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Essay on Alcoholism

Essay by   •  May 13, 2011  •  Essay  •  2,574 Words (11 Pages)  •  2,332 Views

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Alcoholism

Alcoholism is one of the health conditions that affect's a portion of the U.S

population. But why is that? Well alcohol besides being legal and not considered the

worse drug compare to other illegal drugs, can turn into the worse drug for your physical

health and mind, making it deadly if you do not stop its use. Alcoholism is the next step

you're getting into if you let drinking alcohol control your life. There are two different

ways to describe an alcohol use disorder, alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. The

difference between the two is that alcohol abuse is a drinking pattern that results in many

different outcomes, like failure to work or take on responsibilities, problems following

the laws, and the use of alcohol despite of harm being done to social or personal

relationships. Alcohol abuse then can lead to alcohol dependence, the medical term for

alcoholism.

This is a chronic illness marked by mental dependence in alcohol use, and it

usually results in an increase in tolerance and withdrawal symptoms in other words

nausea, sweating, tremors, cravings, hallucinations etc... when you have stopped

drinking alcohol. Alcohol acts upon mostly in the central nervous system working as a

depressant. There's different levels of drinking, moderate drinking, which is no more

than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women. Low risk drinking is

consider four drinks a day, fourteen per week for men, and three drinks a day or seven a

week for women, which means women always should drink less than a man. At risk

(heavy) drinking more than a low risk drinker, meaning more than fourteen drinks per

week in men and more than seven for women can mean entering an alcohol addiction.

To detect if the person is having a drinking problem, there's a set of questions that in

health centers and clinics have been distributing to patients. Some of these questions are;

(Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking? Have people annoyed you by

criticizing your drinking? Have you ever felt guilty about your drinking? Etc...)

Answering yes to one of these questions might mean a possible alcohol problem or if

more than one yes, it's at a higher risk that problems really exist. But the bigger question

of all is, what is it about alcohol that drives people to an addiction?.

The cause of this clinginess has to do with the chemistry of alcohol, and its allowance

to get to almost every body cell, especially those in the central nervous system. Besides

the alcohol's chemistry, there are of course other causes that play a role to develop

alcoholism such as biology factors, genetics, culture, or racial differences as well as

socioeconomics and gender. The brain also plays an important role in the physical

dependence of alcohol. The amygdala, which is part of the brain's neocortex within the

temporal lobe and responsible for emotions, this plays a role in smaller subjects with

family history of alcoholism. In the other hand, Serotin, one of the brains

neurotransmitters, is responsible for the well being and behavior such as, eating,

relaxation, and sleep, but when on abnormal levels it's associated with alcohol tolerance.

When drinking alcohol there's a lot of risks you are taking and that comes back to

the age, gender, race/ethnicity and history of abuse.Young people at the highest risk are

those with family abuse, depression and stressful life events. Drinking in the elderly

population can also be serious, although alcoholism develops in the early adulthood;

older people are not left behind. Actually, doctors overlook alcoholism in elderly patients

because they confuse signs of alcohol abuse for normal aging process, such as diseases like Dementia. Cardiovascular diseases or Hypertension. Alcohol has a

different effect in an older body due to the same drinking patterns for years that they

develop a dependency without knowing, and that leads to fewer drinks to feel into

intoxicated and that causes older organs to get damage quicker than those of young

drinkers.

The theory says that men are able to hold more liquor than women in their body

because due to the amount of fat. Well it is a fact that alcohol abuse and dependence is more

common in men than in women, and studies have resulted in women being vulnerable

than men to long term consequences of alcoholism. Women have a greater chance to

develop common diseases such as alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver,

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