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What Alcoholism & Alcohol Abuse is all about

Alcoholism is a very serious disease, which can cause illness, death, injuries, schooling problems, family breakups, and crime. It is a proven fact the alcohol kills more people than any other illegal drugs combined. Yet alcohol courses freely through American society, from college bars to corporate lunches. In a recent article from a journal named: The Scientist it is stated “Technology shows alcohol abuse changes brain’s molecular programming and circuitry. ” Alcohol is a quick fix that will hurt us all in the long run.

There are many different types of drugs, anti-depressants, depressants, hallucinogenic Alcohol can be used to help people make decisions. “Alcohol is a depressant”(Exploring Psychology). “Small amounts of alcohol will enliven a drinker, by slowing brain activity that controls judgment and inhibitions”(Exploring Psychology). “Here is a harmful tendency that alcohol increases, sexually coercive college men try to disinhibit their dates by getting them to drink.

Also it is proven that people who go to a resuraunt for and extended period of time have the tendency to tip better when buzzed”(Exploring Psychology). Researchers have suspected for years that chronic alcohol abuse and alcoholism can change the programming within a human brain, particularly in the regions involving judgment, and making decisions. Throughout the years we have become susceptible to alcohol, everybody in the past decades and centuries drank. As to how much they drank we don’t know.

Within this study of the alcohol that affects our brains scientists have stated, ” Cell and animal studies have consistently indicated that changes in gene expression in the brain appear to be responsible for the tolerance, dependence, and neurotoxicity produced by chronic alcohol abuse”(The Boston Globe). To do this project the scientist had to breed a mouse that drank alcohol over water, and they did. Scientist have a new breed of mice that will drink alcohol over water.

When thinking of the effects of alcohol there are a few things that come to mind: slow reactions, speech slurs, and skilled performance deteriorate. One must consider genetic influences when judging an alcoholic. For example, adopted individuals are more susceptible to alcoholism if one or both biological parents had a history of alcoholism. Scientists have found a gene that is more common among alcoholics, especially severe alcoholics.

Also boys who at age 6 are excitable, impulsive, and fearless are more likely as teens to smoke, drink, and use other drugs. Alcoholism is a battle that far too many people are loosing. Results from the National Household Survey (U. S. Department of Health and Human Services 1998) suggest that as many as 40 million Americans drink more than the moderate drinking levels recommended by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (it varies for different sizes and sex) (NIAAA) (1995).

It is estimated that six million Americans persistently misuse alcohol, yet another eight million more are addicted, and one hundred humans throughout our nation will die each year from this”(Newsweek). Alcohol is one of the biggest causes of premature death in the United States. On average, people dying from alcohol- related causes lose twenty-six years from their normal life expectancy. “Each year Alcohol abuse costs our country a whopping $185 billion a year in everything from lost workdays to drunken driving accidents”(Newsweek).

Out of that $185 billion spent each year 10. 7% is medical, 37. 1% is illness, 34. 1% is death, 16% other, and 2. 1% are special conditions related. The four major problems with alcoholics are depression, memory loss, organ damage, and reduces self-awareness. Depression is a very serious issue, people who are depressed and drink on top of depression will do something they will regret the next day, think of suicide, and possibly get in a car while contemplating suicide.

The next day he or she will wake up and because of memory loss they will only remember certain things, and possibly forget everything they did. If continued for a long period of time alcoholics can encounter altars, liver cancer, stomach cancer, and other organ damage. This can lead to more depression, and problems with the family. Once the family finds out about the disease or damage one has done to his or her body the family members will frown upon wrong doings. One big problem with alcohol is that it is a legal substance. Yet many federal,

State, and local regulations restrict its use. For instance, new research has shown that states that reduce their legal blood alcohol level while driving to 0. 08 experience a significant drop in fatal crashes related to alcohol. “Back in 1990 3. 2 million arrests were made due to alcohol offenses”(substance Abuse). Some of the treatments that are provided by health care providers’ include Assessment and direct feedback, Negotiation and goal setting, Behavioral modification techniques, Self-help-directed bibliotherapy, and Follow-up and reinforcement.

First step, the health care provider assesses the patient’s alcohol use and the presence of alcohol-related problems using, for example, the four-item CAGE questionnaire. The provider then expresses his or her concern regarding the patient’s drinking pattern, linking; when appropriate, the alcohol use to a medical problem, such as high blood pressure or inflammation of the stomach lining. Then, The treatment provider and patient agree on a mutually acceptable goal for reducing alcohol use, which are the moderate drinking levels recommended by the NIAAA.

Thirdly, The health care provider helps the patient to identify high-risk situations in which drinking will likely occur, such as family celebrations or stressful situations at work. The provider also familiarizes the patient with coping techniques for managing such high-risk situations and with ways for establishing a support network to help in this process. Then, for reinforcement, the health care provider supplies the patient with informational materials on alcohol use and its associated problems as well as on behavioral modification exercises.

Lastly to ensure the long-term effectiveness of the brief intervention, the health care provider establishes a system for conducting supportive telephone consultation and follow up visits with the patient. In conclusion to alcoholism and alcohol abuse everybody who has an alcohol problem should hear everything contained within this paper. The number one drug killer is alcohol, even if all the deaths of overdoses were combined alcohol still makes up for more deaths. If you cannot drink responsibly you will pay for it in the long run.

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