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Welcome to Copper Country Youth - Drug Information - Alcohol Facts

Alcohol is a depressant. A 12-ounce can of beer, a 4-ounce glass of wine, and a mixed drink all have the same level of alcohol and are equally intoxicating. One type of alcohol is not safer than the other. Alcohol is an addictive drug that in large amounts can kill you. It is also illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to use alcohol. Know the facts before you risk it.

When a person drinks alcohol, it is absorbed by the stomach, enters the bloodstream and goes to all the body's tissues. Alcohol can create a feeling of relaxation, confidence, euphoria or being "buzzed" but these are temporary effects. Since alcohol is a depressant, it eventually causes you to feel sleepy, drowsy, restless and sometimes agitated. The agitation can lead people to drink more to re-create the feeling of being "buzzed". The use of low to moderate amounts of alcohol can increase aggressive behavior. Even in small quantities, alcohol significantly impairs the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely. The effects of moderate alcohol consumption include feeling dizzy and being very talkative. The effects of consuming a larger amount of alcohol include slurred speech, disturbed sleep, nausea and vomiting.
Every individual reacts differently to alcohol. The effects of alcohol depend on a variety of factors including a person's size, weight, body composition, metabolism rate, age, sex, mood, and food consumed. Using alcohol along with medications can be very dangerous. (Over 100 medications - prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines, interact with alcohol and can lead to increased risk of illness, injury and death. The effects of alcohol are increased by medicines like sleeping pills, antihistamines, antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs and some painkillers.) Women become more intoxicated than men after drinking the same amount of alcohol when differences in body weight are taken into account. Women's bodies have proportionately less water than men's bodies. The result is that a woman ends up with a higher alcohol concentration than a man, after they have consumed the same amount.

The concentration of alcohol in the body is referred to as the Blood Alcohol Level (BAL). Your body processes alcohol at a constant rate of .5 oz. per hour regardless of how many ounces you consume. The faster you drink, the higher your BAL will be. Contrary to common beliefs, a cold shower, fresh air or hot coffee will not help to sober a person; only time will remove alcohol from the system.

According to drugandalcoholtest.com online survey, lot of teens think that when it comes to alcohol, "everyone is doing it". To fit in or make friends, teens sometime think that they have to drink too. The facts are that not everyone is drinking alcohol; it just seems that the kids who are drinking seem to make a lot of noise about it. They may even try to make you feel like you are missing something by not getting drunk. In fact, the majority of teens choose not to drink. They think that getting drunk isn't worth the risks of getting caught, becoming addicted or accidentally killing yourself or your friends by driving drunk. They know the facts and choose to shoot hoops, watch a movie, snowboard or do a million other things instead.


According to Michigan law, it is illegal for a person under the age of 21 to…

  • Consume alcohol.
  • Have any bodily alcohol content.
  • Buy alcohol.
  • Have alcohol in their possession, regardless if they consumed it or not.
  • Use a fake ID to obtain alcohol.
  • Transport an unopened alcohol container in a motor vehicle.
  • Possess or transfer an opened alcohol container in a motor vehicle.
  • Allow any person to use your motor vehicle after they have been drinking.

If you are under 21 and are caught with alcohol in your possession ("Minor In Possession" or MIP), you may expect the following consequences:

The First Time:

  • Fines up to $100
  • Substance abuse screening/assessment at your own expense
  • If you are under 18, your parents will be notified
  • Community service
  • Entered into a statewide tracking system
  • Opportunity to not have a misdemeanor record if you complete all probation requirements.

The Second Time:

  • Fines up to $200
  • Substance abuse screening/assessment at your own expense
  • If you are under 18, your parents will be notified
  • 90 day suspension of driver's license
  • Community service
  • If you have failed to complete any treatment, screening, community service or fines from a prior MIP, you may receive JAIL TIME.


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