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Unfortunately, our society looks at drinking as just another fact of life. What statistics say is a different story. The number of destructive behaviors caused by alcohol abuse can make people realize that drinking ruins and destroys lives. Alcohol a natural product of fermentation, is the most widely used of all drugs. It has been a part of American culture since Europeans settled on this continent.
Colonial America called it The good creature of God as well as demon rum (pg62 Osheim) this dual perception is probably why we accept it today.
Alcohol a depressant affects our minds in such ways as removing our inhibitions, judgement, and causing blackouts when taken in large quantities.
Five ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, and 1.5 ounces of 80 proof spirits put the same amount of pure alcohol in the blood stream (1/2 to 2/3 ounce) (pg147 Robbins). Every cell in the body can absorb alcohol from the blood. Of the short-term effects none is more dramatic than those on the central nervous system are.
At first the drinker gets a feeling of ease and exhilaration, usually short lived. As the BAC rises judgement memory and sensory perception are all progressively impaired. (Pg150 Robbins) With these symptoms thoughts become jumbled; concentration and insight are dulled. Depression usually sets in.
Some people get angry or violent. (Pg151 Robbins) Alcohol also causes drowsiness and adversely affects sexual performance. Though all these are the unpleasant immediate effects another one is the hangover: dry mouth, sour stomach, headache, depression, and fatigue .(pg151 Robbins) Sometimes alcohol is not only effecting our immediate and physical lives, but also our long term and mental lives.
Such as in unhealthy families where domestic violence and child abuse occur. Also, women who are pregnant and drink can cause fetal Alcohol syndrome which is the leading known cause of retardation in children (pg150 Robbins). After tobacco alcohol is the leading cause of premature death in America. The total cost of alcohol consumption in America is 86 billion annually (Internet). It is rare person whose life goes untouched by alcohol. Alcohol causes, or associated with, over 100,000 deaths per year, often among the young.
In 1990, alcohol related traffic crashes killed more than 22,000 people. (Pg149 Robbins.) Half of pedestrians killed by cars have elevated blood alcohol levels. At some time in their lives 40% of all Americans will be involved in an alcohol related car crash. (Internet). As you can see the risks that are involved for people that are not even heavy drinkers or alcoholics, alcohol can affect anybody anywhere. Income level does not affect alcohol consumption. Alcohol use in 21-34 is the age group where people drink the most. College students 98% drink, and many engage in what is known as beige drinking which is having 5 to 6 drinks at a setting.
These beige-drinking sessions can cause some problems such as 40% academic problems, 28% alcohol related dropouts, and not to mention in 90% of all rapes alcohol is involved. Alcoholism is a complex dis order that can effect the genetic, psychosocial, and environmental influencing its development and manifestations (Internet). The disease is often progressive and fatal. Some alcoholics die of cirrhosis. Heredity plays a factor as well as genetics.
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