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(10) Drugs & Child’s

Children Addicted To Opiate Drugs


What is the level of alcohol that is dangerous?

 Among persons under the legal drinking age (12–20), 15% were binge drinkers and 7% were heavy drinkers. Individuals who are drunk are more likely to drive after drinking, ride with drivers who have been drinking, not wear seat belts, carry weapons, get involved in physical fights, engage in unplanned/unprotected sex, and use illicit drugs.

The effects of alcohol have differing degrees of danger. One’s blood alcohol level (BAL) or blood alcohol content (BAC) should be an indicator of whether one is in danger from the alcohol itself or whether one might engage in dangerous behavior or be prone to having or causing an accident of some sort.

The following list shows the different bodily experiences at increasing blood alcohol levels:

• 0.02–0.03 BAC: Slight euphoria and loss of shyness; coordination is maintained.

• 0.04–0.06 BAC: Feeling of well-being, relaxation, lowered inhibitions, sensation of warmth, euphoria, minor impairment of reasoning and memory.

• 0.07–0.09 BAC: Slight impairment of balance, speech, vision, reaction time, and hearing; euphoria; reduced judgment and self-control. One with a BAC of 0.08 is legally impaired and for a number of states, it is illegal to drive at this level. You will probably believe that you are functioning better than you really are.

• 0.10–0.125 BAC: Severe motor incoordination, slurred speech, hearing and vision are impaired, euphoria. The BAC at which it is illegal to drive in West Virginia and Ohio is 0.10. • 0.13–0.15 BAC: Gross motor impairment and lack of physical control, blurred vision and loss of balance, anxiety and restlessness, severely impaired judgment and perception.

• 0.16–0.19 BAC: Uncomfortable mood predominates; nausea may appear. The drinker has the appearance of a sloppy drunk.

• 0.20 BAC: Disorientation. Assistance needed to stand or walk, possible inability to elicit pain if injured. Nausea and vomiting, possible choking with vomiting. Blackouts.

• 0.25 BAC: All mental, physical, and sensory functions are severely impaired. Increased risk of asphyxiation from choking on vomitus and of serious risk of aspiration.

• 0.30 BAC: Stupor, disorientation.

• 0.35 BAC: Possibility of coma. This is the level of surgical anesthesia.

• 0.40 BAC and higher: Onset of coma and possible death due to respiratory arrest.

I have treated adults who are able to carry a conversation and do not appear intoxicated even at a level of 0.25. This shows an extreme level of tolerance to alcohol.


Tolerance - A condition that is marked by the need for an increased amount of the drug abused to achieve the same high or attenuated reinforcing effects at the same amount. Occurs with drug dependence.

 Alcohol poisoning - is a medical emergency and should be called immediately.

 What signs and symptoms should I look for to recognize alcohol poisoning?

 What should I do if I suspect my son of alcohol poisoning?

 Alcohol poisoning is a medical emergency and should be called immediately. Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include alcohol on one’s breath; slow or irregular breathing (less than 8 breaths a minute or 10 or more seconds between breaths); cold, clammy, pale, or bluish skin (a sign that not enough oxygen is provided); unconsciousness; and vomiting. It is very important that the airways are unobstructed; you may need to position your son on his side to avoid aspiration of vomits. You may even have to support his breathing by mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

I heard about the Amethyst Initiative. What is it?

 College presidents from about 135 of the nation’s best-known universities, including Duke, Dartmouth, and Ohio State, have called on lawmakers to consider lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18, saying current laws actually encourage dangerous binge drinking on campus. This was spearheaded by John McCardell, President Emeritus of Middlebury College, who questioned the 1984 federal highway law that financially penalizes states with a drinking age below 21. Amethyst came from the Greek words “a” (not) and “methustos” (intoxicated). Mythology states that Amethyst, a young girl, angered the god Dionysius after she got intoxicated with alcohol. She sought the help of Diana, who turned her into a white stone. After learning this, Dionysius felt sad and tears fell into his wine cup, which spilled onto the white stone and turned it purple. Amethyst is seen as an antidote against intoxication. In New Jersey, hearings were conducted to address this issue with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and the directors of the state’s Division of Highway Traffic Safety and of Alcohol Beverage Control testified that legal drinking age laws saved lives. Since the drinking age was raised to 21 in New Jersey in the 1980s, there has been a 78% decrease in the number of 18- to 20-year-olds killed in drunken-driving crashes. This is solid evidence that the higher age requirement is, in fact, helping to prevent such accidents.

 What preventive measures are effective to deal with underage drinking?

 There are public policies that have been effective, including:

 1. Increasing price of alcohol

2. Increasing minimum age to purchase

3. Restricting access for retail alcohol sale

4. Regulating density or concentration of retail outlets

5. Regulating types of retail outlets

6. Restriction of licenses of retail outlets

7. Restricting service of alcohol (IDs)

8. Enforcing drinking and driving laws (random breath testing)

9. Setting BAC limits for drunk driving (0.05%–0.08%; for young drivers: 0.00%–0.02%, zero tolerance)

10. Implementing administrative license revocation laws

11. Implementing graduated driving licenses

12. Using automobile ignition interlocks

13. Restricting advertising

14. Placing warning labels on beverages

15. Implementing keg registration

16. Community interventions Practices with solid evidence include:

1. Increasing retail price of alcohol

2. Increasing minimum drinking age

3. Restricting hours and days of alcohol use

4. Zero tolerance policies for driving while under the influence of alcohol

5. Establishing limits on the retail sale of alcohol

6. Establishing lower BAC limits for driving


 Zero tolerance - A requirement that one’s blood alcohol level be 0%.



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