Alcohol Ch 2

Name __________________________________ Class _________________ Date ___________
Section 15-2
Alcohol’s Effects on the Body (pp. 380–385)
• Summarize the effects of intoxication on the body systems.
• List four factors that affect blood alcohol concentration.
• Identify three ways that intoxication may lead to death.
Intoxication is the state in which a person’s mental and physical abilities are impaired by
alcohol or another substance. Many negative effects on a drinker’s body and behavior
accompany intoxication by alcohol.
Intoxication affects many of the body’s systems, including the nervous system, the
cardiovascular system, the digestive system, and the excretory system. The effects of
intoxication on the nervous system can lead to loss of judgment and self-control, and
blackouts. A blackout is a period of time that a drinker cannot recall. Blackouts can happen
to first-time drinkers as well as to experienced drinkers.
Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood,
expressed as a percentage. For example, a BAC of 0.1 means that one-tenth of 1 percent of
the fluid in the blood is alcohol. The higher a person’s BAC, the more severe the physical
and behavioral effects of alcohol. The rate of alcohol consumption, the gender and size of
the drinker, and how much food is in the stomach all affect BAC.
Once a person stops drinking, BAC begins to decrease. Hangover is a term used to
describe the aftereffects of drinking too much alcohol. Symptoms of a hangover include
nausea, upset stomach, headache, and sensitivity to noise.
Intoxication increases the risk of death from motor vehicle crashes, alcohol
overdose, and interactions of alcohol with other drugs. Driving can be impaired by any
amount of drinking, even if it falls below legal limits. Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a
charge given to a driver over the age of 21 caught driving with a BAC that exceeds the legal
limit of 0.08. For minors, it is illegal to drive after consuming any amount of alcohol.
Taking an excessive amount of a drug that leads to coma or death is called an overdose.
Binge drinking—the consumption of excessive amounts of alcohol at one sitting—can result
in an overdose even in a first-time drinker. Finally, mixing alcohol with other drugs can be
deadly. Taking alcohol and another depressant, such as sleeping pills, at the same time can
slow breathing and heart rates. In extreme cases, combining alcohol and other depressants
leads to coma or death.
Name __________________________________ Class _________________ Date ___________
Section 15-2
Note Taking Guide
Alcohol’s Effects on the Body (pp. 380–385)
Physical and Behavioral Effects
1. Complete the concept map about the effects of intoxication on body systems and
Name __________________________________ Class _________________ Date ___________
Section 15-2: Note Taking Guide (continued)
Blood Alcohol Concentration
2. Complete the table about the factors that affect a drinker’s blood alcohol concentration.
Rate of
Why It Affects BAC
a. ______________________________________
b. ______________________________________
Body Size
c. ______________________________________
Amount of food
in the stomach
d. ______________________________________
Life-Threatening Effects
3. Complete the graphic organizer about the life-threatening effects of intoxication.