Blood Alcohol Calculator
We are all different – A BAC calculation is just an estimate. The most accurate measuring tools are a blood test or a Breathalyzer.
0.00-0.03% – No impairment, normal behavior
0.03-0.06% – Mild impairment and euphoria, diminished inhibitions
0.06-0.10% – Worsening impairment, euphoria, buzzed
0.10-0.20% – Loss of motor control and reaction time, slurred speech, emotional swings, emotional swings, nausea, drunk
0.20-0.30% – Nauseated, poor mental performance, confusion, blackout
0.30-0.40% – Risk of death, possibly unconscious, loss of bladder control, unarrousable
Above 0.40% – Risk of death, unconscious, coma, impaired breathing
How Does Alcohol Make You Drunk?
We all eat and drink all kinds of things. Some of these things keep us nourished and alive and other things we put into our body for pure pleasure. Alcohol is the pure pleasure variety and yet we know it’s generally not good for us. So, why do we continue to put alcohol into our bodies? And what effect does it have once it‘s in there?
There are many molecule of alcohol, but ethanol is the one we most often pour down our throats. In non-chemical terminology, it’s a molecule that resembles a puppy. It has an oxygen head stuck to two carbon atoms. Connected to this are six atoms of hydrogen spread out like a body, feet, a nose and a tail. Ethanol is water soluble and compact, so similar to a puppy, it finds its way into places you don’t want it to be.
Alcohol races toward the digestive system. Since it is water soluble it leaks into the bloodstream water. Because Ethanol can pass through lipids (fats), it can therefore move beyond cell membranes. This, coupled with the blood stream, pretty much means this Ethanol puppy is going nearly anywhere it wants to. It moves through the muscles, and is secreted whole and un-metabolized-directly through our skin. It seeps its way into the heart. It will even take a stroll throughout the brain, and these are its powerful secrets.
Once alcohol arrives, it acts on a particular portion of the brain, a part called nucleus accumbens. This portion is a midway point between the part that builds memories and associations and the reward center of our brain. Alcohol triggers the release of dopamine into the hot-wired system, nucleus accumbens. It makes you feel good if you drink a small amount and drunk if you drink a large amount of alcohol.
In addition, it causes you to be talkative and confident, though in fact alcohol is categorized as a depressant. It depresses the function of your brain. When communicating nerves talk with each other, one will give off a particular chemical into its receptors. It will accept and hold glutamate receptors, but will not activate. Glutamate is the chemical that will excite a neuron, so if there are many blocked glutamate receptors, stimulation that would normally activate our brain would slow and depress our response. Alcohol will also bind to the GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) body receptors. Alcohol activates GABA receptors, which slow down the brain. When we are drunk, this makes us feel sleepy and calm which furthermore decreases activity in the brain. This explains how caffeine appears to sober us up, but in reality does not. Caffeine will help you feel more awake and less sleepy buy it won’t unblock your receptors.
We all know that too much alcohol can kill people, but exactly how? As state previously, alcohol depresses your nerves and your nerves affect every area of your body. Ingesting enough alcohol causes us to sleep and will suppress the gag reflex, so if you were passed out you may indeed choke on your own vomit. The most worrisome is the alcohol in your brain. The brain is the control center of the heart and lungs. If you drank enough alcohol you could shut down those parts of your brain. You would pass out and your brain would stop sending that signal to your lungs to breathe.
Alcohol is dissolved, broken down or metabolized in the liver, which causes stress on the liver itself. It isn’t alcohol per say that causes liver damage, but instead the products that the liver breaks the alcohol into. Meanwhile, alcohol that you don’t metabolize moves through the body, excreted by the kidneys as urine, seeping through the skin, or being exhaled through the lungs.
Certain alcohol may have its positive effects depending on which articles are in the current media. A glass of wine each day may either, prevent heart attacks or even cause someone to be immortal and do all this while causing no harm. It’s comforting to know that cheer and relaxation can be bottled, literally. The most care needed is practicing small doses and not letting too much alcohol into your brain.