Is Light Drinking Safe For Pregnant Woman?

Posted by / in Featured, Responsible Drinking

If you are pregnant and often wonder whether to enjoy an occasional glass of wine or beer, the universal counsel for you would be to completely abstain from consumption of alcohol. But in the recent times, the opinion has changed considerably. Due to the assorted viewpoints, the advice you receive may confuse you.

Research of several years has proven the fact that prolonged and heavy drinking have caused serious birth defects. But the effect of consuming small alcohol during embryonic stage is still in grey area.

Some of your friends might confess about their occasional drinking habits and how their baby turned out just fine, while others say they that they have completely given up on alcoholic beverages to avoid any risk whatsoever.

Even after decades of research there is still no concrete “safe limit” of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Hence it becomes very difficult for to-be-mothers to really determine if light drinking is safe for their baby.

Here are some points which you should definitely keep in mind before engaging in a light drink.

Individual Medical Conditions

The medical history of one person varies from another other person significantly. The metabolism of your body is responsible for the breakdown of alcohol compounds. A better metabolic function would ensure that your body gets rid of the neurotoxins contained in an alcoholic drink. While a weaker body metabolism would mean that the alcohol remains in your body for a longer time and consequently causes harm to the baby.

Alcohol addicts and people with a past history of binge drinking should abstain from alcohol during pregnancy because an occasional drink might trigger an insatiable urge for drinking more. As it is a known fact that heavy drinking is bad for the growth of babies, it must be ensured that in no way such a situation arises.

How much is too much?

No two pregnancies are the same. The conditions vary from person to person. Some have strong enzymes to counter the effect of alcohol and some have weak enzymes. Processing of alcohol also depends on the liver size and body size and determines the amount of alcohol reaching the foetus. So setting a fixed and safe threshold is impossible.

The associated risk of women drinking alcohol risk giving birth to a child with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). The intensity of the disorder varies from child to child depending on the amount of alcohol they have been exposed to. The disorders include speech and language problems, cognitive disabilities, abnormal body structure, etc.

Need For More Research

The opinion of the scientific community is divided on this matter. Some doctors show a green light to their patients for an occasional drink while others follow a strict policy to restrict their patients to engage even in occasional drinks.

Heavy drinking can obviously be harmful but the effect of light drinking is not yet crystal clear.

Developing babies lack the ability to process alcohol through their organs. It is a toxic substance to a developing baby and can interfere with its development. According to some doctors, the risks of miscarriage are also heightened due to alcohol consumption.

Bottom line

At the end of the day, every mother has to weigh the pros and cons of a casual drink. A substantially reasonable woman would certainly point out the evidence and be comfortable with one or two occasional drinks, while another equally reasonable woman would see the evidences of possible risk and may decide to abstain from alcohol completely.

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How Alcohol Can Impair Your Driving Skills

Posted by / in Drinking and Driving, Featured

Driving involves a combination of various basic motor skills which is used simultaneously by the driver. For safe driving, proper coordination and synchronisation of these skills is very necessary. At some point in time, every one of us has been advised not to drive under the influence of alcohol. But still, it seems that people do not understand it completely as to why they should not drive even when they do not “feel that drunk”.

Therefore, it is crucial for us to examine how alcohol can impair our driving skills and consequently cause unwanted accidents.

General effect of alcohol on body

Unlike any other consumable food substance, alcohol being water soluble does not get digested and within few minutes, it is carried to different parts of the body. When it reaches the brain, it can significantly impair your motor functions which are necessary for driving manoeuvres. More importantly, consumption of alcohol changes your mood, making you think you are absolutely fine when in actuality, you are heavily intoxicated.

Effect of Alcohol on Driving Skills

Safe driving requires proper functioning of the brain which controls our hands, legs and vision. Alcohol weakens their functions and causes difficulty in decision making. Influence of alcohol inhibits us to change our decision with changing situations.

Drinking can impair any or all of these crucial driving skills:

1. Impaired comprehension

Alcohol can make it difficult for you to interpret different signs and symbols on the road which is essential for your own safety and for others as well. Alcohol might confuse you very easily and leave you in a state where you might not be able to recognise or respond to emergency situations. For example, you might not be able to follow traffic signals, resulting in redundant risks.

2. Impaired Hearing and Vision

After consumption of alcohol, pupils dilate causing slowness in their reaction. This results in visibility problems at night due to the head light glare of the oncoming vehicles. The reduction in distance and depth perception also make it difficult to judge the speed of other cars on road. Alcohol also numbs your hearing senses making it difficult to detect the direction of the sound.

3. Impaired Coordination of motor skills

The motor functions like coordination of hand-eye-foot muscles weaken, resulting in the lack of control of the car speed and direction. You might have difficulty in maintaining a straight track on the road causing you to collide with other cars. Alcohol also damages you quick decision-making ability.

4. Impaired Judgment

Alcohol can severely impair your judgment while driving. You will be prone to wrong decisions at moments like: stopping at a specific point, taking sharp turns, and increasing or decreasing the speed of the vehicle.

5. Impaired Concentration

Alcohol directly affects your brain functions and does not let you concentrate. While drinking and driving you may have a flurry of thought which might distract you from the objects on road. Concentration is also affected due to a loss of hearing and vision.

Therefore, we can see that consumption of alcohol has major negative effects on our driving skills. By drinking and driving you can not only cause serious damage to yourself but also to others. So, as responsible citizens, we must always keep in mind the duties we have towards others and thus refrain from driving under the influence of alcohol.

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Things to Remember when Buying Alcohol

Posted by / in Featured, Responsible Drinking

The consumption of alcohol at social gatherings or individual parties has become more than a fashion and actually a symbol of status. Be it a bottle of expensive wine or be it canned beer – alcohol is what keeps a party going. Apart from parties, many people come up with the cause of stress reduction or loneliness in order to create the need of liquor consumption. The multi-billion dollar industry of alcoholic beverage has observed a growth in consumption of alcohol over time. The immediate effect of alcohol is caused by the anxiolytic properties of it and what people fall in love with is the temporary illusion. But there are a few things that must be remembered while alcohol is bought and they are as follows:

Proof of Age: According to the law constituted in different states, alcohol can’t be sold to the individuals who are not 21 years old yet. While you’re heading out to buy alcohol, it is wise that you carry ID proof with yourself so that you can show it in case of being asked about your age. Compliance to the law ensures the control over the drug being sold to minors. When you carry ID proof, you need to make sure that it is a valid one. Some of the ID proofs that you can carry with you are driver license, ID card issued by the state, so on and so forth. The retailer may refuse to sell alcohol to you in case you are not able to produce the valid ID proof.

What To Buy: Before you decide what to buy, you must promise to yourself that you will buy as much as you can handle. If you are fond of beer, it will be mandatory for you to decide whether you want to buy bottled ones or the canned ones. If your favorite brand is not available in the shop, you may end up trying a different brand which you may start liking afterwards. So, it is always suggested that keep your eyes open!

Amount To Buy: Making up the mind regarding the quantity you want to buy is really a major decision. Depending on the amount to buy, you could actually plan your evening and budget as well. Careful planning is highly recommended as the amount to buy should always be equivalent to amount that you can consume. Buying more alcohol tends to make you think that you can drink more which certainly comes with consequences. So, plan beforehand about how much do you really need. Quality is the ultimate king, not the quantity!

Visibly Intoxicated: It is never recommended that visit an alcohol store when you are visibly intoxicated. A visibly intoxicated person will show signs inclusive of but not limited to bloodshot eyes, swaying, clumsiness, drowsy look, so on and so forth. If you are recognized to intoxicated by the seller, you might be prevented from buying alcohol and actually refused.

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