The Effects of Excessive Alcohol Dependency

Alcohol is a seemingly most innocuous drug; but its effects are very dangerous and injurious to one’s health, mind, and society. The effects of it are three-fold: physical, physiological and social. Nevertheless, it is a drug not without remedy and the alcoholic has hope of his condition being reversed. Degrees of Dependency: Craving, Impaired control (abuse), Physical dependence and Tolerance. Alcohol tolerance is described as the adaptation of the body to slow poisoning (alcohol intake and abuse). It is one of the most abused drugs in our society.

Alcohol is a drug because it acts as a depressant to the nervous system and it is very addictive. Although most alcohol is consumed moderately at social events, the effect of “one cup every now and then” is still as dangerous as (if not more) than drinking daily.

Inveterate, heavy drinkers do not have the highest risk of alcohol-related injuries; on the contrary, it is the moderate drinkers who sometimes drink heavily who are more likely to suffer injuries, especially while they are drinking.

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“It’s not only the amount of alcohol consumed that shapes the risk for injury, but also the usual consumption pattern,” said lead researcher Gerhard Gomel, of the Alcohol Treatment Center at the Lausanne University Hospital and the Swiss Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Problems. About 20 percent of adults in the United States are considered hazardous and harmful drinkers. “These are people who are not physically dependent on alcohol, but they binge drink or have health or social consequences because to their drinking,” according to researchers.

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Many confuse Drinking and Alcoholism but they are distinct and separate. Drinking is defined as the social controlled intake of alcohol whereas alcohol is a chronic addiction which has control of the individual. Short term consequences of drinking alcohol are revealed in relaxed feelings, increased confidence, euphoria, aggression, impaired judgment, loss of fine motor control, slurred speech, retarded reaction times, loss of coordination, erratic behavior and extreme confusion.

Long-term repercussions of drinking alcohol are: rise in the levels of some fats in the blood, high blood pressure, heart failure, and increased calorie intake, deterioration of the brain, hepatitis (inflammation of the liver), cirrhosis of the liver (hardening of the liver), depression of respiratory centers, insomnia, loss of memory (dementia), loss of intellectual functions, coma and death.

Excessive drinking and binge drinking can lead to strokes and other serious problems that include fetal alcohol syndrome cardiomyopathy, cardiac arrhythmia, and sudden cardiac death. The AHA or the American Heart Association recommends that if you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. The average of one to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. A drink consists of one 12 oz. beer, 4 oz. of wine, 1.5 oz. of 80-prook spirits, or 1 oz. of 100- proof sprits.) Although the AHA makes these recommendations, they also cautions people not to start drinking because it is not possible to predict in which people alcoholism will become a problem.

Legal measures take action against alcoholics and the availability and license of alcohol dealers to sell liquor to the public. Since 1872, The Licensing Act prohibited drunkenness in a public place or on a highway and drunkenness with aggravation with includes being drunk and disorderly. In 1898, The Inebriates Act prohibited the sale of alcohol to habitual drunkards. In 1902, The Licensing Act forbids delegating children to purchase alcohol for adults. In 1948, The Criminal Justice Act decreed hospitalization and mandatory treatment for convicted criminals. In 1964, The Licensing Act prohibited the sale of alcohol to a drunken person. In 2001, Under the Criminal Justice and Police Act, the police force was empowered to deal with alcoholics on the public roads, inebriated menacing behavior. Consumption of alcohol is now restricted to designated alcohol zones and buying or attempting to buy alcohol for consumption in a bar by persons under 18.

Legal drinking ages range from 0 to 21. Armenia, China, Nigeria, Poland, Portugal, Thailand and Vietnam have no policies in force which legalize an age for drinking alcohol. World wide legal age of drinking alcohol varies from 0 to 21. Switzerland has a minimum legal drinking age of 14. France, Italy, Austria, Greece, Norway, Spain, Turkey, Belgium have a legal drinking age of 16. Brazil, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Mexico and a host of other countries have set down 18 as the minimum age for drinking. Japan and New Zealand have 20 and the United States have 21. Even though it is illegal here in the U.S.A, for minors under the age of 21 to consume alcohol, nearly 80 percent of high school seniors report of having used alcohol. Many under-age drinkers are introduced to alcohol during childhood. Studies have shown that about one out of five fifth graders have been drunk and that four out of ten sixth graders say there is pressure from other students to drink. Alcohol is often the first drug that young people try. Since alcohol is legal and found in most American homes, parents may think it isn’t dangerous.

Children and teens who begin drinking as teenagers have a 43% chance of becoming alcoholics The use of alcohol, by itself or with other drugs, can harm your child’s normal growth and development. Even if a teenager only drinks occasionally, intoxicated behavior can be lethal. Just one drink can impair decision making and slow down reaction time in any situation. There are a variety of reasons young people even begin to drink alcohol: curiosity, “right of passage”, to get drunk, to fit in with friends, to feel relaxed, and to escape problems. Even with all of these other reasons young people begin to drink, the media also plays a major role.

Alcohol companies spend billions of dollars every year on advertising and promoting products on TV, billboard, at sporting events, and in magazines. Alcohol products are among the most advertised products in the nation. Young people are the primary targets of many of these ads most ads show drinkers as healthy, happy, sexy, successful people.

The reasons why people turn to alcohol are as a direct result of peer pressure, stress felt at home and at the workplace, popular culture, concern for the self – image, hereditary tendency or learned attitudes from parents. Children of alcoholics are born with an increased vulnerability to alcoholism. Geneticists at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a gene that appears to be linked to both alcoholism and depression. Researchers have found that alcoholics developed a similar gene/ chromosome which is related to primary brain functions. Yet, they assert that a combination f susceptibility genes and environmental risk factors can lead to the development of alcoholism, depression or the combination of those disorders. The bitter but natural products of Alcoholism manifest themselves as shown in the lives of both the individual and in the life of the society. Auto accidents, broken homes/ families, Unemployment, Reduced Productivity, Crime, High medical costs and an impaired society spell catastrophe.

What is Alcoholics Anonymous? Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. Alcoholics Anonymous is actually named after a published book in 1939 by the founders of the establishment, Bill Wilson and Bob Smith. This text details 12 ways and 12 traditions of recovery from alcoholism. Alcoholics Anonymous believes that through belief in a ‘Higher Power,’ an alcoholic may vanquish the habit.

Here are some key ideas of Alcoholics Anonymous. Alcoholism is a progressive illness. ii. The first drink does the damage. iii. The desire to stop drinking needs to come from the alcoholic. iv. An alcoholic cannot recover on his or her own.

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The Effects of Excessive Alcohol Dependency. (2023, Mar 18). Retrieved from

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