DONE - Chapter 2. Physiological Factors: Part One

Florida Drug and Alcohol Test (TLSAE) Course:  Chapter 2. Physiological Factors: Part One

This chapter covers the following topics

2.1. Alcohol and Drugs: Absorption and Elimination from the Body
2.2. Short- and Long-term Effects of Alcohol and Drugs on the Human Body

In Brief:

Section 2.1. Alcohol and Drugs: Absorption and Elimination from the Body


Alcohol and other drugs are absorbed and eliminated at different rates depending upon their classification.

Some of the most common ways for alcohol and other drugs to enter the body are:
  • Drinking
  • Smoking
  • Inhaling
  • Snorting
  • Injecting
Other factors that determine the rate at which alcohol and other drugs are absorbed include the strength, purity, quantity and duration of use.

For example:





When a person drinks an alcoholic beverage, about 20 percent of the alcohol is absorbed in the stomach and about 80 percent is absorbed in the small intestine. How fast the alcohol is absorbed depends upon several factors:
  • The concentration of alcohol in the beverage - The greater the concentration, the more the absorption.
  • The type of drink - Carbonated beverages tend to speed up the absorption of alcohol.
  • Whether the stomach is empty or full - Food slows down alcohol absorption.

  1. Mouth: alcohol enters the body.
  2. Stomach: some alcohol gets into the bloodstream in the stomach, but most goes on to the small intestine.
  3. Small Intestine: alcohol enters the bloodstream through the walls of the small intestine.
  4. Heart: pumps alcohol throughout the body.
  5. Brain: alcohol reaches the brain.
  6. Liver: alcohol is oxidized by the liver at a rate of about 0.5 ounces per hour. Alcohol is converted into water, carbon dioxide and energy.
(Neuroscience For Kids:

Absorption of alcohol by your body begins when the individual starts to drink and ends when all of the alcohol is absorbed into bodily fluids. After absorption, the alcohol enters the bloodstream and dissolves in the water of the blood. The blood carries the alcohol throughout the body. The alcohol from the blood then enters and dissolves in the water inside each tissue of the body (except fat tissue; alcohol cannot dissolve in fat). Once inside the tissues, alcohol exerts its effects on the body. The observed effects depend directly on the Blood Alcohol Concentration (B.A.C.), which is related to the amount of alcohol consumed. The B.A.C. can rise significantly within 20 minutes after having a drink.

Before drinkers can even feel the effect of the alcohol on their systems, it's already in the bloodstream. People do not know when they have had too much to drink until it's too late. This is similar to sunburn; by the time you feel it, it is already too late. Alcohol is not actually digested; it's processed. It's absorbed directly through the lining of the stomach into the bloodstream. It does not have to go to the colon to be digested, which is why the body feels the effect so quickly.

After the alcohol circulates through the brain, a small percentage is removed in urine, perspiration and by breathing, while the rest is carried to the liver to be broken down into carbon dioxide and water. The liver can only process 1/2 ounce of alcohol per hour. No one can speed this process up. Only time, not black coffee or a cold shower, will sober up a person who is impaired. Alcohol depletes the body of water; that's why, the next morning, drinkers often have a headache and upset stomach, and may be dehydrated. Clearly alcohol, even after just a few drinks, is stressful on the body. Once alcohol gets into the bloodstream, the drinker cannot kick it out. Alcohol has to pass through the drinker's liver and kidneys. It has to be cleaned, oxidized, and passed out through urine.

Alcohol elimination begins when the alcohol reaches the liver and the liver begins to break down the alcohol. The majority (about 90%) of alcohol is broken down by the liver, the remaining 10% is eliminated unchanged by the kidneys in urine or by the lungs during exhalation. Small amounts can be detected in sweat, tears, bile, gastric juice, saliva, and other.

Though the liver eliminates approximately 90% of the alcohol from ones body, it does not do all the work. Other bodily functions that eliminate alcohol include
The lungs through breathing eliminate 2-4% of the total amount of alcohol.
The skin through sweating eliminate 2-4% of the total amount of alcohol.
The kidneys through the production of urine eliminate 2-4% of the total amount of alcohol.

Once absorbed by the bloodstream, alcohol leaves the body in three ways:


The kidney eliminates 5 percent of alcohol in the urine.


The lungs exhale 5 percent of alcohol, which can be detected by breathalyzer devices.


The liver chemically breaks down the remaining alcohol into acetic acid.

Alcohol is carried through the bloodstream and comes into contact with virtually all of the drinker's organs. When someone drinks on an empty stomach, the blood absorbs the alcohol rapidly. The body also absorbs higher concentrations of alcohol, such as mixed drinks or shots, very quickly.


The process of alcohol leaving the body takes approximately one and a half hours per drink, under ideal circumstances.

The process of alcohol leaving the body takes approximately one and a half hours per drink, under ideal circumstances.

1 Drink                                   1 Hour
2 Drinks                                    2 Hours
3 Drinks                                    3 Hours
4 Drinks                                    4 Hours
5 Drinks                                    5 Hours

(Discovery Health - How Stuff Works:


What is "ONE DRINK?"

One drink of alcohol is about 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, and 1.5 ounces of 80 proof hard liquor.

All foods have a defined serving size. Alcohol is also a food; it is a carbohydrate, and there is a way to define the amount in one drink.
  • 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits
  • A five-ounce glass of wine
  • A twelve-ounce glass of beer
How to calculate alcohol percentage in Wine, beer and whiskey?

Each of these drinks contains 0.6 ounces of alcohol.

Knowing how to count a standard drink is necessary for calculating blood alcohol concentrations. Too often, people underestimate how much they have had to drink because they aren't using standard measurements.

One drink = one 12-ounce beer. This is normal-strength beer (5% alcohol).

Malt liquor ranges from 6-9% alcohol, so 12 ounces of malt liquor is approximately 1.5 drinks; 40 ounces of malt liquor is 4.5 drinks.

One drink = 1.5 ounces of liquor (40% alcohol or 80 proof). This is how much whiskey, vodka, gin, tequila, brandy, cognac, etc. is in a measured mixed drink or in a standard-size shot glass. Remember that mixed drinks may not be measured and often contain far more than 1.5 ounces of alcohol.

Grain alcohol (Everclear) is 95% alcohol or 190 proof and some rums like Bacardi 151 are 151 proof or 75% alcohol.  These liquors are banned in many states because of their high alcohol content.

One drink = 5 ounces of standard wine (12% alcohol).  This is most table wines: white, red, rosé, champagne.

One drink = 3-4 ounces of fortified wine (17% alcohol).  This is wine with 13% or more alcohol content, such as sherry or port.


  • Not all distilled spirits are the same. The proof, or alcohol percentage, is a factor and must be taken into consideration.
  • Mixers can affect how quickly the drink will be assimilated into the bloodstream. Any carbonation will speed up the process, making the drinker impaired faster.
  • A four- to five-ounce glass of wine contains ten to twelve percent alcohol. This does not include champagne, which will get into the bloodstream faster because it's carbonated. The carbonation changes the speed that the body processes the alcohol.
  • Twelve ounces of beer is considered one drink, but not all beers fall into the same category. Malt liquors, imports and "ice brewed" beers have a higher percentage of alcohol than domestic beer.



Alcohol gives the drinker energy.   No - it's a depressant. It slows down the drinker's ability to think, speak, and move.
Switching between beer, wine and liquor will make a person more impaired than sticking to one type of alcohol.   Blood Alcohol Content (B.A.C.) is what determines the level of impairment. Alcohol is alcohol.
A person will get impaired a lot quicker with hard liquor than with a beer or wine cooler.   Again, alcohol is alcohol.
Everybody reacts the same way to alcohol.   There are dozens of factors that affect reactions to alcohol, including body weight, time of day, how the drinker feels mentally and emotionally, body chemistry, and the drinker's expectations.
A cold shower or a cup of coffee will sober someone up.   Nothing sobers an intoxicated person up-except time. With coffee, the drinker might be wide awake, but she or he is still impaired!
It's just beer. It can't permanently damage a person's body.   Large amounts of alcohol can do major damage to a drinker's digestive system. It can hurt your heart, liver, stomach, and several other critical organs as well as subtracting ears from your life.
It's none of my business if a friend is drinking too much.   If you are a real friend, it is your business. You can't make someone change, but you can be honest. Maybe they'll listen. You might even talk them into getting help.
The worst thing that can happen from drinking too much alcohol is a raging hangover.   If a person drinks enough alcohol, fast enough, she or he can accumulate an amount in the body that can cause death. This is why binge-drinking is so dangerous.
Drugs are a bigger problem than alcohol.   Alcohol and tobacco kill more than 50 times the number of people killed by cocaine, heroin, and all other illegal drugs combined. Ten million Americans are addicted to alcohol. It is a drug.
Alcohol makes the drinker sexier.   The more you drink, the less you think. Alcohol may loosen a person up and make someone more interested in sex, but it interferes with the body's ability to perform. And then there's pregnancy, AIDS, sexual assault, motor vehicle collisions and more to worry about - not sexy at all.
People who drink too much only hurt themselves.   Every person who drinks has a mother, grandfather, sister, aunt, best friend, boyfriend or girlfriend who worries about him or her. Each of the 10 million problem drinkers in this country affects four other people.

College Drinking Prevention:

People believe that water will speed up the elimination of alcohol; this is not true. Alcohol is a diuretic, so a drinker will feel refreshed when he or she drinks water to rehydrate the body, but the alcohol will still be in the bloodstream. Water goes to the kidneys, not the liver, and it takes time for the liver to function. If the drinker is sick or has a liver ailment, the liver may work less efficiently, thereby taking longer for the filtering to occur.


CONTINUE ..Chapter 2. Physiological Factors: Part Two

Section 2.2. Short- and Long-term Effects of Alcohol and Drugs on the Human Body

Florida Drug and Alcohol Test (TLSAE) Course:

Florida TLSAE/Drug & Alcohol 4 hour Course Online

Who is required to take this 4-hour drug and alcohol course?

This is a first-time drivers ed course for new aspiring drivers. The state of Florida requires all new drivers take a 4-hour drug and alcohol course. If you want your Permit License you must take this course. You can take the DATA course when you are 14 1/2. You can sign up right now at our website. Our course is easy and fun!
  •     Florida 4 hour first-time drivers course also referred as:
  •     TLSAE - Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education
  •     DATA - Drug Alcohol Traffic Awareness course
  •     DATE Drug Alcohol Traffic Awareness Education course
  •     ADAPT - Alcohol Drugs Accident Prevention Training
  •     Drug & Alcohol Course or Drug and Alcohol Class
  •     Florida Permit Test or Florida Permit Exam Course
  •     The Permit Test is also known as the DMV Exam or DMV Test
Florida first time driver course required to get a Florida drivers license. Florida first time driver courses teach drivers how drugs and alcohol affect driving,. In that situation you have to go home, make a new appointment and return the DMV. Every new driver is required to take a Florida TLSAE course.

Enroll your Florida 4 hour drug and alcohol course online and meet your learner's permit requirement.

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