Thursday, June 8, 2017

1. Alcohol: The Most Dangerous Drug (More than Cocaine, Heroin)

The Effects of 5 Popular Drugs on Your Body and Brain

Ever wonder why sipping a cocktail after a long day makes you feel relaxed, or why your eyes turn red after smoking a joint? We take a look at the physical and psychological effects of drugs on your body and brain.
Effects of Drugs on the Body and Brain

Source: Dana Guide to Brain Health

  • The effects of 5 popular drugs on your body and brain:
Millions of people around the world consume drugs each and every day – from a cocktail after work to unwind, to a line of cocaine or a hit of ecstasy to keep up energy on the dance floor. But have you ever stopped to wonder what exactly these drugs are doing to your brain in order to create these desired effects? Aside from setting you up for drug addiction, substances are causing your mind and body to work in unnatural ways.
We take a look at the most commonly abused substances, and how they alter the brain and body with use.

1. Alcohol

Despite being legal (and widely consumed) in many countries around the world, studies have found that alcohol is actually the most dangerous drug on the market – even above heroin and cocaine. Over three million deaths are attributed to alcohol abuse each and every year. Alcohol is a depressant, and the effects on the mind and body include:
  1. Increased levels of dopamine in the brain, giving you the impression that alcohol makes you feel better (happier, less stressed, etc.).
  2. Slowed thinking, breathing and heart rate within minutes of consumption. This is one of the reasons that drinking too much can kill you.
  3. Liver overload. Generally, your liver can only process the equivalent of 25ml (one shot) of alcohol per hour. Drinking at a rate faster than that can quickly and dangerously increase your blood alcohol content.
  4. Fatty liver. In those who drink heavily, 90% develop fatty liver disease which can cause fatigue, weight gain and pain.
  5. Bad brain connections: Frequent consumption can cause damage to the links between neurons in your brain, which affects your ability to process information.
  6. A feeling of fearlessness which can lead to accidents, physical fights and injury.
  7. Possibility of developing an addiction.
Upcoming: Marijuana, Opioids, Cocaine, Ecstasy.

Learn more about your brain!
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Praise for Healing the Brain
"A book that can help medical professionals as well as the general public, Mr. Balog has tackled a subject that is complex and he makes it quite approachable. It has added and enriched my own practice of medicine by making me more aware of issues not often discussed in medical circles."--Peter Paganussi, MD, Virginia

"Author David Balog has done an excellent job of creating a book for educators (or anyone working with youth) that explains the complicated workings of the brain in an easy to understand manner. Balog goes on to discuss various types of trauma and how the adolescent brain responds to trauma such as depression, stress, addiction, risk taking, PTSD, etc. LGBT/Q youth may experience trauma in ways majority youth often do not. The author shares important coping strategies....I highly recommend this book!"--Carol Dopp, M.Ed. 

"David Balog understands the strain of alienation, so he tackles this subject with compassion and concern. Mr. Balog draws on his knowledge of brain science to give readers insight into what happens to young people under tremendous stress, and he offers practical advice on how to help and cope."--Gary Cottle, author

"Provides comfort and learning to the reader. Flows easily from one topic to the next and knits tidbits of information together in a unifying mosaic. Easy to read. Difficult to put down." --Michael J. Colucciello, Jr., New York State Dept. of Mental Health researcher, retired.

"Well researched, fleshed out with relevant case histories, this book packs a lot of solid information into its 152 pages. Written in an engaging style for the layman, it covers a wide range of topics. One learns a great deal about the biology of stress, particularly the vulnerability of the brain in the pre-adult years. This book also provides a glossary of key brain science terms and a listing of organizations serving the LGBT /Q community and resources on the brain."--Gary Bordzuk, librarian

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