but found out he had been in the State
Hospital in Pueblo for six months. And he had
heard that Allie was now two years from a drink.
What had happened, Smokey said, was that Allie
had been taking a new medication, called
Naltrexone that stops the desire, the craving to
drink in many people, and he was taking his
anti-depressants, too. And he was also going to
Allie was in Arkansas now, he had met a woman
in the hospital and he was living with her
outside Ft. Smith.
|1. Review Effects of Alcohol on
||a. Write a summary of how
the brain develops a need for alcohol
stimulation and how craving is developed
when alcohol is withdrawn.
| 2. Read the
reference on Naltrexone and
on the combined therapy that Dr.
||b. What methods
have you seen used to help those you know
with trouble with alcohol?
|3. Now read the full
medical summary of the
drug's actions and side effects.
||c. Has this
disclosure helped you make any decisions
whether you would recommend Naltrexone?
Warren: "I never
had Warren in my ambulance," Smokey said.
"Oh yes I did. It was the time he had lost
his drivers license for his second DWI and
he had to get to work. He was living with his mom
way up on a hill over town and he drove down the
hill on his bicycle, drunk. He crashed where you
make the turn to the post office and lay there,
bleeding and stunned. They patched him up. But he
was a mess. I was over his mothers house on
the Fourth of July to see the fireworks and he
was just one scab all over."
Smokey said right after that he drove Warren
to Utah to make a court date, then dropped him
off at a Rehab. Warren left there the next day,
telling them he didnt have a problem with
alcohol, he was just having a string of bad luck.
He was back in town within a week and got
arrested breaking into the pool hall over by the
trailer park. He was always playing pool there
but he still forgot that the owner lived in the
back room. The owner marched him out, hands
behind his head and into the arms of a uniform.
"Warrens in the county jail now,
"Says Smokey. "I go over there one
night a week to volunteer and he looks good. He
says no more drinking for him, but he also says
he can control it any time he wants. I dont
know about that. Theres a certain look in
the eyes of a person thats not done
drinking yet. And Im afraid Warren still
has that look. Hell be out around
Thanksgiving and I hope he doesnt use the
holidays as an excuse to start drinking
|1. How can you tell
whether you or someone close to you has
an alcohol problem?
A good first step is to answer the brief
questionnaire below, developed by Dr. John Ewing. (To help
remember these questions, note that the
first letter of a key word in each
question spells "CAGE.")
a. Have you ever felt you should Cut down
on your drinking?
b. Have people Annoyed you by criticizing
c. Have you ever felt bad or Guilty about
d. Have you ever had a drink first thing
in the morning to steady your nerves or
to get rid of a hangover (Eye
answer suggests a possible alcohol
problem. More than one "yes"
answer means it is highly likely that a
problem exists. If you think that you or
someone you know might have an alcohol
problem, it is important to see a doctor
or other health provider right away. He
or she can determine whether a drinking
problem exists and, if so, suggest the
best course of action.
suspects that like many alcoholics,
Warren may still be in a state of denial
about the full impact of his dependence
and abuse of alcohol.
problem with alcohol is that it is so
hard for the person affected to take the
first step and seek help. But in fact,
most who meet the CAGE criteria, do in
fact, have a problem that may well get
Take the CAGE test
with a classmate. Think about what the
results might mean for you!
Note: Smokey is real although he
no longer rides Colorado ambulances. He prefers
golf in Nevada. Jolene, Alli and Warren are real,
too, in a sense. Their names are changed but each
is based on a young person from a small Colorado
town. Jolene died in 2000 as described. Alli
still drifts in and out of depression and
sobriety and the real Warren is, in fact sober
and was married in July 2001.