Even though it’s not the most addictive drug there is – cocaine and heroin significantly surpass alcohol in its addictive quality – alcohol continues to be the cause of millions of deaths around the world.
Putting this label on alcohol includes the fact that it is a drug that’s a factor involved in the cause of car accidents and a large percentage of crime. For instance, 40% of those in prison were under the influence of alcohol while they committed their crimes.
Although alcohol isn’t the deciding factor on whether these inmates would have committed their crime or not, alcohol does lower inhibitions and affect one’s judgment. Furthermore, many suicides take place because of effect of alcohol. If that person were not under the influence, it’s possible that he or she would have made a different choice.
When an individual has a glass of wine or a pint of beer, the alcohol enters the bloodstream quickly. Depending on whether there is food in the stomach or not, the body will absorb the alcohol more or less quickly.
For instance, foods that are high in carbohydrates and fats can make the user’s body absorb alcohol more slowly. During this time, an individual begins to feel the effects of alcohol, such as numbness, slurred speech, slowed reactions, and a loose mood.
In time, the alcohol leaves the body through the breath, perspiration, and urine. The amount of alcohol that doesn’t leave the body through these methods is metabolized in the body.
The Harm of Alcohol
Alcohol also kills by harming the body each time it’s used. The body will begin to deteriorate in a variety of ways. For instance, long-term alcohol consumption can affect nearly every organ in the body, including the brain. Heavy drinking can affect coordination, thiamine deficiency, and other forms of poor nutrition.
Alcoholism can lead to illnesses having to do with the heart, such as hypertension and an irregular heartbeat. It can also cause impotence, irregular menstrual cycles, pancreatitis, stroke, confusion, and amnesia. Alcoholism can also wreak havoc on the functioning of the brain.
Yet, alcohol is a major thread in the fabric of American society, and for this reason, it’s hard to see alcohol as a harmful and dangerous drug. Of course, those who have already experienced a tragedy because of alcohol use will likely stay away from it.
However, the majority of alcohol users don’t recognize how severe alcohol use can be. Instead, it’s still frequently consumed at meals and social events, making it a drug that seems fun and harmless. However, there are dangerous impacts of the use of alcohol within a society. For instance, below are some social and emotional signs that an individual is using drugs.
Dangers that Come With Alcohol
- Withdrawal from family – spending more time alone away from family members and less communication.
- Loss of interest in previous hobbies/activities
- Mood Swings – including irritability, quick to anger and overly defensive
- Change in the choice of friends/peer group
- Problems at school, such as falling grades, complaints from teachers/staff, reports of cutting class and absences.
- Problems with the law
- Attends many parties or social events that involve getting drunk and possibly fighting
- Secretive behavior, such as hiding things from you, locking bedroom door, not telling you who their friends are or where they are going.
Because alcohol is such a major thread in the fabric of society, it’s going to be difficult to see as a dangerous and harmful drug. Furthermore, the U.S. beverage alcohol industry is a major contributor to the economy, responsible for more than $400 billion in total U.S. economic activity per year, generating nearly $100 billion in wages and more than 4 million jobs for U.S. workers.
It’s really up to every individual to choose to stop drinking. Leaving alcohol behind is the best choice one can make. Doing so also sets a precedence for others to follow in your footsteps.
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