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Impact of Alcohol

Why does chronic drinking affect alcohol tolerance? One possible response to continued exposure to a toxin is increased tolerance to the toxin. People who regularly drink large amounts of alcohol develop a tolerance to alcohol. They can consume fairly large amounts of alcohol and not show signs of intoxication. Tolerance results from changes in neural chemistry such increases in the production of certain neuropeptides. Tolerance allows a person to perform some tasks after heavy drinking. However tolerance varies from person to person and does not usually affect all aspects of intoxication equally. For example a tolerant person may be able to think fairly clearly under the influence of alcohol but still have problems with eye-hand coordination. Tolerance can be dangerous because tolerant people are more likely to drink enough alcohol to seriously damage their liver or other organs.

View the animation below, then complete the quiz to test your knowledge of the concept.

1What functions of the body are most obviously affected by alcohol?
A)those controlled by the liver
B)those controlled by the pancreas
C)those controlled by the brain
D)those controlled by the kidneys

2What blood alcohol level is the standard for drunkenness in Canada and the United States?

3If age, weight and gender are the same, a sporadic drinker and a chronic drinker with blood alcohol levels of 0.10 will have
A)similar physical effects.
B)different physical effects.
C)no physical effects.
D)both will be in a coma.

4Alcohol will go any place in the body that
A)water goes.
B)fat goes.
C)protein goes.
D)carbohydrate goes.

5How does gender affect a person’s tolerance to alcohol?
A)it has not affect on tolerance
B)it only lowers female tolerance when beer is consumed
C)males have a lower tolerance
D)females have a lower tolerance

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