Encountering curves in the road

Alcohol is a sedative. When it reaches your brain, it slows the transmission of impulses between nerve cells that control your ability to think and move. That's why your thinking may be fuzzy, your judgment impaired, your tongue twisted, your vision blurred, and your muscles rubbery.

Do you feel a sudden urge to urinate? Alcohol reduces your brain's production of antidiuretic hormones, chemicals that keep you from making too much urine. You may lose lots of liquid, plus vitamins and minerals. You also grow very thirsty, and your urine may smell faintly of alcohol. This cycle continues as long as you have alcohol circulating in your blood, or in other words, until your liver can manage to produce enough ADH to metabolize all the alcohol you've consumed. How long is that? Most people need an hour to metabolize the amount of alcohol (K ounce) in one drink. But that's an average: Some people have alcohol circulating in their blood for up to three hours after taking a drink.

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