The Many Effects of Alcohol

By: David Peters

Drinking alcohol is dangerous for kids and teens and sometimes for adults, too. Alcohol is a drug, and it is the drug most abused by teens. Many kids have their first drink at an early age, as young as 10 or 11 or even younger. They may have seen their parents drink or cool ads for beer and wine. It's easy for a kid to get the wrong message about alcohol. In TV commercials, drinking looks like a lot of fun. You might see people drinking and watching sports together or having a big party. But alcohol is actually a depressant. That means it's a drug that slows down or depresses the brain. Like many drugs, alcohol changes a person's ability to think, speak, and see things as they really are. A person might lose his or her balance and have trouble walking properly. The person might feel relaxed and happy and later start crying or get in an argument. Kids need to know that it is not okay to start drinking until they are of legal age and even then it is not recommended.

Driving while either intoxicated or drunk is dangerous and drivers with high blood alcohol content (BAC) are at increased risk of car accidents, highway injuries and vehicular deaths. Prevention measures evaluated include license suspension or revocation, impounding or confiscating vehicle plates, enforcing open container bans, increasing penalties such as fines or jail for drunk driving, mandating education for young people, and lowering legal BACs. Also discussed are safety seat belts, air bags, designated drivers, and effective practical ways to stay sober.Volunteer to be a designated driver. Never condone or approve of excessive alcohol consumption. Intoxicated behavior is potentially dangerous and never amusing. Don't ever let your friends drive drunk. Take their keys, have them stay the night, have them ride home with someone else, call a cab, or do whatever else is necessary - but don't let them drive! There are about 25,000 deaths a year, be careful with your friends and family in the car.

Alcohol gets to be that reckless part of you, that alter ego that appears like a black sheep of the family, only to rain on your parade. It's the kind of friend that moves in uninvited, steals your food, makes out with your girlfriend and doesn't pay a dime in rent. The perennial bad tenant, that wrecks your property, lets weeds grow in your garden and then only departs when forcibly evicted. But above all it's a substance that wrecks your health and causes so much unnecessary suffering, a drug you willingly pour down your neck for the sake of sociability and to block out the daily pounding of life. It's not until you can see it for what it is, an interloper in an otherwise beautiful existence that you realize that this substance takes on a life of its own, once you allow it to enter your body.

Occasionally families and hard workers discover on their own that alcohol is hurtful in their daily lives, contributing useless hardships to the normal day or week. Finding yourself worrying about your habits means you might actually be having a problem drinking. This is the point when you should seek professional help from therapists or rehab facilities. There are several ways you can test if you drinking has become out of personal control. A simple 20 question test on your daily habits in life will usually look like this: "Have you not been able to go to work because of drinking?" and "Have you avoided friends and family because of drinking?" Almost all qualified people say that if you answer 'yes' to any of the 20 inquiries you should see qualified help. The first step to abolishing of an issue is knowing that there is an issue to abolish.

hat most alcoholics don't realize is that their obsession is actually chemical, and with every chemical problem actions can be taken. It is the most difficult to treat but it is still doable. Once an alcoholic has gone to a rehabilitation center, the very first thing they will do is detoxify the alcohol. Other wise know as an alcohol detox which is a period of medically monitored treatment where the alcoholic is helped to overcome his/her physical addiction to alcohol. If the addiction is really bad the person will experience cold sweats and severe seizures. The patient just has to work through this part, there isn't a way to get around it. The next step is rehabilitation often know as rehab. This is generally just therapy after the initial treatment is over. Relapse prevention is also included. The entire process is uncomfortable but when you are through you will be able to live your life free and well again.

All people attempting to abstain from alcohol find that it is quite difficult. When you drink continually you start to become addicted, if you stop it in the beginning you may be able to stop something that could be devastating in the future. Health problems easily grow from drinking too much. Continuing your abstinence is extremely important to not start up a habit again. A lot of people think that just decreasing the amount of alcohol they drink will be just fine. The Alcoholics Anonymous group use the strategy of complete abstinence from alcohol. Keeping away from alcohol in the first place is probably the best bet. But know, if you ever need help breaking the habit, you are not alone.

If you are alcohol dependent you have a strong desire for alcohol. Sometimes the desire is overwhelming. Even if you want to stop drinking, it is difficult because of the withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms include: feeling sick, trembling, sweating, craving for alcohol, and just feeling awful. Convulsions occur in a small number of cases. As a result, you drink alcohol regularly and 'depend' on it to prevent these symptoms. If you do not have any more alcohol the withdrawal symptoms usually last 5-7 days, but a craving for alcohol may persist longer. The severity of dependence can vary. It can develop gradually and become more severe. You may be developing alcohol dependence if you: often have a strong desire to drink alcohol. spend a lot of you time in activities where alcohol is available. For example, if you spend a lot of time at the social club or pub or neglect other interests or pleasures because of alcohol drinking. If you are alcohol dependent you are usually 'tolerant' to the effect of alcohol. This means that you need more alcohol to notice any effects and to become drunk. This can make things worse as it tends to make you drink even more.

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