Alcohol – Facts

by | Addiction

How does alcohol work? How quickly is alcohol broken down? What to do in case of alcohol poisoning? You can find more information here.

Here you can read about the effects and risks of alcohol. Then you can weigh up the risks yourself.


The effect of alcohol depends on several factors. Alcohol enters your body mainly through the bloodstream. In the body it has an effect on your concentration, your perception, your coordination, and so on.

However, the effect depends on the following factors:

  • The alcohol content of the drink:

The higher the alcohol content, the stronger the effect.

  • The amount you drink:

The more you drink and the faster you drink, the stronger the effect.

  • You as a person:

The effect of alcohol also depends on whether you are tall or short, weigh a lot or a little, have a full or an empty stomach, are in a good or bad mood.

Often you do not notice the effect of alcohol immediately. But as soon as you get up or go out into the fresh air, it literally “knocks you out”.

In small quantities, alcohol can have pleasant effects. It has a relaxing, calming and mood-enhancing effect. The larger the amount drunk, the more unpleasant effects come to the fore, e.g. concentration problems, movements can no longer be coordinated well and the ability to react decreases. Heavy overdoses of alcohol can lead to “blackouts”. These “film tears” and memory gaps are signs of slight damage to the brain. In this case, brain cells die and no longer renew themselves.

Breakdown of alcohol

It takes a long time for the alcohol in your body to be broken down. The body breaks down about 0.1 per mile per hour and there is no way to speed up the process. Not even, as rumours often claim, by eating or drinking coffee.

Alcohol lowers your inhibition threshold

Great, you might think to yourself. Then I finally dare to approach my crush. But the lowering of the inhibition threshold goes in two directions. You may be braver and more open in some situations where you are otherwise very shy, but you can no longer realistically assess risks – e.g. on a dare or when riding a moped – and the risk increases that you will do things that are incredibly embarrassing the next day. Picking up girls or boys can also become quite embarrassing!

Alcohol not only intensifies positive moods, but also negative ones. Keep your hands off alcohol when you’re not feeling well!


Alcohol can lift your mood, can help you relax. But alcohol is also the most common addictive substance in society. Even though alcohol is legal in Austria, more people die every year due to their alcohol consumption than from illegal drugs.

Abuse and dependence

Many people boast that they need an enormous amount of alcohol just to get drunk. This means nothing other than that they have already become so used to drinking alcohol that they need more and more to achieve the same effect. But this does not mean that the alcohol is less harmful. Experts call this a “habit”, by the way, and this is already a cause for concern with regard to the risk of addiction.

Abuse and dependence usually begin very unspectacularly. The transition from enjoyment to abuse is fluid. In concrete terms, it becomes problematic, e.g.

  • If you don’t want to or can’t have a party without drinking alcohol.
  • If you drink alcohol to avoid thinking about your problems.
  • If you get drunk every weekend.
  • If you find it difficult to have conversations with others without alcohol, e.g. because you find it boring.
  • If you drink alcohol regularly – several times a week.
  • If you have to drink more and more to reach the same state.

If you recognise yourself in any of these points, then you should seriously think about your alcohol consumption and get help. For example, at a counseling centre.

Alcohol intoxication

It is a fact that brain cells die with every intoxication. If you continue to drink even though you are intoxicated, you risk alcohol poisoning.

In case of alcohol poisoning it is urgent to call the emergency services (144). In any case, the protection of life comes before the fear that your friend might be angry with you or that your parents might find out. In an emergency, alcohol poisoning is a matter of life or death.

How do you recognise an emergency?

If someone is just lying around and you notice signs such as a flushed face, lack of reflexes, breathing difficulties or respiratory paralysis, call the emergency hotline 112 immediately.

You can try to talk reassuringly to the person yourself and not leave them alone. Put the person in the recovery position. If the person vomits, it is important to get the vomit out of the mouth, otherwise the person may choke.

If it is cold, you should cover the person.

Ask an adult for assistance. This person can also give first aid until the rescue arrives.

Aversion Therapy

Aversion therapy is most frequently used to treat drug and alcohol addictions. A subtle form of this method is often used as a self-help strategy for minor behavior issues.


Aversion therapy can be used to treat a number of problematic behaviors including the following:

  • Bad habits
  • Addictions
  • Alcoholism
  • Smoking
  • Gambling
  • Violence or anger issues


The overall efficacy of aversion therapy depends upon a number of factors including:

  • The treatment procedures and aversive conditions that are used.
  • Whether or not the client continues to practice relapse prevention after treatment is concluded.
  • In some cases, the client may return to previous patterns of behavior once they are out of treatment and no longer exposed to the deterrent.

Generally, aversion therapy tends to be successful while it is still under the direction of a therapist, but relapse rates are high.

For further help and support  — Speak with a licensed therapist today.

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