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Alcohol Consumption Essay

Alcohol Consumption [Abstract] Everyone knows that alcohol has its consequences. At the same time, people don’t care and brush off the consequences in order to have a good time. This paper summarizes studies done on the physical, cognitive and emotional effects that alcohol has on people, before and after consumption. This paper accesses the effects on a person’s body, mind and soul. Alcohol affects the way a person thinks, acts, and feels. Methods include gathering statistical information and doing studies over many years with the same people.

Also included in certain studies are people with a history of blackouts and alcoholism. In this paper, the stability as well as the development of alcohol consumption was investigated. This paper also investigates how alcohol can effect your emotions by messing with your head using cognition. The majority of people used in a certain study on blackouts admitted to being frightened of their last blackout experience (White 206). The characteristics of blackouts in this paper among the college students investigated were compared to the standard model of reports from alcoholics (White 206). Introduction] Young people are at a point in their life where they are searching for excitement and ways to fit in and have fun. The combination of alcohol, a few friends and a party seem to mesh into a perfect night for most adolescents. A considerable amount of concern exists about the effects of alcohol. Studies show evidence of what happens to a person in the present when they consume alcohol. Studies can also show the kind of reason a person may choose not to drink, or just how much you drink.

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In this paper, studies from the Amsterdam Growth and Health Longitudinal Study, the Research Report on how Alcohol Effects Emotion through Cognition, and the Experimental Aspects of Alcohol-Induced Blackouts among College Students were used. Most of the participants in these studies listed were between the ages of 13-32, or at the main ages of alcohol consumption. Experts want to figure out the short-term and long-term consequences of alcohol consumption, and although it’s hard to tell the long-term effects, using various tests, studies and experimentations can show the short-term consequences.

Previous studies have documented that alcohol does affect one, whether it be yelling out crazy curse words or passing out on your friend’s back porch. Intoxication most noticeably changes a person’s actions. Emotions are also an instrumental tool in determining the effects of alcohol. Choosing not to drink compared to what kind of drink you choose ultimately affects your body and actions. A main environment that excessive drinking is often tolerated, and oftentimes supported, is on a college campus (White 209). This paper’s goal is to inform the reader about studies in the past and what information they have gathered.

The effects of alcohol on a person, the physical damage intoxication has on a person and the short-term memory loss that goes along with being intoxicated are all points made in this paper. Alcohol’s Effects on You Emotional. A person’s emotions are affected by alcohol from the very first moment they are trying to decide if they want to drink or not. A person’s appearance (whether or not they are a man or woman) or what others may think of them plays a role in what a man or woman drinks, when they drink, and at what age they drink.

One way you can see emotional effects and alcohol coinciding is by noticing what type of drink a man and a woman typically order from year to year. In a study done on the addictive behavior of adolescents and young adults, beer is the most popular drink for men before the age of 27, and then after the age of 27, the consumption of wine considerably increases (Koppes 184). The best way to explain this statistic emotionally is to say that beer is considered a “man drink. Men do not want to be considered feminine at a young age; therefore drinking beer when they are around the age of 21 gives their conscious a boost toward masculinity. In contrast to what is true for men, the study shows that women are more likely to drink wine more often than any other form of alcohol in all age categories. Just like a man, a woman believes emotionally that wine is a woman’s drink and it is considered “classy” to drink it. Another way to show that emotions effect what type of alcohol you drink is by looking at a pregnant woman. At age 27, a lot of women are married and settled down and ready to have children.

In this study, all of the pregnant women above the age of 27 who were studied proved to be abstained from drinking, while the few that were not pregnant, continued to drink. The percentage of alcohol consumed by female subject decreased by 9% at age 27, and then increased again at age 32 (Koppes 186). It is a motherly instinct to abstain from drinking when a woman thinks she may be pregnant or if she is definitely pregnant. Alcohol can harm an unborn baby. Also, what other people may say to a pregnant woman determines whether that woman is going to drink.

For example, if a clearly pregnant woman goes up to a bar and orders alcohol, the reaction of everyone else would probably be “Why are you drinking? You’re pregnant! ” The health state of a certain woman along with what everybody else thinks about them is an example of how alcohol emotionally affects a person, even if they are not intoxicated. Cognitive. The use of alcohol causes people to change their normal way of thinking to ways that are not typical of normal cognitive behavior. While under the influence of alcohol, one makes decisions they would not normally make if they were completely abstained from drinking.

Aaron M. White, as well as others studied sixteen males and thirty-four females who had experienced a blackout due to alcohol intoxication, about details regarding the student’s most recent blackout experience to see what they remembered, if anything, from that night. According to a table in White’s “Experimental Aspects of Alcohol-Induced Blackouts Among College Students,” the first thing 10/16 men and 16/34 women could remember after having a blackout was waking up the next morning (White 214). Only 6. 3% of men and 5. 9% of women could remember vomiting after a blackout experience and 18. 8% men and 26. % women could remember being home at the end of the night (White 214). 100% of men had to have someone else tell them what happened because they couldn’t remember anything after a blackout experience. These results suggest that alcohol damages a person’s thought process and their ability to recall events from the night before. Alcohol could cause you to blackout and thus causing you to forget everything that happened that night. When alcohol affects cognition, people tend to forget what happened to them while they were intoxicated. Follow up to this particular study on blackouts shows that the majority (43. %) of students feel indifferent about blackouts, while 6. 3% find it amusing, 25% say that blackouts scare them, and 0% get angry over blackouts (White 215). 100% of the men who were participants in this study say that they will be more careful with drinking and possibly having a blackout in the future, while 91. 3% of women say the same (White 215). “Available data suggests that changes in emotional reactivity and behavior associated with drinking are intertwined with alcohol’s effects on cognitive processing” (Curtin 527). Physical. Physical effects of alcohol can range anywhere from annoying to life threatening.

Most of the physical effects of alcohol consumption are short term, but the consequences not only impact the drinker, but they affect those around him/her as well. For example, physical effects of alcohol can be experienced by drinking only 2 or 3 drinks, but impaired judgment and coordination that is needed in order to operate a vehicle safely can result in the drinker having a car accident. While a blackout can be considered a cognitive effect, it is also a physical effect of alcohol consumption. Periods of time and certain events and situations may not be remembered after being intoxicated.

This is annoying to the person who can’t remember and also to their friends because they can’t discuss how much fun they had at the party. Also, consuming alcohol changes a person’s behavior. A change in a person’s behavior could potentially be life-threatening because they could do things they wouldn’t normally do. Blacking out, for example could harm the person if they were to bump their head or fall off of something. The authors of two influential pieces of literature regarding blackouts interviewed 100 hospitalized alcoholics, mostly male (85%), to gain information about their experiences with blackouts.

This study suggests that the majority of blackout victims that end up the in hospital are male (White 206). One of the author’s wrote that the subjects “could carry on conversations during the amnesic state, but could not remember what they said or did 5 minutes earlier. Their immediate and remote memory was intact” (White 207). A study done by John Curtin states that alcohol directly suppresses fear and dampens response inhibitions in human participants (Curtin 527). If fear is suppressed in an individual then it can be life threatening. One could do something they wouldn’t normally do which could be dangerous.

This study finds that emotions are vital to understanding behavior because emotions are directly linked to behavior, and therefore, since fear was reduced in an intoxicated participant, the participant showed diminished slowing of response inhibition. Blackouts in this case are annoying because people who are actually having fun at a party don’t want to take care of a grown person like they would a child. Discussion This paper provides studies and demonstrations done on people who have been affected by the physical, cognitive, and emotion effects of alcohol.

It also includes information gathered from previous studies done on students, as well as men and women in their 20’s and 30’s. This paper includes information limited to only three sources about the effects of alcohol. To say that alcohol is just like a best friend if a person doesn’t have one would be too much of a cliche, but some people honestly believe it to be true. Alcohol is a substance in which people drink to forget about their problems and console their emotions. The main focus was to present effects in the emotional, cognitive and physical form using data found from previous studies.

Follow-ups to the Koppes’ study suggests that if a person is introduced to drinking at a young age such as 16, they are much more likely to drink heavily as they reach the age of 21. Nearly all subjects in the blackout study relied on other individuals to provide details of what transpired. Although most of the other subjects were intoxicated as well, making the accuracy of the information provided questionable (White 218). People who have overused alcohol may stagger, lose their coordination, and slur their speech.

They will probably be confused and disoriented. Depending on the person, intoxication can make someone very friendly and talkative or very aggressive and angry. Reaction times are slowed dramatically, which is why people are told not to drink and drive. People who are intoxicated may think they’re moving properly when they’re not. They may act totally out of character. These assessments show that students are likely to experience a blackout sometime in their lifetime, and women are likely to choose not to drink if they think they are, or could become pregnant.

This paper also concludes that what type of drink a person chooses to drink ultimately depends on a person’s gender and situation. Important questions about possible future findings on the consequences and effects of alcohol abuse and usage remain unanswered: * Will an increased risk of memory loss exist the more a person drinks? Will a person begin to forget childhood memories due to drinking too heavily? * Will the number of blackouts continue to increase, putting more and more people in the hospital? Will the majority of hospitalized blackout victims continue to be male? Is a mother that drinks during pregnancy more likely to have a child with a drinking problem than one who completely abstained from drinking during her pregnancy? * Will laws on college campuses across the nation be able to reduce the risk of injury or consequences linked to alcohol abuse? * Will the drinking age in the United States be lowered sometime in the possibly near future? References Curtin, John J. , Patrick, Christopher J. , Lang, Alan R. , Cacioppo, John T. , and Birbaumer, Niels. “Alcohol Affects Emotion Through Cognition. Psychological Science 12 (2001): 527-531. Koppes, Lando L. J. , Kemper, Han C. G. , Post, G. Bertheke, Snel, Jan, and Twisk, Jos W. R. “Development and Stability of Alcohol Consumption from Adolescence into Adulthood: The Amsterdam Growth and Health Longitudinal Study. ” European Addiction Research 6 (2000): 183-188. White, Aaron M. , Signer, Matthew L. , Kraus, Courtney L. , and Swartzwelder, H. Scott. “Experimental Aspects of Alcohol-Induced Blackouts Among College Students. ” The American Journal of Drugs and Alcohol Abuse 30 (2004): 205-224.


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