Altered States of Consciousness

Alcohol

By: Karina Trujillo

Alcohol

Definition: a colorless, limpid, volatile, flammable, water-miscible liquid, having an etherlike odor and pungent, burning taste. It is the intoxicating principle of fermented liquors.

Side Effects

Short Term:

  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Blurry vision
  • Impaired judgement
Long Term:
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Brain damage
  • Heart related diseases
  • Liver disease
  • Nerve damage
  • Ulcers
  • Gastritis
  • Malnutrition
  • Cancer of the mouth and throat
  • Increased problems among family and friends.

Treatments

Real-Life Example

Bill Wilson

Abandoned by both his parents Wilson was raised by his maternal grandparents along with his sister. Wilson was a very smart and determined growing up becoming his schools football team captain and main violinist of its orchestra. In 1916 he was reinstated to serve and during his years as artillery officer he was invited by other officers to go out for dinner. Wilson's then had his first taste of alcohol, a beer, which didn't have much effect. Weeks later he drunk again this time some Bronx cocktails which in his book he wrote, " I had found the elixir of life". After that he started drinking more often and mentions in his book everyone drunk so much so it wasn't a big deal for him at the time. After finishing law school he failed to graduate because he was too drunk to pick up his diploma. So Wilson became a stock speculator but his business failed due to his excessive drinking once again which ruined his reputation. In 1933 Wilson attended Charles B. Town hospital for Drug and Alcohol Addictions in New York City four times but he was told that he would either die from his alcoholism or have to be locked up in order to stop drinking. Wilson didn't stop drinking until he had his treatment with the Belladonna cure during which he claimed to have had a "hot flash" spiritual conversion. After that Wilson tried helping other alcoholics though his belief that one could only become sore by having a spiritual experience. He became the primary author of the book Anonymous Alcoholics which listed twelve steps to spiritual growth and became co-founder of the Anonymous Alcoholics groups. Wilson didn't drink alcohol for the remainder of his life but the last days he was alive he asked to get whiskey and got furious when refused. He died in 1917 due to emphysema and pneumonia caused by his heavy smoking.

Interview

How often did he drink?

-He didn't drink enough to be classified as an alcoholic but he did drink excessively some days more than others.

How did his behavior change when under the influence of alcohol?

-He became very arrogant, didn't listen to others, more loud, constantly moving, more argumentative, and at times even violent.

How did he act the day after he drunk?

-He acted as if he hadn't drunk excessively, as if he had only a few beers yet and denied saying or doing any of the things he said said or done..

Did it affect his relationship with others?

-Yes, many of his friends preferred to stop talking to him because he tended to argue with them if they contradicted him when he was drunk.

Did he ever consider stopping himself from drinking alcohol permanently or reducing the amount of alcohol he consumed?

-Not really, his consumption of alcohol varied, sometimes he drunk one or two beers and other times he didn't even eat because he only wanted to continue drinking.

Do you think he needs professional help?

-Honestly thought he could stop or reduce the amount of alcohol he drunk if he really wanted to without any help.

Citations

"alcohol." Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 10 Oct. 2015. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/alcohol>.


"Bill W." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2015. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_W.>.


"Short- & Long-Term Effects of Alcohol." Foundation for a Drug Free World, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.

<http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/alcohol/short-term-long-term-effects.html>.


"Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help." Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2015. <http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/Treatment/treatment.htm#chapter02>.