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Essay/Term paper: Alcohol

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Alcohol and Drugs

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Alcohol is a widely used substance for both science and in technology.
Its name comes from an Arabic word al-kuhl meaning " a powder for painting the
eyes". The term was later applied to all compounds that contain alcoholic

To most people alcohol is considerd a downer that reduces activity in
the nervous system. Some of the things alcohol effects you is, the alcohol
intoxicated person exhibits lose muscle tone, loss of fine moter
coordination,and often has a staggering "drunken" gait. The eyes may appear
somewhat "glossy" and pupils may be slow to respond to stimulus. At high doses
pupils may become constricted. At intoxing doses, alcohol can decrease heart
rate, lower blood pressure and respiration rate, and result in decreased reflex
and slower reaction times. Skin may be cool to touch but to the user may feel
warm or normal, profuse sweating may accompany alcohol use. Loose muscle tone,
lose of fine motor coordination,odor of alcohol on the breath,and a stagging

The effects of alcohol intoxication are greatly influenced by individual
variations among users. Some users may become intoxicated at a much lower Blood
Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level that I am about to show you. Along with
drinking their are different levels to it:

0.02-0.03 BAC: No loss of coorination,slight euphoria and loss of shyness.
Depressant effects are not apparent. 0.04-0.06 BAC: Feeling of well-being,
relaxation, lower inhibitions, sensation of warmth. Some minor impairment of
reasoning and memory, lowering of caution. 0.07-0.09 BAC: Slight impairment of
balance, speech, vision, reaction time, and hearing. Judgement and self-control
are reduced, and caution, reason and memory are impaired. 0.10-1.125 BAC:
Signficant impairment of moter coordination and loss of good judgement. Speech
may be slurred; balance, vision,reaction time and hearing will be impaired. (It
is illegal to operate a motor vehicle at this level of intoxication.) 0.13-0.15
BAC: Gross motor impairment and lack of physical control. BLurred vision and
major loss of balance. Euphoria is reduced and dysphoria beginning to appear.
0.16-0.20 BAC: Dysphoria (anxiety,restlessness) predominates, nausea may appear.
The drinker has the appearance of a "sloppy drunk." 0.25 BAC: Needs assistance
in walking; total mental confusion. Dysphoia with nausea and some vomiting. 0.30
BAC: Loss of consciousness. 0.40 BAC and up: Onset of coma,possible death due to
respiratory arrest.


A drink that contains a half-ounce of alcohol or more. The amount you
would problibly find in a 12 ounce can of beer, 4 ounce glass of table wine, 1
ounce shot of 100% destilled spirits such as whiskey or vodka. Generally this is
the amount of alcohol a person can metabolize in about an hour. But of course
it also depends on other stuff.

The way to see the amount of alcohol in someone is the Blood Alcohol
Content. The Blood Alcohol Content is measured in milligrams percent. For
example, a BAC of 10 means that one-tenth of 1% of your total blood content is
alcohol.This means that a BAC of 0.5 and below may give you a little buzz;a BAC
of .50 or greater may cause death.

Blood Alcohol Content depends on two things size,the bigger you are the
more blood you have to delute the alcohol, and it also depends on how fast you
drink it, the faster you drink the more your BAC goes up because your body
doesn't have as long to delute the alcohol.


Drinking a lot of something at one time is not really good for your
system, no matter what it is. Bringe drinking is drinking to get drunk, it is
what a lot of college people do. Drinking at least five drinks all in one
sitting. When they do this the side effects become more serious: vomiting,
dizziness, impaired mental capabilities,and hangovers. Those are only short
term reactions, others things that binge drinking influence are: athletic
performence, poor grades, sexual assault, fights, accidents, drinking and
driving, and other health risks. If you think that not a lot of people do this ,
it is about 50% of collage men and 37% of collage women are classified as binge
drinkers. A recent study show that studnts spend about $5.5 billion dollare on
alcohol each year. That is more than they spend on soda pop, tea, milk, juice,
coffee, and books combined.

Some of the things that go along with drink are you are more open to
getting diseases like sexually transmitted deseases, cancer and a lot more. But
one that a lot die from is alcohol poisoning.

Most people think that you cant overdose on alcohol, but you can. Binge
drinking may result in an overdose of alcohol, or alcohol poisoning. Alcohol
poisoning is a medical emergancy that requires immediate attention. It's
sometimes hard to tell if someone has passed out or is in a serious medical
danger. Here are some of the symptoms: -Does not respond to being talked to or
shouted at -Does not respond to being pinched,prodded or poked. -Cannot stand up
-Will not wake up -Slow labored or adnormal breathing -Skin has a purple color -
Skin feels clammy -Rapid pulse rate -Irregular heart rythem -Lowered blood
pressure Another common thing is choking to death on your own vomit after an
alcohol overdose. Death by asphyxiation occurs when alcohol depresses the body's
reflexes to the point that you cant vomit right.

Another thing that comes along with binge drinking is depression and
suicide. You get depressed so you drink and since alcohol is a depressant it
brings you down even more it brings you to the state of hopelessness. The toxic
effects of alcohol can manipulate you brains neuro-transmitters, which are
responsible for mood and judgement. This can plung you into deeper depression
and bring thought about suicide. It can also bring a cycle of drinking: the more
you drink the more depressed you become, and that makes you want to drink more.
Alcohol induced depression and hopelessness are characterized by self-pity,
social withdrawal, self reproah,a sence of guilt,and a retardation of normal
mental processes.



Fetal alcohol syndrome is a group of symptoms that can effect an infant
born to a mother who drinks during her pregnancy. The most serious is severe
mental retardation. Other effects are: -mild to moderate mental retardation -
central nervous system problems -small size,low birth weight or growth
retardation -facial or skull adnormalities such as: small head size, small eyes
and/or short eye openings, under-development of the upper lip with flat upper
lip ridges, thin upper lip and flat maxillary jaw area.

Fetal alcohol effects are thought to be not as bad as Fetal syndrome. It
may be something like a history of prenatal alcohol exposure. Learning and
behavior difficulties can be a severe as FAs. In both FAS and FAE, studies show
a positive relationship between degree of prenatal alcohol exposure and
physical birth defects, growth, brain and behavioral deficiencies. Some other
things show that in not as severe cases of FAS may deal with maturity,
abnormalities of the upper lip and small eye openings, short stuture,and small
head continue. Brain and behavioral deficits also continue including lower IQ
and a number of behavioral disorders.
Children with FAS and FAE are often described as hyperactive,
disstactible, or impulsive. they often have short attention spans similar to
attention deficit dirorder, but with lower IQ's particularly in the FAS child.
In addition to attention deficits, problems with judgement, comprehension, and
abstract think are common. Some new research says that kids with FAS and FAE
are more vulerable to alcohol exposure.
Another thing is newborns exposed to alcohol before birth may have a
weak sucking responce and irregular sucking patterns early in life. Some
describe them as easily distracted and fatigued when sucking. Sleep disturbance,
and jitteriness have also been reported in infants exposed to alcohol before
birth. Some studies also show that a higher incidence of impaired vision and
hearing, motor incoordination, and problem with balance are possible attibuted
to alcohol use by the mother before birth of the infant. Fetal exposure to
alcohol can also result in adnormal thyroid function and some decrease in the
immune system effectiveness.

No one is sure the role alcohol plays on the fetus, some of the
possiblities are: -Acetaldehyde which is the primary product when alcohol is
metabolized; -fetal malnutrition especially if the mother is undernourished.
Even when she haseaten the proper foods, the placenta may not beable to carry
yhese vitamins, minerals and other nutrients which are so important to the
developing fetus; -lack of oxygen due to less blood flow to the fetus through
the placenta; and -disturbance of prostaglandins which control normal blood flow
to the placenta.


You can not live with out your liver, it is the biggest organ in you
body. Although your organ is tough and meant for life it can easily be damaged
by alcohol. There are many types of liver disease shuch as:

-Viral hepatitis -Cirrhosis -Gallstones -Alcohol-related liver disorders -Cancer
of the liver

But there are three types of diseases of the liver you can get from alcohol:

- Fatty Liver -Alcoholic Hepatitis -Alcoholic Cirrhosis

Fatty liver this is the most common alcoholic-related liver disorder, causing
enlargment of the liver, abdominal discomfort and sometimes temporary jaundice
and liver malfunction. Abinence from alcohol can bring complete reversal and
cure without leaving residual cirrhosis.

Alcoholic hepatitis is an acute illness often characterized by nausea,
vomiting,abdominal pain, fever, jaundice, enlarged and tender liver, and an
elevation of the white blood cell count. Sometimes alcoholic hepatitis may be
present without symptoms. Once it develops, it progresses to cirrhosis if
alcohol comsumption continnues.

Alcoholic cirrhosis is permanent scar tissue, called cirrhosis, forms when the
liver cells are damaged by alcohol or drugs. Continued use of alcohol will
cause additional scarring and serious health problems. Some people are more
culnerable than others to this disease, which occurs in 10% to 15% of prople who
consume large amounts of alcohol over a long period of time.



The strongest link with alcohol involves cancers of the upper digestive
tract, including: -esophagus -mouth -pharynx -larynx. An estimated 75% of
esophageal cancers in the United States are attributable to chronic, exessive
alcohol comsumption. Nearly 50% of cancers of the mounth, pharynx and larynx
are associated with heavy drinking. People who drink large amounts of alcohol
over time have an increased rick of these cancers, compared with abstainers. If
they drink and smoke, the risk is even higher.


They say that woman's risk of developing breast cancer increases with
alcohol consumtion, as well as age. Particularly vulnerable are women over 50
who have been heavy drinkers over a period of years, their chances of
developing breast cancer are up to 18 times greater than non-drinkers. Research
indicates that alcohol may play an indirect role in this disease by increasing
estrogen levels in premenopausal women, whinh in turn may promote breast cancer.
Thus, for younger women to lessen their risk of breast cancer, dont drink, or at
least limit yourself to no more than one a day.


Reserchers say that women who average only two drinks a day, four days a
week, are 2 1/2 times more likely to develop melanomia than women who dont drink.
Experts recommend that women limit themselves to one drink a day, and men two
drinks a day.


Some studies have found a link between alcohol use and cancers of the: -
colon -stomach -pancreas -lungs.

Although theres no evidence that alcohol itelf is a caracinogen, it has been
associated with suppression of the human immune system


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