Alcohol can destroy persons who depend on its effects to solve their problems. Not only does the use of alcohol create serious health disorders for those who drink heavily during their lifetime, but also causes serious health disorders in children whose mothers drank while pregnant. Individuals who drink alcohol are often responsible for injuring other innocent people. Each year in the United States, nearly 85,000 people die from alcohol-related causes, making it the third leading preventable cause of death in our country. MANIA) Many automobile accidents involve drunk drivers. People who drink endanger themselves and everyone around them. In addition, business and industry suffer financial loss because their employees drink. What might begin as casual drinking can become heavy drinking and alcoholism. Because the abuse of alcohol has a negative effect on men, women, and children, that same abuse on alcohol is a threat in our society. Although society cannot force people to stop abusing alcohol, society does try to provide rehabilitation for heavy drinkers and alcoholics.
People who watch television commercials and read magazine advertisements perhaps think that the use of alcohol can be a positive factor in their life. But according to the author of Alcohol: The Delightful Poison, “alcohol is classified as a drug and is recognized as a depressant that acts as an anesthetic on the central nervous system, and is a consciousness changing drug. ” (Fleming p. 122) Nearly 18 million adults in the U. S. Are dependent on alcohol or have other alcohol-related problems. Antithetically) Those who become physically dependent on alcohol experience certain biochemical changes that take place in the brain cells that make these individuals unable to function normally. Alcohol is absorbed into he blood stream through the stomach and small intestines, and it flows through the brain where it interferes with certain functions causing staggering lack of coordination, incoherent speech, vomiting and even unconsciousness. In addition, autopsies have shown that “the brains of chronic, excessive drinkers suffer so much cell damage that they have atrophied, especially in the frontal areas.
Pneumonia-encephalographic of living alcoholics indicate that tissue in the center of the brain may also suffer from cell damage, thus, chronic drinkers act like neurological patients with verified brain damage. In addition, one Australian study states that “the brain off heavy chronic drinker is likely to shrink in size. ” (Lake p. 78) The brain is the controller of all human activity, and if because of alcohol abuse it does not function normally, then all human activity functions abnormally creating various problems. Another health problem caused by excessive drinking is damage to the liver. When alcohol is taken into the body ninety to ninety- eight percent is destroyed through oxidation. The remaining percentage of the alcohol is exerted through the lungs a breath, through the kidneys as urine, or in lesser amounts through other bodily functions such as tears, sweat, and bile or stomach juices. Once taken into the body, the liver oxidized the alcohol, but even the healthiest liver can handle only a drop or two at a time. When alcohol is metabolize by the liver, it poisons the organ causing it to be loaded with fat.
The French physician, Rene Lance, first described this disorder as cirrhosis from the Greek word for tawny, Cirrhosis. (Seller p. 71 ) The most common cause of Cirrhosis is the consumption of alcohol. “About fifteen percent of chronic drinkers will develop cirrhosis of the ever. ” (Lake p. 78) This disease causes the liver to turn yellowish because it is fatty, hard because it is scarred and knobby because of the regeneration of liver tissue between the scars produces little mounds. The scarring of the liver is irreversible and may cause death.
However, “sixty percent of all cirrhotic who stop drinking will live because the liver itself will regenerate if drinkers stop drinking. ” (Seller p. 77) One research study indicates that “excessive drinking clearly does shorten life. ” (McGrath p. 206) Chronic drinking causes another serious health problem, an irreversible form Of impotence. Also, chronic use of alcohol may delay sexual maturity in male adolescents, but not if female adolescents. With alcohol as with all other drugs and medicine you take, too much of it will turn to poison.
Pregnant women, who drink, poison their system and those of their unborn children. Alcohol in any form passes to the placenta so quickly that the unborn baby feels a drink almost as fast as a pregnant women. Alcoholic mothers, as well as casual drinkers, can produce babies with a pattern of birth defects known as fetal alcohol syndrome. This disorder is “the most severe form of alcohol damage to the fetus; it is the third most common birth defect with mental retardation. ” (Morgan) Children born with fetal alcohol syndrome experience growth deficiency, withdrawal symptoms, heart defects, and early death.
Very often society must face this problem and provide the care and treatment for the victims and at the same time try to combat excessive drinking women. Men and women drinkers alike suffer from the negative effects of alcohol abuse, but women – the life bearers – have a special responsibility to the family. Yet, in the last twenty years the number of women who drink alcoholic beverages has increased greatly. A survey reported that “sixty-four percent of American females drank. ” Statistics from Alcoholics Anonymous have provided further proof that in this country the number of women alcoholics is increasing. In 1974, one out of three new members was a woman, and the 2004 membership survey found that “35 percent of AAA members are women. That means that there are almost 700,000 women in AAA around the world. ” (Alcoholics Anonymous 2004) The Nation Institution an Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates that “one out fiftieth women in the United States is and active alcoholic. ” (Winchester p. 207) Women’s abuse of alcohol has far- reaching effects on family life because women more than men traditionally care for children on the home.
This is not to say, however, that male alcoholics do not create negative effects on family life. Alcoholism in the home can cause a “break-up” of a marriage. Studies indicate show that only one in ten husbands stay with his alcoholic wife while nine out of ten wives stay with their alcoholic husbands, thus providing some security for the hillier on the family. For children, parental alcohol abuse creates an emotional scare from which some never recover: “life for them is chaotic, inconsistent and unpredictable; some children may be sent to school dressed inadequately and without breakfast.
Certainly this situation has negative implications for learning and productivity in our society. In some cases, children sometimes take over the parenting role as shoppers, cooks, and even caretakers of the alcoholic mothers. “Researchers estimate that 500,000 children in the state of New York live in families with an alcoholic member. ” Alcoholism) Alcoholism in the home creates an unjustifiable burden on society greatest natural resource, its children. Excessive drinking is not restricted to adult men and women.
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