Alcohol Addiction

Think Before You Drink

What is Alcohol?

Alcohol is classified as a depressant when consumed in large amounts. The alcohol you drink is called Ethyl Alcohol which is produced by the fermentation of grains and fruits. Alcohol can be found in any bars and even sold in stores. In small amounts such as a glass of wine a night is actually good for your health. On the other hand, binge drinking is a big problem that leads to serious consequences. Binge drinking is defined as drinking more than five drinks at one time for a man, or drinking four or more drinks at one time for a woman. You might also know alcohol by its street names: booze, liquor, nightcaps, and white lightening.


How do I know if I'm addicted?

You know your addicted when you crave a strong need or a compulsion to drink. When you have the inability to limit one's drinking on any given occasion. Your addicted when you experience withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety, this occur when you stop the consuming of alcohol after a period of heavy drinking. Also creating a tolerance, when you need more than one drink to get the same effect. Serious dependence can head to life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.

What kind of effects does alcohol have on your body?

Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream by small blood vessels in the walls of the stomach and small intestine. Within minutes of consuming your alcoholic beverage, it travels from your stomach to your brain and you starts slowing your nerve cell reactions.

20% of alcohol is absorbed through the stomach. Most of the remaining 80% is absorbed through the small intestine.

Alcohol is also carried by the bloodstream to your liver. The liver tries to eliminate the alcohol from the bloodstream by a process called metabolizing. Your liver can only filter out so much alcohol, the remainder of it continues to circulate in your bloodstream.

When the amount of alcohol in the blood exceeds a certain level, the respiratory system slows down markedly, and can cause a coma or death, because oxygen no longer reaches the brain.
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You could be putting your life and others lives on the road at risk with driving drunk. These are real people in this article with real experiences and terrifying life consequences.

Using statistics to Stop

  • Youth who drink are 7.5 times more likely to use other illegal drugs and 50 times more likely to use cocaine than young people who never drink. One survey found that 32% of the heavy drinkers over 12 were also illegal drug users.
  • In 2005, 6.6% of the US population aged 12 or older, or 16 million people, reported heavy drinking (binge drinking on at least five days of the past 30 days).
  • Of the 3.9 million Americans who received treatment for a substance abuse problem in 2005, 2.5 million of them were treated for alcohol use.
  • Alcohol-related traffic deaths in the US were 12,998 in 2007. This is more than three times a many American soldiers who died in combat in the first six years of the Iraq war.
  • There are 1.4 million drunk driving arrests in the US every year.


How much alcohol is actually in my drink?

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What are short term affects of alcohol?

Depending on how much is taken and the physical condition of the individual, alcohol can cause:

  • slurred speech
  • drowsiness
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • upset stomach
  • headaches
  • breathing difficulties
  • distorted vision and hearing
  • impaired judgment
  • decreased perception and coordination
  • unconsciousness
  • anemia (loss of red blood cells)
  • coma
  • blackouts (memory lapses, where the drinker cannot remember events that occurred while under the influence)

What are long term affects of alcohol?

Binge drinking and continued alcohol use in large amounts are associated with many health problems, including:

  • unintentional injuries such as car crash, falls, burns, drowning
  • intentional injuries such as firearm injuries, sexual assault, domestic violence
  • increased on-the-job injuries and loss of productivity
  • increased family problems, broken relationships
  • alcohol poisoning
  • high blood pressure, stroke, and other heart-related diseases
  • liver disease
  • nerve damage
  • sexual problems
  • permanent damage to the brain
  • vitamin B, deficiency, which can lead to a disorder characterized by amnesia, apathy and disorientation
  • ulcers
  • gastritis (inflammation of stomach walls)
  • malnutrition
  • cancer of the mouth and throat


Why do people drink?

People take drugs because they want to change something in their lives. For some examples, they drink to fit in, escape or relax, to relieve boredom, to seem grown up, to rebel, or to experience. No matter what problem you are facing it is not as bad as the problem alcohol addiction will cause you.

How do I get help?

Contact one of the many clinics that are eager to help you

  • 4rehablitation hotline- 1888-738-9906
  • Watershed Addiction Treatment Programs- www.thewatershed.com
  • The Holistic Addiction Treatment Program- 866-747-1527
  • Alcohol Abuse Treatment Programs- 855-841-2449


References

  • "Facts About Alcohol," U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
  • "Alcohol and Underage Drinking," School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University