Part 1: nurses' guide to alcohol and promoting healthy lifestyle changes.Br J Nurs. 2006 Dec 14-2007 Jan 10; 15(22):1217-9.BJ
In the first of three articles we consider the mechanisms by which alcohol affects the human body and mind. In subsequent articles we will examine the impact of alcohol on health and social wellbeing and the support and health promotion measures that the nurse might use to assist patients. Alcohol has distinctive effects on physiology that are mediated by gender and the level of exposure to the drug over time. In this article we consider the ways in which alcohol acts as a mental stimulant and then as a depressant, and we examine how exposure reinforces further alcohol consumption. Consideration is given to how alcohol is metabolized and how it may then interact with other drugs within the body.