When the liver is too damaged from alcohol abuse, scar tissue forms, causing cirrhosis, and eventually causing the liver to shut down. Symptoms include loss of energy, loss of appetite, upset stomach, weight loss and weakness. Cirrhosis is one of the ten leading causes of death by disease in the United States.
The third liver disease, alcoholic hepatitis, is the inflammation of the liver, the stage right before cirrhosis. Jaundice, mental confusion and swelling of the abdomen are common symptoms. Alcohol is known as a depressant, and its effects on the brain and central nervous system are serious. Alcohol impairs regions of the brain controlling behavior, judgment, memory, concentration and coordination.
On the central nervous system, alcohol acts as a sedative. Large amounts of alcohol can cause respiratory failure, coma and death. Impaired vision, hearing, and motor skills also occur.
The drinker may also experience numbness and tingling in the arms and legs caused by nerve damage. This results in the staggering walk often seen coming out of bars.
Heavy drinking also has damaging effects on the stomach and intestinal system. Irritation of the stomach lining can cause peptic ulcers, bleeding lesions and cancer. Blood loss causes loss of iron, which can cause irritability, lack of energy, headaches and dizziness.
Risk of pancreatitis is also increased. Other effects of alcohol abuse include irritation of the intestinal tract lining and the colon; nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, sweating and loss of appetite; and increase in blood pressure, risk of heart attack and stroke.
These symptoms develop over time. Alcoholism, however, can begin to develop after the first drink. There are many reasons why people start drinking, such as to increase self-confidence, relieve stress, escape from personal problems, overcome shyness, or to overcome a poor self-image.
Abuse of alcohol is defined as the use of alcohol interfering with physical, social, academic, or economic functioning. The first stage of alcoholism involves the use of alcoholism as a way to deal with other problems. The abuser will drink more than the average amount and is usually preoccupied with partying or going out socially to drink.
The drinker will usually deny that a problem exists. The second stage of alcohol abuse begins to interfere with daily activities like work. The drinker finds it typically hard to get through the day without a drink. It also becomes difficult to get the same good feelings from drinking, so more alcohol is consumed.
The drinker will start drinking alone and in secret. Ambition and drive are lost and interest in family and friends goes away.
This leads to the third stage where the alcoholism takes over. The drinker lives for alcohol and nothing else. They experience loneliness and continue to drink even with disastrous results, including financial and personal problems. Alcoholism is the most serious form of alcohol abuse. Once the drinker reaches this stage, serious treatment should be considered. By tracing the steps leading to alcoholism, it is natural to ask what causes the alcoholic to pick up a drink in the first place.
Of course, it is the own personal responsibility of each individual who chooses to ingest alcohol. There are however, outside influences that can effect that decision.
The power of the media and the messages it sends out can influence any impressionable person, especially teenagers, to consume alcohol. Characters in film and TV are seen smoking and drinking all the time. Signs and advertisements for alcohol use fun animals to pitch the drink, or they show a drinker looking sexy and cool. If everyone is doing it and having fun, then everyone else should do it too. That is the message advertisers want the teenager to pick up. Advertisers leave out the negative information on alcohol on purpose.
As a result, teenagers often do not know what the health risks are when they use alcohol. A study done by Washington drug and alcohol officials in showed that the media has major influences in all outlets. On the other hand, negative effects of drinking were only shown in half of the movies and only one-fifth of the songs. American consumers are heavy consumers of movies, music and TV. So the government is targeting the entertainment and advertising industries in order to change the positive image of alcohol being put out.
Anti-alcohol propaganda has proven to be not very effective. Advertisements promoting alcohol usually make you want to try the product.
The ads convince the drinker to buy alcohol so they can feel glamorous, powerful and successful. The ads also use status symbols like cars, jewelries and mansions so that everyone will believe they can have the same lifestyle as long as they buy their products.
Visual propaganda is very powerful. Unfortunately, people fall for it many times. Often times bloody pictures of drunk-driving car accidents are shown.
Images of badly torn up bodies can persuade someone to stop drinking for the moment. While the bloody pictures may make the drinker think twice, the effects are not huge in preventing alcoholism. A lot of the anti-alcohol propaganda is about driving drunk. Drinking and driving is a combination that leads to horrible accidents. Driving while under the influence is a serious concern that has gained more and more attention.
According to the U. Surgeon General, the leading cause of death for year olds is drunk driving. Getting behind the wheel puts in danger not only the driver who is drunk, but any passengers and non-drinking bystanders as well.
The government and police force have come up with several ways to prevent drinking and driving. One of the methods is through a blood test. This is the most difficult one to carry out because it usually requires the person to go to a hospital after being pulled over by the police. Another test police administer is a breathalyzer test. The policeman will make the driver breath into a tube that is able to read the level of alcohol in the blood.
This is a valuable test because the police are able to do it as soon as they pull over the drunk driver. The third test is less scientific. The police have the drunk driver attempt to walk a straight line and then cross their legs in the format of a number four. If they have been drinking, then they will be unable to stand up straight, their eyes will be redder, and they will lose their balance.
Even though there should be more tests and more instructive propaganda on the subject of drinking and driving, the steps policemen take now do help to save lives. Unfortunately, innocent people can be hurt by drunk drivers. But there are ways to prevent unnecessary accidents yourself. Some ways include volunteering to be a designated driver, trying to avoid driving on rural roads, using four lane highways, avoiding going on the road after midnight, and always wearing a seat belt.
It is also helpful to recognize when friends may be in danger of drinking and driving. A good thing to do is to take away the car keys or simply call a cab. Preventing drunk driving is only one way of fighting alcoholism.
To really treat it well requires long-term care in almost every case. There are several treatments today for alcoholics to choose from. Three of the major forms of treatment are Alcoholics Anonymous, psychological treatment, and substance abuse clinics. Through treatment, alcoholics can lead normal, productive and happy lives. The ultimate goal of alcoholism treatment is to enable the patient to achieve lasting abstinence.
Immediate goals, however, are to reduce the drinking in steps. A short-term treatment that is popular is the day in-patient treatment.
This involves the patient going to a treatment facility for about a month to detox their bodies. This method can be helpful as sort of a crash course in alcoholism treatment, but care must continue following the month-long treatment. Other methods last longer, some for 6 months. These treatments include residential therapy, where the patient is living at a treatment facility for an extended amount of time. Many severe alcoholics need this kind of structure to succeed. The Betty Ford Clinic is an example of a treatment facility that allows patients to live there until they overcome their addiction to alcohol.
Another method to treating alcoholism is outpatient therapy. Outpatient therapy offers a wide variety of programs for patients who visit on a consistent basis. Almost all of the programs will offer psychological therapy of some sort, in the form of individual or group counseling. Often it is easier to talk about the addiction in a group of people with the same problems rather than alone.
Out-patient therapy often is not effective by itself for the serious alcoholic. Usually this therapy is combined with another method. The third method is the most popular one. Alcoholics Anonymous, also known as AA, was founded in There is no preoccupation with drinking. A social drinker is able to control the amount of alcohol consumed and rarely drinks to the point of intoxication.
For these individuals, drinking is a secondary activity. It is the party, the meal, the wedding that interests the social drinker, not the opportunity to drink. An individual who is experiencing the early stages of alcoholism will begin to have an assortment of problems associated with drinking.
In early stage alcoholism, a person may start to sneak drinks, begin to feel guilty about his or her drinking, and become preoccupied with alcohol. Blackouts, drinking to the point of drunkenness, and increased tolerance needing more alcohol to achieve the same effect are all signs of early alcoholism.
An individual who is entering the early stage of alcoholism will seek out companions who are heavy drinkers and lose interest in activities not associated with drinking. Work problems, such as missing work or tardiness, may also take place. An Introduction to Alcoholism. Retrieved on September 14, , from https: Find help or get online counseling now. How Common is Alcoholism? The Progression of the Disease Alcoholism is a progressive disease and follows several phases: Hot Topics Today 1.
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Example research paper on Alcoholism: Alcohol’s importance in our social history is significant. Even more significant is the abuse of alcohol and the how alcoholism has effected modern society. However, before the word “alcoholism” was ever spoken, alcohol was used for many purposes such as settling battles, giving courage in battles, celebrating festivals and wooing lovers.
If you have to complete a research paper about alcoholism we recommend that your first step is clarification of topic and its focusing. Here is a list of topics you can use for your paper and some guidelines for successful research completion.
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