By: Kaamna, Harleen and Ravneet
What is Alcohol?
Alcohol is usually in liquid form but can be a solvent or fuel (Wagner,H 2003 pg 4). Ethyl alcohol is the type of alcohol that people drink. Ethyl alcohol is made by fermentation, this is when tiny microorganisms change the sugar and starch in natural products (e.g. fruits, grains and potatoes) to make ethyl alcohol. Different alcoholic beverages are fermented with different natural products. Beer is fermented with grains and wine is fermented with grapes. Alcohol is the most widely used drug in the world. People drink at celebrations, religious ceremonies and other special occasions (Teen Health and Wellness. 2016).
- Cold One
- Giggle Juice
- Hard Stuff
When consuming alcohol it effects many organs inside your body. It effects the brain, heart, stomach, liver and reproductive system the most.
It makes it hard to think and remember since alcohol interrupts the pathway to communication. This also effects the way you move/behave since it takes a while for your brain to get the message you want to move something for example an arm. This is why drinking and driving is illegal because you are not thinking right and your reflexes are slow (Alcohol’s Effects on the Body).
Drinking a lot can damage the heart. The arteries near the heart can block by the alcohol (more risky if the drug is mixed) which causes strokes(Alcohol’s Effect on the Body). You can also get a stroke because of the high blood pressure which is a result of (Tanner, J .2008 September 28) heart muscle is stretched or decreased which is called Cardiomyopathy. It as well causes irregular heart beat(Alcohol’s Effect on the Body).
Alcohol causes extra weight on the stomach (which is called beer belly) and since it is toxic it causes vomiting and ruins the inside of the stomach which can cause cancer (Alcohol’s Effects on the Body).
The livers job is to clean out the poisons out of your body, but since alcohol is toxic it effects the liver the most. The liver can no longer to its job due to, too much intake of alcohol can take a toll on the organ. This can cause diseases on the liver including one of the most cancers that are developed because of alcohol and can cause your liver to not function properly and you may need a new one (Alcohol’s Effects on the Body).
Immune system is a system that helps you fight diseases but when too much alcohol is consumed it can cause it to become weak which means you become an easy target to diseases (Alcohol’s Effects on the Body).
Reproductive system for females
Drinking heavily can cause irregular periods, painful cramps and a heavy flow. Alcohol also clouds your judgment which can cause you to have sex with someone you barely know. You could contract an STI from this person or depending on your cycle you could end up being pregnant (Hays, J. 2013)
When too much alcohol is consumed you know it effects the brain, but if way to much alcohol is consumed the toxic drink can cause you to go into coma. Since it can slow your brain function and causes loss of oxygen to the brain, which leads to brain damage and possible coma (The National Institute. 2011)
Long and Short Term Effects
The long term effects occur when you drink alcohol often for a long period of time. One effect is that your body can handle more alcohol. This may seem like a good thing but this can lead to alcoholism. You can have high blood pressure if you drink for a long time. High blood pressure increases your chances of having a stroke or heart disease. Drinking for a long period of time can effect you mentally too. Drinking can cause anxiety and/or depression. This because you can develop a dependency towards alcohol. Trying to stop drinking could cause you to develop anxiety and/or depression (Raman-Wilms, L. pg 450).
Short Term Effects
Some short term effects are felt immediately, but others are not felt until the next day. One short term effect is a increase in confidence. With this increase of confidence, you don't think before you act. People do not get drunk off the same amount of alcohol, many different factors play into how much alcohol you can handle. This can cause you to do things you may regret when you are sober. The day after you drank you may experience a hangover. You may have just a headache and a dry throat or you might be vomiting because of your hangover. The older you get the worse your hangovers get. In your 20's you be able to drink a lot without having a bad hangover but in your 40's you might not drink a lot and you might end up vomiting the next day (Raman-Wilms, L. pg 450).
Laws About Alcohol in Canada
Under Age Drinking
Canada has laws on alcohol like any other drug out there. in Canada every province and or territory makes their own laws on legal age for drinking, purchasing and possessing. In Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec the legal age to drink or purchase alcohol is 18 and for the rest of the provinces and territories in Canada the legal age is 19 (Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse 2016). If caught underage drinking the alcohol will be taken away, the minor will be fined and their parents would be notified (Youth Impaired Driving. 2014).
Drinking and Driving
In Canada motor vehicle crashes are mostly caused because of the influence of alcohol (Russell 2010). To prevent this Canada has made a law stating drinking and driving is illegal. If a citizen is caught drinking and driving some of the consequences include fine up to $50-$600, criminal charges, licenses suspension, possible jail time and can be sentenced to driver rehab. If the intoxicated individual gets into a car crash that leads into a death of another civilian that individual will be charged with manslaughter which then the individual can be sentenced for 10 years in prison with chance of parole after serving half the sentence. (Youth Impaired Driving. 2014). As well in Canada it is a criminal offense to have 0.08 alcohol in the blood of the driver which is 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood. Drinkers that have a lower amount of alcohol in their blood are dealt with under provincial and territorial acts. If over the 0.08 amount the drinker can get sentenced to 5 years in jail max (Canada Safety Council).
Using a Fake ID for Alcohol
If you are not old enough to drink you cannot buy alcohol either. If you are caught buying alcohol with a fake ID anywhere in Canada the ID is confiscated and whoever gave you the ID will suffer consequences. You will also be banned from the store/bar and you will be fined (Youth Impaired Driving. 2014).
Buying for a Minor
Even though minors are not allowed to buy alcohol, people of age cannot buy it for them. If you do supply a minor with alcohol you could be fined up to $200 000 and/or you could receive jail time. If anything happens to the minors while under the influence from the alcohol you gave them, you are held responsible for it (Youth Impaired Driving. 2014).
- 83% of Ontario students in grade 12 admit to using alcohol
- 49% of Ontario students in grade 12 admit to binge drinking
- Ontario grade 11 drinkers say, first exposure to alcohol was the average age of 13, and the first time drinking was an average age of 14.
- Most commonly abused substance in Canada.
- 3/4 of the population drink and 4-5 million who are heavy drinkers
- 24% of criminals that entered federal custody (spent 2 years or more years in prison) report having alcohol in their system when they commited the crime
- In 2002, 36% of total costs of substance abuses was alcohol related - MADD Canada
- Car crashes, liver cirrhosis, suicides, oesophageal cancer, and arrhythmias are the most common alcohol-related deaths. — MADD Canada
Signs of Addiction
- feel guilty after drinking
- want to drink again after 24 hours of your last drink
- lie or hide that you are drinking from people
- drinking because you want to feel relaxed
- have memory loss of what you did while drinking
- drink more than twice a week
- drinking because you have nothing better to do
When you drink a lot your body gets used to that toxic and starts to react when sober. Some symptoms are ...
Most addicts like to deny their addiction, so if you see someone with these symptoms don't bother them but suggest help and if they don't want help you can help them cut down their drinks in a week and show them a better way to live than drinking. If these individuals are not helped it will cause them health problems in the long term (Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse).
Help For Alcohol Addicts
Peel Addiction Assessment and Referral Centre
Location: Peel Regional Road 4 Mississauga, Ontario
302-5170 Dixie Road Mississauga Ontario L4W 1E3
Phone: 905 629 1007
Fax: 905 629 8377
(Peel Addiction Assessment and Referral Centre (PAARC) )
Substance Use & Abuse Quiz – Alcohol
The following questions are true and false questions, answer with ‘T’ for true and ‘F’ for false. (1 mark each)
1. ____ Juice is another word for alcohol.
2. ____ Alcohol is the most widely used drug in the world.
3. ____ In Ontario the legal age for consuming, purchasing and possessing is 19.
4. ____ Giggle Juice is another word for alcohol.
5. ____ Alcohol can be bought anywhere including grocery stores in Ontario.
6. ____ Drinking alcohol can lead to high blood pressure.
7. ____ Hangovers get worse as you get older.
8. ____ One short term effect of alcohol is alcoholism.
9. ____If you are caught with a fake ID it will not be confiscated.
10. ____The extra weight on the stomach caused by alcohol is called a whiskey gut.
The following questions are multiple choice, circle one answer. (1 mark each)
1. Drinking and driving can lead to…
A) Licence suspension
B) Fine from $50-$600
C) Criminal charges
D) All of the above
2. ________ is a province or territory that has its legal drinking age set to 18.
B) Nova Scotia
3. If you buy alcohol for a minor you could be charged up to____.
A) $200 000
B) $500 000
4. Which one of the following street names is NOT commonly used for alcohol?
A) Giggle juice
B) Hard stuff
D) Cold one
5. Physiological effects of alcohol include the harming of what organs?
C) Female reproductive system
D) All of the above
6. Long term effect of alcohol include..
C) Liver cancer
D) None of the above
7. British Columbia’s legal drinking age is…
8. When using a fake ID …
A) ID is confiscated
B) Banned from bar/store
C) 10 years in prison
D) A & B
9. What percent of grade 12’s in Ontario have admitted to drinking?
10. Most alcoholics …
A) Tell people they are drinking
B) Deny the fact they are alcoholics
C) Drink on special occasions
D) Don't drink more than twice a week
The following questions are short answers ….
1. Provide 3 signs of alcohol addiction. (2 marks each)
2. If your friend (who is a minor) wants to start drinking alcohol, what should they know before they start to drink? (4 marks)
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