Alcohol is a widely abused drug all around the world. It is common to see alcohol at any social event, all in the name of good times. People falsely think that alcohol gives them the courage to do something they would not do in sobriety, which is not the case. There are numerous teens who have fallen victim to alcoholism, but we do not ignore that alcoholism is still rife in adults. It’s almost a must in this day and era. Unfortunately, alcohol has social, physical, and health implications. This paper, therefore, shows some of the negative effects of alcohol abuse which are on either long term or short term basis.
Alcohol is found in beer, wine and liquor. It is produced by use of fruits such as grapes and grains such as barley that contain starch and sugars which are fermented to give wine, beer and liquors. It is a volatile liquid that is highly soluble in water and once taken into the body, it is normally digested. The concentration of alcohol in one`s body varies from one person to another depending the weight, body fat, amount of time taken to consume it. It is metabolized primarily in the liver. Alcohol reduces response of nerves and its pathways and thus it is known as central nervous system depressant (Bilbao et al. 2015).
To begin with, alcohol is associated with chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, nervous system damage, and damage of the liver. Psychiatric problems such as anxiety and depression include the health effects that come with alcoholism which is actually a long term effect. As mentioned earlier, liver metabolizes up to 90% of the alcohol (Bilbao et al. 2015). Spirits contains toxic substances that are filtered by the liver. After they are filtered, some are excreted as urine others as sweat and also through breathing which gives out carbon dioxide. This is evident during the Breathalyzer test used by the law enforcement agencies to curb reckless driving. The toxic substances in the liquid therefore lead to damage of the liver.
Alcohol lowers inhibition and impairs judgment .This is because alcohol greatly leverages the brain leading to loss of synchronization. An alcoholic will always stagger when walking due to loss of coordination in the brain. The brain is very vital for normal functioning of the body and once it is damaged, the effects are adverse. Other than the effects mentioned above, slowed responsiveness, altered eyesight, memory lapses and blackouts come in handy as effects of the so called central nervous system depressant abuse (Bilbao et al. 2015).Young people are at a higher risk of facing the adverse effects of alcohol as compared to adults. In as much as alcohol is not supposed to be sold to children and in this case teenagers, these rules are always broken.
In addition, excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to addiction. One can determine if he or she is an alcoholic through the following symptoms: craving, loss of control, physical dependence and tolerance. It is an addiction and is therefore treated the same way as all these other drug addictions of substances such as coke which are believed to have more severe effects. The treatment of an alcoholic requires a variety of processes which includes therapy, group support, counseling and medications (Bradford, Shapiro & Curtin, 2013). It is therefore important to handle people with addictions with utmost sensitivity and consideration. They are however faced with one major challenge; relapse. Alcohol in pregnancy is considered highly dangerous. Just like food, alcohol can be fast transmitted from the mother to the fetus through the placenta and the umbilical cord. Consumption of alcohol is not only dangerous during the early stages of development of the fetus but at any time. This is because brain development is continuous throughout the pregnancy (Stappenbeck & Fromme, 2014). Consumption of alcohol during pregnancy leads to gross effects which include: miscarriage, birth deformations, and stunted growth of the infant and mental unsoundness. A woman should bear in mind that motherhood is noble and therefore sacrificing one`s laxities for just a short period of 9 moths should not be that hard for the sake of a young life that is yet to be born.
Mixing alcohol with other drinks such as caffeine is a common practice among the youth during parties, get together events and many other social gatherings. This makes the alcohol consumers to feel less tipsy than if they gulped down the alcohol solely (Bradford, Shapiro & Curtin, 13). However, they are just as impaired and more likely to be at risk of facing the adverse effects of alcohol in their bodies. Youth are easily lured into alcoholism due to this practice which later grows into a habit and finally an addiction all in the name of fun. Peer pressure is a major contributing factor and therefore peer counseling in schools especially for teenagers is very vital. On the social effects, lives have been lost due to alcohol consumption. Most accidents happening all around the world have been caused by reckless driving. This is where a consumer drinks and drives. It is advisable not to drive after one has consumed alcohol. The invention of the Breathalyzer test as mentioned was important to ensure the number of deaths caused by reckless driving is reduced. Taxis and uber can be the best options when one wants to head home after a party and is intoxicated.
In conclusion, the effects of alcohol on a consumer is different from one person to another depending on how much one has had to drink, one`s age and how often or how rare one takes alcohol. As the paper explains, some of the bad effects of alcohol are long term while others are short term. Addiction is a disease of free will and most times it is difficult to counter alcoholism.
Bilbao, A., Robinson, J. E., Heilig, M., Malanga, C. J., Spanagel, R., Sommer, W. H., & Thorsell, A. (2015). A pharmacogenetic determinant of mu-opioid receptor antagonist effects on alcohol reward and consumption: evidence from humanized mice. Biological psychiatry, 77(10), 850-858.
Bradford, D. E., Shapiro, B. L., & Curtin, J. J. (2013). How bad could it be? Alcohol dampens stress responses to threat of uncertain intensity. Psychological science, 24(12), 2541-2549.
Stappenbeck, C. A., & Fromme, K. (2014). The effects of alcohol, emotion regulation, and emotional arousal on the dating aggression intentions of men and women. Psychology of addictive behaviors, 28(1), 10.