Twenty-six episodes of ‘The A-Files’ will run throughout Alcohol Awareness Month on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Alcohologist.com and AddictedMinds.com, among other web and social media sites. Episode A covers a byproduct of alcohol metabolism, acetaldehyde.
When I do a public or school presentation and the fire code allows it, I demonstrate how volatile the chemical is. Acetaldehyde is an industrial chemical used to make plastics and adhesives and it used to be in spray paint and nail polish remover until a less reactive alternative was commercially feasible. You wouldn’t knowing put this in your body, but your body makes it with every single ounce of alcohol.
Acetaldehyde’s destruction of tissue is why the CDC recommended ZERO alcohol during pregnancy and why a study on cancer in the American Journal of Public Health concluded that when it comes to cancer, no amount of drinking is safe. Other A-Files episodes will cover FASD and cancer. Alcohol’s ability to impair reaction time and judgment are no laughing matter as 10,000 alcohol-related traffic deaths a year will document. The long-term damage from alcohol use is what results in another seven times more death and illness.
The morning after drinking, you feel the results of the acetaldehyde toxicity: The hangover. Long term, whether a person is a casual drinker or has the disease of alcoholism, acetaldehyde weakens the immune system and damages otherwise healthy tissue in every organ because the blood circulates acetaldehyde through the entire body. The more you drink, and the more frequently you do it, the greater the health risk. And it starts with a single drink.
In fact, alcohol and it’s acetaldehyde byproduct are so toxic, if the liver had pain nerve endings, none of us would ever take a second drink.