Study Shows Even One Drink Impairs Ability

April 21, 2005
For National Alcohol Awareness Month, Narconon points out effects of even moderate drinking.

One of the oldest drugs known to man is alcohol. Throughout the years, there have been prohibitions and many laws concerning consumption, as well as numerous studies done on various effects it has on a person's body.

"With approximately 15 million people in this country in need of treatment for alcohol addiction, people need to be more aware of the effects of even moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages," says Gary W. Smith, CCDC, executive director of Narconon Arrowhead. The facility he runs is one of the largest and most successful alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs in the country and uses the drug-free methodology developed by American author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard.

Dutch researchers recently completed a study on the effects of "moderate" alcohol consumption. The lead author on the study is K. Richard Ridderinkhof of the University of Amsterdam and the Leiden University. It was published by the online edition of the journal Science called the Sciencexpress and depicts the slowed processes of brain functions due to impaired ability by even smaller amounts of alcohol equal to one drink.

The volunteers experienced an error rate of about 4.8 percent on placebo, but after the first drink the errors soared to 19.8 percent. Drinking alcohol also reduced processing speed. Changes in brain action were quickly detected, leading the researchers to conclude that even a small amount of alcohol was enough to erode the mind's ability to detect and correct errors.

Measures of brain waves showed that the small doses of alcohol quickly affected the anterior cingulate cortex or ACC, a part of the brain that influences thinking processes and the unconscious detection of error.

This evidence should not be surprising however, as alcohol related accidents and crimes cause thousands of deaths each year. This clearly shows that "social" drinking in even moderate amounts can be hazardous, especially when operating a vehicle.

To recognize the serious problem of alcohol abuse, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has designated April as Alcohol Awareness Month. April 8th marked the annual observance of National Alcohol Screening Day, which is designed to assess the drinking habits of participants and offer help for those who are drinking excessively.

For more information about the effects of alcohol and related illnesses, visit

If you or someone you love has a problem with alcohol, contact Narconon Arrowhead today at 1-800-468-6933 or visit Alcohol and other drug addiction can be overcome.