Alcohol and Teens

Alcohol, which causes more teenage deaths than any other commonly used drug in the United States, is the leading teenage gateway drug. Gateway drugs are substances that people take which, in many cases, lead to those people taking more drugs. Alcohol, smoking and marijuana are the most obvious gateway drugs. Studies show that if you smoke tobacco or pot, you’re more likely to try things like crystal meth or cocaine or heroin. Many people see alcohol and pot as less dangerous and harmful than other drugs, but the truth is, they are just as dangerous as any other drug in more ways than one.

Not only are alcohol and pot dangerous in their own right, they also screw up your judgment making you more likely to use other drugs. (Cite) Gateway drugs work in two major ways. The first, gateway drugs break down a psychological barrier against doing other drugs. Once you have crossed the line with a gateway drug, you are more likely to go there with other drugs. Second, Gateway drugs impair your judgment. If you are drunk or high, you are more likely to say yes to cocaine or whatever other drug is around. These drugs break down your inhibitions, so you are more susceptible to peer pressure and experimenting.

Cite) They do not just impair your judgment when you are on them they can change the way you feel about drugs in general. Unbelievably, alcohol is the most abused is drug. From pastures to unsupervised parties at home, the social calendars of most teens are full of alcohol. Other drugs rise and fall in popularity from generation to generation, but alcohol never really goes out of style. From being worshiped by the ancient Babylonians to being forbidden to teenagers, alcohol has caused many problems. Today, drinking is the drug of choice by teens and causes more wrecks and deaths today of teens (Cite).

To understand alcohol people must first know the history of alcohol, the effects of teen drinking, and the solutions to teen drinking. Teenagers rarely think before they do many things. Many times teenagers go to big blowouts or little parties with their friends. Their first thought is not about death, their grades, or alcoholism; their main purpose is to get drunk fast and sober up before going home by their set curfews. At parties, teenagers have an average of five or more beers in one night. In the United States teenage drinking has become a major problem, with about 3. illion teens as problem drinkers.

One-fourth of all seventh through twelfth graders admit to drinking at least once a week (Nielson, Nancy. Teen Alcoholism. San Diego: Lucent Books, Inc. , 1990). About forty percent of twelfth graders said they had one episode of heavy drinking in the past two weeks. Although no one knows why teens turn to drinking, various studies show that the amount of alcohol changes by their geographical location (Nielsen). Addiction is an illness in which a person seeks and consumes a substance, such as alcohol, tobacco or a drug, despite the fact that it causes harm.

In order to fully understand addiction, we must first understand why or how one could become addicted. Peer pressure, curiosity, attraction, release of inhibitions and relaxation are some of the reason of addiction. The first thing you must understand about addiction is that mind-altering drugs are basically painkillers. For drugs to be attractive to a person, there must first be some underlying unhappiness, sense of hopelessness, or physical pain. A person has some problem, sense of unhappiness or hopelessness, or physical discomfort. It could be a teenager experiencing his or her first romantic rejection.

A teen tries or uses drugs, to solve a problem. By using the drug a person feels there able to cope with the problem, and become valuable to them. A teenager gradually increases the usage of the drug, because it makes them feel better. Whatever problem they were initially trying to solve by using drugs fades from memory. At this point all they can think about is the drug, and lose the ability to control the usage and disregards the horrible consequences of the addiction. After 1996, the U. S. beer industry had consistent growth with about 3,500 brands on the market in 2002 (www. MADD. org). Imagine that you are the parent of a teenager.

You have just found out that your son or daughter drinks and that he or she has been going to unsupervised parties quite frequently. You decide to step in and do something to help your child. How about having the parties in the safety of your own home with parental supervision so the kids can be safe while they drink? You can even make the kids sleep at your house so they wont drink and drive. This sounds like a great plan, right? Many parents believe so. They reason that since their child is already drinking or will drink in the near future, at least they can make sure he/she is safe while doing it.

The fact of the matter is it the right thing to do to make sure their children are safe? By letting their children drink in safety, the parents are setting a horrible example for the children; they are endangering their children, they are endangering themselves, and they are making the problem worse. Drinking under the age of twenty one is illegal. By letting kids break the law in their own home, parents are showing their teenagers that it is okay to break the law. The parents show that they dont agree with the law, so they are going to break it.

This is a horrible example for teenagers. It also says to the teen that its okay that you drink. Once a teen gets approval from their parents, theyll be more likely to drink anytime. What if there isnt a supervised party this weekend? Do you think that will stop these teenagers from going to an unsupervised one? They can easily go out and make their own party. Today, about sixty six percent of teenagers that drink can buy their own alcohol (Cite). The short and long term effects alcohol has can impair students physically and mentally, impacting their education and health.

In other words, the person’s mental and physical abilities are impaired (Cite). Ethanol is a certain type of depressant alcohol that is responsible for these abnormalities. Depressants give the feeling of intoxication because they restrain the brains ability to communicate with the rest of the body. The intensity of the effects varies from person to person and depends on the amount of alcohol that is absorbed into the bloodstream. For example, if a person has a few drinks, ethanol can make him or her more sociable, increase confidence, or slightly decrease concentration and coordination.

While drinking, the logical thought process can become disrupted without much notice, leading to unintended situations (Cite). Before the age of 18, approximately one in four children is exposed to family alcoholism or addiction. Children of alcoholics are significantly more likely to initiate drinking during adolescence and to develop alcohol abuse disorders. Parents’ drinking behaviors and favorable attitudes about drinking have been associated with adolescents’ initiating and continuing drinking (Cite).

Research studies indicate that children are less likely to drink when their parents are involved with them. Adolescents drink less and have fewer alcohol-related problems when their parents discipline them consistently and set clear expectations. Older siblings alcohol use can influence the alcohol use of younger siblings in the family, particularly for same sex siblings. (Cite MADD) Teenagers often times deal with pressures from homework, love, money, parents and teachers. However, one of the things that pressures them the most is how to fit in with their peers.

We call it peer pressure. Simple enough, it is exactly what it says pressures from your peers or friends. Peer pressure is major reason most teenagers begin drinking. Why? Either because they have persuaded you or because all your friends are doing it. Do you remember the last time your parents declined your requests, and you said something like But everybody has it or But everybody does that? When you say that, you are really saying that you want to fit in with your peers. Parents and youngsters often use the idea of peer pressures to explain the way teenagers behave.

Sometimes, it is an excuse for teens to do things they know they shouldnt be doing. Millions of American teenagers drink alcohol. But sadly enough, many teenagers discover too late that drinking cannot solve any of their problems. Teenage drinking is now one of the most serious problems that young people face. In 1977, Senator Frank J. Dodd stated: Alcoholism is one of the greatest health problems in the United States and is one that afflicts individuals in virtually all social and economic categories and varying age groups (Cite).

From the time children reach the age of 13 , 63 percent of the boys and 54 percent of the girls have at least tried their first alcoholic beverage. (Cite) Alcohol use substantially increases each year throughout junior and senior high school. By the twelfth grade, 93 percent of the young men and 87 percent of the young women have at least tried one drink. Thirty percent of these students had five or more drinks in a row within the previous two weeks. (MADD) The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that: By the time teenagers reach twelfth grade, more than half of them drink alcohol at least once a week.

Nearly half of all teenagers who drink say that they have been drunk at least once compared to only 19 percent twenty years ago; Five percent admit they get drunk once a week or more often; Thirty-four percent say their drinking habit has created problems with school, friends, or police (Cite). Its easy to see why alcohol has become the leading gateway drug in teen society. They are products of their environment along with their peers. Makes me wonder why after so many teenage deaths due to the results of alcohol, teens just cant learn.

The Breathalyzer

Recently at Longmeadow High School it became mandatory to pass an “alcohol-screening test” before entering a school dance. This breathalyzer will detect alcohol on one’s breath. No student that has been drinking will be admitted to the event. Longmeadow High School has recently purchased breathalyzers which teacher chaperones administer to all students entering a school function. This issue has brought about much conflict. Many people see it as a positive thing; however, the breathalyzer at school dances should be eliminated.

A dance is a sage, chaperoned place for students to hang out but the breathalyzer is turning many away from attending these dances. Many students feel as if the breathalyzer is an invasion of their privacy and reject the idea completely. Many parents favor it because they do not want their children drinking at all. The breathalyzer should be eliminated because it drives kids to more dangerous situation, it leads to an increased usage of other drugs and it decreases school spirit and profit.

Residents of the town of Longmeadow are very aware that “Longmeadow teens are outperforming teens nationwide” in their consumption of alcohol. Committees have been formed within the community to eliminate the under-aged drinking problem. Many students interviewed at Longmeadow high school say that once they have adapted to a “party lifestyle”, or a lifestyle when one drinks every weekend or more, a breathalyzer is not going to end that habit. A school dance could be a fun place to meet with friends to socialize, hang out and dace, but many people feel that they cannot enjoy themselves as much with out drinking.

One LHS student says ” I’d have more fun at a house party drinking that I would at an alcohol-free school function. ” This idea may not be morally or legally correct, but it keeps many students from attending school dances. This is where the problem with the breathalyzer begins. Kids who want to drink will go to unsupervised environments rather than to a place where there are adults who could handle a serious situation should one ever occur. It is not legal for kids to drink because they are not capable of dealing with serious situations.

The problem of stopping kids from drinking in Longmeadow is much too large for anyone to deal with, but drunken kids should have a safe place to go where they can be watched over. Students who choose not to attend the dance because of the breathalyzer instead will invade a person’s house for a party, or will drive around drinking. Drunken kids are careless so it does not take them too long to trash a family’s home during a party when the parents are only out for the evening. Drunk Driving is one of the leading causes of death in our nation.

These situations are very dangerous and if kids felt more comfortable at chaperoned functions, which they would if there wasn’t a breathalyzer, then they would stay out of much more trouble and have someone responsible to go to for help if needed. Many kids are self-conscious about their appearance of dancing abilities. One LHS student says “drinking helps me to relax more at dances to have a good time so I don’t have to worry about how I look or act. Some students really enjoy daces and feel like they have much more fun when they are intoxicated.

The breathalyzer only screens for alcohol and most students are aware of that. Therefore, many turn to other types of drugs to increase their enjoyment at school dances. Kids who usually just drink will turn to drugs, such as marijuana, which in the future could increase their dependence on other illegal substances. The breathalyzer will create a whole new substance abuse problem among the children in the town of Longmeadow. Some students just won’t attend the dance at all due to the breathalyzer. Dances tend to be a place for students to reach out of their comfort zone and socialize with different groups of people.

When there is very low attendance at a dance, students aren’t able to do this to create a much-desired sense of school unity. Dances also promote a sense of school spirit that will not be achieved if students do not attend the dances due to the breathalyzer. Most dances are also fundraisers for a specific class. If attendance at school dances decreases, which is has since the breathalyzer has been introduced, so does profit. As a class reaches it’s senior year it will not have as much money as desired for the many senior obligations and activities. Under-aged drinking in Longmeadow is a problem that the breathalyzer cannot stop.

Many students have voiced their opinions on this topic and authorities know that once one starts drinking every weekend, chances are no one is going to make them stop. Instead of pushing kids away from school functions, a safe, chaperoned environment should be offered to all. If one drinks too much then they have a problem. Just because someone has a problem doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a chance to have a good time like everyone else. The breathalyzer should be eliminated from school dances. The breathalyzer will lead kids to party in unsafe environments, push them towards other drugs and decrease school spirit and profit.

Adolescent Alcohol Abuse

Over the years, many researchers have dedicated their time and energy to study adolescent alcohol abuse. They have found that there are many factors that contribute to adolescent alcohol abuse. These factors are psychological, environmental, social, and cultural. Not all of these factors play a part in every adolescent who abuses alcohol, but one of these factors is usually present. Psychological disorders have been found in both American, and Taiwan adolescents who abuse alcohol. The health risks of adolescent alcohol abuse are great. Alcohol affects the physiology of a young person.

It disrupts the genetics and hormonal balances that are critical in the early development of youngsters. Treatment of alcohol abuse is a great state of change and development. Many therapists, doctors and counselors are trying to incorporate new treatment ideas and methods into the traditional techniques that have been used for years now. It is important to research the factors that contribute to adolescent alcohol abuse because if these factors are detected early, and an adolescent is put into a prevention program the likelihood that they will abuse alcohol will greatly decrease.

Psychological Factors According to the research, there have been many psychological problems found in adolescents who abuse alcohol. The majority of the research has been done in order to solve the question of whether or not these psychological factors are present before an adolescent abuses alcohol, or after the alcohol abuse has occurred. In the research done by Rhode, Lewinsohn, and Seeley (1996), they used a community sample of 1,507 adolescents between the ages of fourteen and eighteen. The adolescents were classified into the categories of abstainers, experimenters, social drinkers, problem drinkers, and abuse and/or dependent groups.

In this study, 373 subjects met the criteria for depression, 15 were bipolar, 93 suffered from manic core symptoms, and 124 had an anxiety disorder (Rhode et al. , 1996). Furthermore, anxiety disorder and depression were psychological disorders that were more prevalent in female adolescents with alcohol abuse than their male counterparts. Males who abused alcohol tended to suffer from antisocial personality disorder. It is believed that females who suffer from anxiety disorder or depression use alcohol as a self-medication to make them feel better.

According to Clark, and Bukstein (1998), one form of antisocial disorder known as conduct disorder lead adolescents to act out and seek out new experiences. This is probably the reason why adolescent males with an antisocial disorder turn to alcohol abuse. According to Rhode (et al. , 1996), More than 80% of adolescents with an alcohol use disorder had another psychiatric disorder…. (p. 106). In his study, the alcohol abuse tended to follow rather than proceed the psychiatric disorder. From this, it can be concluded that certain psychological disorders such as antisocial disorder, and depression are a factor in adolescent alcohol abuse.

Environmental Factors Many studies have focused on the environmental factors that adolescents are exposed to, and how these factors lead to alcohol abuse. The aim of a study performed by Clark, Lesnick, and Hegedus (1997), Was to examine trauma history and other adverse life events in adolescents with alcohol dependence or abuse and to compare them with a sample of community-dwelling adolescents without alcohol use disorder (p. 1746). This study included 256 adolescents between the ages of fourteen and eighteen (Clark et al. , 1997). Adolescents who abused, or were dependent on alcohol reported more traumas then those in the control group.

The types of abuse experienced by males and females tended to differ. Females experienced more sexual abuse, and males tended to be victims of violent acts. Both sexual abuse victims, and victims of violent acts showed increased amounts of alcohol use than those adolescents who were not abused in any way. If subjects experienced a number of traumas, they tended to abuse alcohol more than those that experienced only one trauma or no trauma at all. From this study, it can be concluded that trauma and abuse leads to adolescent alcohol abuse. Social Factors

A study done on Hispanic and Black adolescents in the New York inner cities concluded that there were indeed social factors that contributed to adolescent alcohol abuse. The study used a sample of 4,874 Hispanic and African American seventh graders. The purpose of the study was to identify the social risk factors that promote adolescent alcohol abuse in Hispanic and African American (Epstein, Botvin, Baker, & Diaz, 1999). If an adolescents friends tended to drink on a consistent basis, he/she showed a greater amount of alcohol abuse than those who did not associate with friends who did drink alcohol.

Also, family members play a major part in adolescent alcohol abuse. The family is another social factor that contributes to adolescent alcohol abuse. If an adolescent saw their parent consume alcohol, they also tended to abuse alcohol. Parents were not the only family members that influenced adolescent alcohol abuse; siblings also had an influence. If a sibling abused alcohol, the adolescent models this abuse. Their findings were present in both Hispanic and African American adolescents. Cultural factors

In the study done by Epstein and her collogues, cultural differences were also a factor in adolescent with alcohol abuse. According to Epstein (et al. , 1999), Hispanic adolescents consumed more alcohol per drinking occasion and had greater intention to drink in the future than black adolescents. This was true when the models were tested separately for girls and boys (p. 16). The use of alcohol among Hispanics could be due to the fact that it may be a cultural practice that allows an adolescent to identify with their culture. Religion is another cultural factor that plays a role in adolescent alcohol abuse.

African American religions consider the consumption of alcohol a sin, so if an African American practices in their religion they are less likely to abuse alcohol than someone who does not practice their religion. However, this was not a factor for Hispanic adolescent alcohol abuse. A final cultural difference may be that more Hispanic adolescents have immigrated to this country in past years than black adolescents have. Therefore Hispanic adolescents have had the added stress of adapting to a new society. In turn Hispanic adolescents turn to alcohol abuse as a way of coping with their increased stress. Taiwan

All of the studies mentioned above were performed in the United States. However, there have been studies done in other countries on adolescent alcohol abuse. One study was done on adolescents living in Taiwan. The results were very interesting. Many of the factors that are presents in American adolescents were also found in adolescents living in Taiwan. According to Chong, Chan, and Cheng (1999), Among those successfully interviewed, 411 were males and 363 were females. Their mean age was 15. 23 years (p. 1389). Like American adolescents who abused alcohol, Taiwan adolescents also had psychological factors presents.

The most common psychological disorders found in Taiwan adolescents were disruptive behavior disorder, depression, and antisocial disorder. These disorders were also present in American adolescents. Alcoholism and Health Adolescent alcohol abuse is recognized as a major health concern in the United States. According to Arria and Tarter (1991), It is likely that an older adolescents who first consumed alcohol in the preteen years will experience greater alcohol-related medical complications than will an adolescent who has been drinking for a shorter period of time (p. 52).

Although the length of time that an adolescent has been drinking is a major factor related to health, it is not the only one. Other factors may include how much alcohol is consumed at one sitting, and just what age the adolescent began to drink. Very heavy drinking may cause accidental injury. And, drinking at an early age may cause gross developmental complications. Arriea and Tarter (1991) noted that many adolescents also experiment with other drugs, while they are under the influence of alcohol. Other drugs may range from marijuana to crack cocaine and LSD. Using alcohol and other drugs combined can cause serious health risks and concerns.

One major concern of adolescent alcohol abuse is the effects that abuse has on puberty. The results of the abuse may be most prevalent in the growth of the adolescent. It has been shown in both human and animal studies that alcohol consumption can stunt the physical growth of an adolescent approaching and during puberty. Arriea and Tarter (1991), stated that, normal physical growth is dependant on a complex interaction between genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences (P. 53). Alcohol severely effects this interaction. Treatment Whenever we talk about alcohol abuse with adolescents, we must talk about the treatment.

Without proper treatment, the adolescent will end up in the same place over and over again. In the study done by Bukstein (1994), he stated that, treatment for adolescents currently are undergoing rapid changes,, by reducing their costs and emphasizing less restrictive treatment modalities (p. 298). Many of the longer 28 or 38 day inpatient programs are being transformed into outpatient or partial hospitalization plans. Because these shorter programs have not been around long enough to gather information for testing, it is unable to tell if they are going to have any kind of affect on the adolescents rehabilitation.

I feel that these cuts will have a negative effect on the treatment of youngsters. I think that these shorter programs may work for adults, but they will not work well with the adolescents because of the emotional immaturity present in young people. While many researchers believe that traditional treatment programs are the key, there has been some interest in alternative programs. According to Bukstein (1994), many programs are beginning to integrate an array of, family or behavioral treatments, health services, vocational and educational services, and recreational activities in addition to 12-step principles (p. 9).

This kind of treatment combines traditional 12-step programs with new innovative ideas of reaching the child through various activities. Once again, this kind of treatment is not yet able to be tested because of its immaturity. It will be very interesting to see what kind of affect this treatment will have. Conclusion There are many factors that contribute to adolescent alcohol abuse. These factors may be psychological, environmental, social, or cultural. If these factors were detected in an adolescent at an early age, it could prevent the adolescent form abusing alcohol.

Health problems due to heavy alcohol abuse could also be prevented if these factors are detected early enough. Treatment is a crucial part of dealing with an adolescent that is suffering from alcohol abuse. I believe that much research must be done to ensure that methods are being executed properly. There has been some effort to combine new treatment with traditional ones. I believe that this is a good thing. It will be interesting to see if this new treatment will help.

What is denial

So you don’t think that you are an alcoholic. Chances are that you are not, but this is the thought that many who are unknowingly addicted to alcohol or other mind-altering agents. This denial barrier is the first of many hurdles to overcome when they are identified as having an addiction disorder. Although all denial isn’t bad most of the time, addicts are often the last to recognize their disease, pursuing their addictions into mental illness, the degeneration of health, and ultimately death. This paper will explain the concept of denial, its consequences, and the implications it has for nursing care.

Review of Literature and Knowledge Base What is denial? Dr. Hilary Knatz, the author of Getting On, states that “Denial, is a way of coping with unpleasant realities” (Knatz, 1999). She then goes on to explain that: Denial, in the psychological/psychiatric vernacular, is a defensive strategy to minimize anxiety. It is defined and conceptualized in a number of ways, which differ according to theory. In classical Freudian terms, denial is a defense mechanism invoked by a person when there is a danger that he or she will become aware of or act on unconscious primitive impulses that are unacceptable.

We defend against such impulses, it is said, by unconsciously limiting our awareness of them, or perhaps attributing them to others. A murderous rage, for example, may be repressed or obscured from our awareness, or it may be attributed to others (p. 2). The Oxford English Dictionary defines denial to be “the asserting (of anything) to be untrue or invalid; also, the denying of the existence or reality of a thing” (Simpson & Weiner, 1989). Sometimes denial can be constructive and adaptive, according to R. Davidhizar, V.

Poole, J. N. Giger, and M. Henderson the authors of When your patient uses denial. For example, there have been studies of people with terminal illness that have suggested that denying the seriousness of the condition may help postpone death. It is true that overwhelming anxiety can hamper coping, and that screening out anxiety-provoking stimuli can help prevent this kind of paralysis. In general, it must be observed, the world is full of terrifying possibilities that we could never completely comprehend (1998).

Denial is the refusal to believe or accept the reality that certain events have happened, are happening, or will happen. To accept the reality would bring emotional pain, so the events are denied. Related to denial is the defense called minimizing. Events are accepted, but only in a watered down version. “Sure I drink once in a while. Everybody does. It’s no big deal. Once in a while I might get carried away, but it really isn’t a problem” (USDHHS, 1994). Denial is the primary psychological symptom of addiction. It is an automatic and unconscious component of addictions.

Addicts are often the last to recognize their disease, pursuing their addictions into mental illness, the degeneration of health, and ultimately death. Sadly, many addicts continue to act out on their addictions while their world collapses around them blaming everything but the addiction for their problems (USDHHS, 1994) Denial is one of the reasons that recovery from addictions is seldom effective if the chemically dependent person is forced into treatment. You cannot work on a problem unless you accept that it exists (USDHHS, 1994).

Active alcoholism and addiction are characterized by a struggle to control use. Addicts resent the suggestion they are powerless until things get so bad they are forced to face their addiction. Sadly, some alcoholics never break through their denial, and continue use to the point of insanity and death (USDHHS, 1994). The concept of denial plays a key role in the twelve-step addiction treatment model, where denial of addiction is seen to be the chief hindrance to any kind of realistic treatment of the problem.

This is no easy task because addicts have developed an “elaborate network of denial” (McCracken, 1998). Not only of addictive events, but also of the meanings and consequences of those events, whose seriousness they try to minimize with rationalizations (McCracken, 1998). The twelve step programs also recognize that any one person’s denial can expand into a group denial, most immediately, perhaps, to the family system. Family members play along with the addict’s behavior, assume the addict’s guilt, and maintain a secretive united front with the outside world (McCracken, 1998).

Step One of Alcoholics Anonymous deals with working through our denial, allowing us to accept our powerlessness over addictions and the chaos and unmanageability they bring into our lives. This is just one of the curious and beautiful things about recovery. The acknowledging of the powerlessness the addict is empowered to lead a healthy life (USDHHS, 1994). There are several defining characteristics that identify the possibility that a patient may be in denial. Some examples include pretending something does not exist when in reality it does.

Being willing to admit there is a problem, but unwilling to see the severity of it. Seeing the problem as being caused by something or someone else. The behavior is not denied, but its cause is someone else’s responsibility. Offering excuses, alibis, justifications, and other explanations for behavior. Dealing with the problem on a general level; avoiding personal and emotional awareness of the situations or conditions. Changing the subject to avoid threatening topics. Becoming angry and irritable when reference is made to the condition.

These defining characteristics help to avoid the issue at hand (Whitfield, 1994). Synthesis Denying disease is a well-recognized phenomenon in medicine. Every year thousands of people with treatable illnesses die because they don’t take prescribed medicines properly, or at all (Davidhizar, Poole, Giger, & Henderson, 1998). Even the healthiest among us are sometimes prone to denial, such as putting off annual checkups for fear of finding some illness. Some people even contribute to illnesses by their denial, most commonly by smoking. In some cases the denial impulse can have a positive effect.

In order to be a normal functional being, you must deny death. Healthy denial allows you to keep going. It’s when it interferes with survival that it seems to cause a problem. What we call denial is often really suppression, which is “the conscious or semiconscious decision to avoid attending to the conflict” (Davidhizar, Poole, Giger, & Henderson, 1998). We know that we are ill but we choose not to do anything about it. The most common reason for that behavior is fear, though not always fear of death. People make their life-and-death decisions based on what makes their lives worth living, for them.

It is the author’s belief that most likely almost every oncologist can tell stories of women that lost their lives because they rejected recommended treatment. However, women who define their self-esteem through their body image may have a difficult time following through when treatment includes mastectomy. Doctors acknowledge that, for some, conventional medicine simply does not fit in with their personal belief system. Implications for Nursing Care The implications for nursing care are centered on the identification of a patient’s denial and to take steps to help the patient identify that they have a problem.

It is especially important to help the patient identify that there is a possibility that they may have a problem to try to convince to them that they need help. The concept of identifying denial can be used in the author’s nursing practice in such a way that it helps to identify a nursing implementation. This implementation will be necessary to be collaborative with other specialties, such as with a psychiatric specialist, along with including the family. This collaborative effort will help insure that the patient will receive proper help along with a supportive environment.

Why do College Students Drunk so Much

Alcohol abuse on college campuses has reached a point where it is far more destructive than most people and today realize and today threatens too many of our youth. -Senator Joe Lieberman Why do college students drink so much? This timeless fad has effected this generation in high percentages since the beginning of college education. Today in America it is estimated that approximately 29% of college students are regular alcohol abusers.

Another recent study by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism performed showed that college students suffered 1,400 deaths, 70,000 date rapes and assaults, and 500,000 injuries each year as a result of alcohol. (McDonald) Although binge drinking (5+ drinks in one sitting) is considered a normal part of the college experience many factors contribute to whether or not an individual is more prone to be an abuser. There are five factors that connect students with alcohol abuse with include: gender, family alcohol abuse, family depression and mental illness, childhood hyperactivity, and deviant behavior before age 15.

Deviant behavior, for example, consists of acts such as being expelled from school, fighting, committing vandalism, chronic lying, and stealing. Many people who were antisocial growing up begin drinking abusively earlier in adolescence. A clinician test given to suspected alcoholics or taken personally is called the Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS). The test given to check for pathological alcohol abuse is known as Criterion A for alcohol abuse.

Requirements for this test include: wanting to stop drinking but could not, drinking 20 or more drinks in 1 day, having blackouts while drinking, going on two or more binges, continuing to drink with a serious health problem, or making rules to control drinking habits. (Fleming) Criterion B covers more serious abuse which harm ones personal and occupational lifestyles. Any one of the following items point to serious abuse: family members objecting to subjects drinking, professional advice about drinking, job or school troubles due to drinking, accident while driving intoxicated, arrest, or physical fight.

Fleming) A report from the University of Richmond told a story about a female college freshman who experienced a horrible situation after a night of drinking. It said that she remembered how hard it was to leave behind her family and friends, she remembered having to face the fact that she was a freshman again and how all she wanted was to be well-liked and to fit-in but one thing she does not remember at all is the night she was raped by two freshman males in a room full of people.

Her second week of school she willingly attended a party where she proceeded to take many shots of vodka until she got to the point that she was going in and out of consciousness. As a result of her binge drinking this girl did not discover until weeks later that these boys took turns having sex with her, put a lampshade on her head, and wrote all over her face, all while in front of an audience. Certain college organizations such as fraternities and sororities can also influence binge-drinking.

Drinking behaviors areoften learned in the process of socialization. There are three types of influences, all which are fundamentals of these organizations, that include: cultural background, stage of socialization, and peer group influence. (Mayer 30) For example, one fraternity at the highly academically credited Massachusetts Institute of Technology was suspended and lost its house forever. A freshman pledge from the 1997 class fell into an alcohol-induced coma and died after reportedly being hazed at a social event.

This example shows that situations like this occur on all campuses, not just campuses with a reputation of being a party school. (Sales 2) This freshman pledge merely wanted to be accepted by his older brothers in a struggle to prove that he could drink as much as them. And it cost him his life. Excessive drinking in college can also result in situations such as lifetime dependence. The students most susceptible in this category include males with a history of deviant behavior prior to age 15 and have a first degree relative who has suffered from depression or other mental illness.

Alcohol in accumulated years of use can result in diseases such as cirrhosis and many different types of cancer. (Fleming 5) Students who binge drink are 80% more likely to miss class, experience hangovers, damage property, and receive injuries. Therefore, it is strange that it is such a desired state. The underlying reason is that people who participate frequently in this activity crave sensation. More students under the legal drinking age of 21 abuse alcohol than over but admit they feel pressured in some way by the students who are over 21.

One study has shown that a typical American college student will spend more money on alcohol during college than textbooks. Perhaps the most common answer to why students drink so much is the initial rebellion from the freedom gained by moving out of their parents home. Individuals who do not develop a dependence in most cases decrease binge drinking habits after their freshman year. After all, college years are as much a time of social development and emotional growth as they are academics.

Many students feel that through functions with alcohol these factors of social development and emotional growth will increase. In few circumstances, including lesson learning, has this found to be true. In many surveys students blatantly replied that the reason they were binge drinkers was to get drunk fast. Many binge-drinkers are also classified as anticipatory drinkers which means they drink heavily before a party in order to get ahead of others. (Straus 138) It is almost impossible to ever get college students to stop drinking.

However, educating binge drinkers about the way they are preventing oxygen from getting to their brain when they black out is a start to decreasing the statistics of abusers. More colleges are starting to offer programs such as prevention education, counseling, and alcohol-free parties. Students need to be confronted their freshman year with frightening reality-based situations of what happens to people who consume too much alcohol in one night. Another situation that needs to be more closely monitored on campuses is Greek Life, in particularly fraternities.

There is a great deal of hazing that occurs in many chapters during the freshman initiation period where pledges feel inclined to perform bizarre acts (such as consume excessive amounts of alcohol at one time) in order to feel accepted. When a situation goes beyond a good time with friends and an individual blacks out and experiences such things as date rape, someone should assist them in counseling and give them tests like the ones mentioned earlier to test their likeliness of being an abuser, and perhaps prevent at that point a lifetime of addictive destruction.

Alcohol Consumption Essay

Alcohol, probably the oldest drug known, has been used at least since the earliest societies for which records exist. Of the numerous types of alcohol, ethyl alcohol is the type consumed in drinking. In its pure form it is a clear substance with little odor.

People drink alcohol in three main kinds of beverages: BEERS, which are made from grain through brewing and fermentation and contain from 3% to 8% alcohol; WINES, which are fermented from fruits such as grapes and contain from 8% to 12% alcohol naturally, and up to 21% when fortified by adding alcohol; and distilled beverages (spirits) such as WHISKEY, GIN, and VODKA, which on the average contain from 40% to 50% alcohol. Drinkers may become addicted to any of these beverages. Physical Effects of Alcohol The effects of alcohol on the human body depend on the amount of alcohol in the blood (blood-alcohol concentration).

This varies with the rate of consumption and with the rate at which the drinker’s physical system absorbs and metabolizes alcohol. The higher the alcohol content of the beverage consumed, the more alcohol will enter the bloodstream. The amount and type of food in the stomach also affect the absorption rate. Drinking when the stomach is filled is less intoxicating than when it is empty; the foods in the stomach, which contain fat and protein, delay alcohol absorption. Body weight is also a factor; the heavier the person, the slower the absorption of alcohol.

After alcohol passes through the stomach, it is rapidly absorbed through the walls of the intestines into the bloodstream and carried to the various organ systems of the body, where it is metabolized. Although small amounts of alcohol are processed by the kidneys and secreted in the urine, and other small amounts are processed through the lungs and exhaled in the breath, most of the alcohol is metabolized by the liver. As the alcohol is metabolized, it gives off heat. The body metabolizes alcohol at about the rate of three-fourths of an ounce to one ounce of whiskey an hour.

Technically it is possible to drink at the same rate as the alcohol is being oxidized out of the body. Most people, however, drink faster than this, and so the concentration of alcohol in the bloodstream keeps rising. Alcohol begins to impair the brain’s ability to function when the blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) reaches 0. 05%, that is, 0. 05 grams of alcohol per 100 cubic centimeters of blood. Most state traffic laws in the United States presume that a driver with a BAC of 0. 10% is intoxicated. With a concentration of 0. % (a level obtained from drinking about 10 ounces of whiskey), a person has difficulty controlling the emotions and may cry or laugh extensively.

The person will experience a great deal of difficulty in attempting to walk and will want to lie down. When the blood-alcohol content reaches about 0. 30%, which can be attained when a person rapidly drinks about a pint of whiskey, the drinker will have trouble comprehending and may become unconscious. At levels from 0. 35% to 0. 50%, the brain centers that control breathing and heart action are affected; concentrations above 0.5 % may cause death, although a person generally becomes unconscious before absorbing a lethal dosage.

Moderate or temperate use of alcohol is not harmful, but excessive or heavy drinking is associated with alcoholism and numerous other health problems. The effects of excessive drinking on major organ systems of the human body are cumulative and become evident after heavy, continuous drinking or after intermittent drinking over a period of time that may range from 5 to 30 years. The parts of the body most affected by heavy drinking are the digestive and nervous systems.

Digestive-system disorders that may be related to heavy drinking include cancer of the mouth, throat, and esophagus; gastritis; ulcers; cirrhosis of the liver; and inflammation of the pancreas. Disorders of the nervous system can include neuritis, lapse of memory (blackouts), hallucinations, and extreme tremor as found in delirium tremens. Delirium tremens (“the DTs”) may occur when a person stops drinking after a period of heavy, continuous imbibing. Permanent damage to the brain and central nervous system may also result, including Korsakoff psychosis and Wernicke’s disease.

Recent evidence indicates that pregnant women who drink heavily may give birth to infants with the FETAL ALCOHOL SYNDROME, which is characterized by face and body abnormalities and, in some cases, impaired intellectual facilities. Additionally, the combination of alcohol and drugs, such as commonly used sleeping pills, tranquilizers, antibiotics, and aspirin, can be fatal, even when both are taken in nonlethal doses. Drinking Patterns Many studies have been made of attitudes toward drinking in different societies.

Every culture has its own general ethos or sense of decorum about the use and role of alcoholic beverages within its social structure. In some cultures drinking is either forbidden or frowned upon. The Koran contains prohibitions against drinking, and Muslims are forbidden to sell or serve alcoholic beverages. Hindus take a negative view of the use of alcohol; this is reflected in the constitution of India, which requires every state to work toward the prohibition of alcohol except for medicinal purposes.

Abstinence from alcohol has also been the goal of temperance movements in Europe and the United States. Some Christian religious groups strongly urge abstinence, including the Christian Scientists, Mormons, Seventh-Day Adventists, Pentecostalists, and some Baptists and Methodists. In some ambivalent cultures, such as the United States and Ireland, the values of those who believe in abstinence conflict with the values of those who regard moderate drinking as a way of being hospitable and sociable.

This accounts for the plethora of laws and regulations that restrict the buying of alcoholic beverages. Some psychologists say that this ambivalence in the culture makes it harder for some people to develop a stable attitude toward drinking. Some cultures have a permissive attitude toward drinking, including those of Spain, Portugal, Italy, Japan, and Israel. The proportion of Jews and Italians who use alcohol is high, but the rates of alcoholism among them are lower than in Irish and Scandinavian groups. Some cultures may be said to look too favorably upon drinking, as do the French.

In France the heavy consumption of alcohol has been related to the fact that many people are engaged in viticulture and in the production and distribution of alcoholic beverages. Various surveys indicate that subgroups within a society or culture do not all have the same attitudes toward alcoholic beverages or the same drinking patterns. Drinking behavior differs significantly among groups of different age, sex, social class, racial status, ethnic background, occupational status, religious affiliation, and regional location.

Student Alcohol Abuse

The authors, Wechsler, Nelson, and Weitzman, contend that binge drinking is a nationally recognized problem but has not been studied efficiently enough to warrant effective prevention plans. The purpose of this article is to share with the public the results of a survey representing 50,000 students in 140 colleges, in 39 states. This is the first nationally representative survey of its kind and the analysis of its outcome by the authors of this article has resulted in seemingly sound prevention ideas.

To begin interpreting the binge drinking phenomenon, a solid understanding of the term must be presented. Binge drinking is defined by all the articles as consuming five or more drinks in rapid succession (four or more for women) at least once in a two week period. Shockingly, the College Alcohol Study (CAS) found that two out of every five college students binge drink. The authors of this article argue that binge drinking has negative effects not only on the drinkers, but also on the entire student body.

The binge drinker might get alcohol poisoning, other related physical injuries, or weakened academic performance, while the non-binging students are subjected to insults, arguments, vandalism, physical and sexual assaults, and loss of sleep due to alcohol influenced peers. The next topic that the article gets into is the different areas that change need be made to lessen the presence of binge drinking and ways in which these changes might be made. The first idea presented is that simply educating students about alcohol abuse and related problems is not effective.

The CAS shows that four out of five students have been exposed to anti-alcohol education and still two out of these five binge drink, let alone drink at all. In fact, Wechsler, Nelosn, and Weitzman state that most members of predominant binge drinking groups like athletes and Greek organizations openly admit to being educated in this area. These findings display how ineffective alcohol education on college campuses is. After eliciting what not to do, the Wechsler, Nelosn, and Weitzman show the reader what the simple numbers from the CAS suggest be done.

First they explain that the college administration has to realize that they have a lot more student support in the fight against binge drinking than they think. The CAS results showed that more than half of all college students favor more college intervention. This idea leads into the authors next one, which is the whole idea of marginalizing the serious drinkers. Serious binge drinkers are not aware of their problem and are usually very loud and vocal when protesting anti-drinking policies.

These hardcore bingers however, only represent a small percent of all drinkers and an even smaller percent of the student body. The authors suggest that steps be taken to marginalize this small group of heavy drinkers by reversing some misleading policies. Presently alcohol-free dorms are available upon request by students. Wechsler, Nelosn, and Weitzman believe that the alcohol consuming students should have to request separate dorms, not the other way around. The current method creates the illusion that most students consume alcohol and tend to quiet potential anti-alcohol advocates.

Lastly, the fact that alcohol is cheap, plentiful and easy to get in college towns creates great appeal to college students. For less than five dollars (half the price of one movie ticket) under age students can purchase enough alcohol to drink themselves silly. In the past, colleges have fought a battle against fake IDs, but now the CAS says that only one in five underage drinkers use and phony ID. The method of choice is to get beer and liquor from older students. One third of older students have been asked by underage students to provide them with alcohol, and almost all complied.

This is one student norm that needs to be challenged! Arguing many similar points is Adam Cohen in his New York Times article Battle of the Binge. This article investigates the drinking habits of Louisiana State University where 20 year old Ben Wynne died from alcohol poisoning. After an off campus kegger, the fraternity boys moved to a local bar where they continued to drink into the wee hours of the morning. The next morning, Wynne was dead and three other frat members were seriously alcohol poisoned. All this occurred even though L. S. U. is an alcohol free campus.

Combined with the information given by the CAS, this article further proves the point that a better prevention plan should be instated. Even though a college might ban alcohol from its campus, that does not mean that it will eliminate alcohol related problems. Students are able to go to off campus bars where older students will gladly buy the beers and bring them to the table. Bars and off campus parties also promote binge drinking with policies like six dollar all-you-can-drink specials, beat-the-clock drinking and ladder pricing.

There is a no drinking policy in effect in L. S. U. but neither this fact, nor the fact that he was underage stopped Wynne from drinking himself to death. As long as college towns continue their leniency with underage drinking, college students will be plagued with the tragedies binge drinking causes. JoAnn M. Arnholt is taking prevention to the next level as described in At Rutgers Fraternities: an End to the Age of Big Wild Parties? This new administrator at Rutgers college in New Jersey is planning on prohibiting alcohol everywhere on campus and even in off campus, private Fraternity houses.

Arnholt contends that alcohol in Rutgers fraternities is responsible for crashing GPA levels and is not helping the criminal fines that keep adding up against the frats. She and other administrators believe that alcohol in frat houses acts as an impediment to a healthy learning environment and a breeding ground for hazing. Fraternity members dont approve of this plan and feel that drying up the privately owned fraternity houses is violating the frat members rights. They also believe that this new movement will decrease the appeal of fraternities.

Lastly, members of fraternities at Rutgers feel that they are being directly attacked because other student owned non-Greek affiliated houses are not being required to end alcohol consumption. Arnholts plan might be a little too agressive and could very well back fire on her. By illegalizing the key elements of fraternity life, she is actually making them more attractive to students. Students might take the opportunity, should it ever arise now, to drink as much as they can, because they knwo that will not always be available.

Analysis of the CAS might produce a better alternative for Rutgers than what Arnholt has thought up. Surprisingly, hazing and, as a result, binge drinking, is even present in college sports where physical maintenance is required. In College Sports: Survey Concludes Hazing Is Common the results of a survey given to 10,000 college athletes, 3,000 coaches, and 1,000 other officials were discussed. It was concluded that about 80 percent of all college athletes are hazed, a lot more than previously held.

This hazing was present in teams from Division I through III and included dangerous acts like kidnapping, vandalism, the forced wearing of embarrassing clothing, and, of course, binge drinking. The study also concluded that men are at a higher risk of getting hazed than are women. It is most surprising that such dangerous activities are participated in by college athletes. From a young age, we are told that athletes must be physically and mentally strong and determined. Unfortunately, the growing epidemic of hazing binge drinking has weaseled its way into one of Americas most respected areas of life; sports.

The final article Hazing: A Rite Gone Wrong shows how hazing is a part of many different levels of schooling and sports and even in other areas of life. Michael Dobie, author of this article explains that horrific acts of hazing have occurred even at the High School levels. For example, there have been reports of drinking games, beatings, dangerous scavenger hunts, consumption of gross liquids, shaving heads, mimicked sex acts and even eating live goldfish. Other activities include Butts-Up where a soccer ball is kicked at a freshmen’s rear at point blank range.

Towards the end of the article, the author does go into the few high schools who have decided to take a stand against hazing, by educating their players. My opinion has not really changed on this topic, because prior to this paper, I had not this first idea what hazing and other aspects of college social life was about. In terms of the issues, I am strongly against binge drinking. It is by far the most stupid risk a person can take. I do not feel, however that it is fair to put an end to drinking on a college campus. I strongly believe that the consumption of alcohol is, when done properly a totally acceptable social activity.

Miller Beer Ads

In television commercials and magazine ads, Miller uses sex, and woman as a way to grab your attention and to sell the product. We all have heard the saying “sex sells” but how far can alcohol companies take it. In their latest commercials, Miller uses two very attractive female twins that argue about to positive aspects for why they drink Miller. One argues she drinks it for the great taste and the other because it’s less filling. This leads to a fight between these two very sexy twins ripping each others clothes off and wrestling around in a fountain of water; they strip each other down to just their underwear.

Alcohol advertising, especially in the broadcast media, represents the single greatest source of alcohol education for consumers. Beer and wine ads depict alcohol products as the ultimate reward for a football game well played or a job well done; they associate the consumption of beer and wine with financial success and romance; and in some cases, they explicitly encourage heavy drinking. Creativity, big money, and more than a little finesse formulate a message that alcohol is a necessary ingredient to enjoy a sports event or a night on the town.

How many people end the week with a nice cold beer? How many people drive to the club after consuming a few drinks? Although it may take you 15 minutes to get to the club, it only takes a few seconds to lose your life. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 3 out of 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related accident at some time in their lives. Many don’t walk away from these accidents. In the Untied States, traffic accidents involving alcohol killed 15,935 people during 1998 alone.

According to NHTSA, there’s an alcohol related highway fatality in the United States every 33 minutes. In 1998 more than 300,000 people were injured in accidents involving alcohol. That’s an average of one person injured every 2 minutes. Despite serious public concern over the death and injury associated with drinking and driving over the last decade, it is not unusual for ads to associate drinking with driving and with other high-risk activities. Beer and wine coolers are ubiquitous components of a good time at the beach, on the white-water rafting trip, or on the ski slope.

In a 1987 study by media communication specialists, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety concluded that beer commercials link drinking and driving through references to beer with images of moving cars and references to the pleasures of beer with the pleasures of driving. Unfortunately, alcohol advertising remains a more significant alcohol educator than parents or the school system. Alcohol is the only drug for which knowledge about it as a drug decreases, rather than increases with age.

Even fewer 14-year-olds identified beer, wine, or liquor as a drug than did their 10-year-old counterparts, and the percentage of children who thought daily use of alcohol was harmful decreased 29 percent from the younger group. Nearly a quarter of the 208,909 TV commercials about alcohol in 2001 were more likely to be seen by teens than adults. The same study revealed that teens see more ads for liquor than they do for jeans, acne aids and athletic shoes. The ads appeared during 13 to 15 of the most popular teen shows including WB’s Seventh Heaven and Gilmore Girls.

The average young person saw 245 alcohol ads in 2001. Making the highest quality beer has been a passion of the Miller Brewing Company since its founder, Frederick J. Miller, began his brewing business in 1855. Since then, Miller Brewing has grown from a small local brewer to the second largest brewery in the U. S. , with seven major breweries located across America. You might recognize their television commercial ads of football referees flagging people with made up penalties like “unbeermanlike” conduct for drinking a Budweiser rather then a Miller Light.

Their sales pitch of course is the infamous slogan “great taste, less filling, and half the carbs”. So will drinking Miller Light help me lose weight? I don’t think so. If you go to the bars a lot, then you know who the drinkers are because of their big beer-belly’s hanging out of their shirt. Drinking beer, if you ask me, can make a man look like he’s pregnant. The history of Miller Brewing Company began in the mid-19th century, when a determined immigrant, Frederick John Miller, born November 24, 1824, brought his passion for beer to the United States.

Miller, who had been a renowned German brewer since 1849, arrived in the United States and settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1855. In 1855, Miller purchased a small brewery called the Plank Road Brewery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for $2,300. Through his determination and character, Frederick Miller began building his own American dream – barrel by barrel.

He produced the finest quality beer, made from locally grown hops and barley, and using a unique brewer’s yeast that he hand-carried from Germany. (The yeast they use in our beers today is a descendant of that very yeast so treasured by our founder! Before his death in 1888, Frederick Miller became one of the early pioneers of bottling beer. After his passing, Frederick Miller’s immediate family members continued his legacy, and guided the company with progressive, uncompromising character through two world wars and prohibition. In 1903, Miller named its most popular beer, High Life, and the Champagne of Bottled Beer was born! Today, Miller’s Brewery in Milwaukee (and the historic Miller Valley) is the site of America’s oldest major brewery.

The current chapter of Miller’s history started in July 2002, when South African Breweries purchased Miller Brewing Company, forming one of the largest brewers in the world, called SABMiller plc, with volume of more than 130 million barrels, operations in 40 countries and hundreds of brands. If you go to the Miller brewing company’s official website you can learn about the history of the company as well as the ingredients, how they make it and how they try and contribute to the community. An excerpt from the website on Miller Light reads: “A great tasting, low calorie beer.

Miller Lite, the first successful low-calorie brew, set the standard for all other light beers in 1975, and today it’s still brewed with the finest malted barley and choicest hops. A three time Gold Medal winner for Best American Light Lager at the World Beer Cup awards, Miller Lite has only 96 calories and 3. carbs per 12-ounce serving. ” Jean Kilbourne, a media lecturer/scholar wrote, “Alcohol advertising does create a climate in which dangerous attitudes toward alcohol are presented as normal, appropriate, and innocuous.

Most important, alcohol advertising spuriously links alcohol with precisely those attributes and qualities happiness, wealth, prestige, sophistication, success, maturity, athletic ability, virility, creativity, sexual satisfaction that the misuse of alcohol usually diminishes and destroys. In another article, it said “Alcohol ads used to look like pictures from Playboy – women with big breasts and big hair designed to appeal to men. Now the models look like they have stepped out of fashion magazines and the message is that you can use alcohol to unleash your wild side. ” from Smashed: Growing up a Drunk Girl, by Koren Zailckas, Random House.

Efforts to restrict alcohol advertising pit public health concerns against the economic interests of powerful institutions in a very direct way. Organizing and constituency-building are critical if we are to affect seriously the way the alcoholic beverage industry does business in nations around the globe. The very pervasiveness of alcohol problems lends itself to the development of powerful coalitions. Advocates from alcoholism organizations, public health, medicine, youth groups, the religious community, public safety activists, women’s and ethnic minority organizations all have a stake in reducing the level of alcohol problems.

Alcoholism and other alcohol-related problems are complex and there is no single or easy solution. Restricting or eliminating alcohol advertising will not end alcohol problems. Bus such action will provide a greater balance in the kind of information the public receives about alcohol. Efforts to restrict or eliminate alcohol advertising will empower individuals to make informed choices about their use of alcoholic beverages without the undue influence of the glitz and misinformation so characteristic of alcohol ads today.

Drunk Driving Essay

Drunk driving is considered a serious crime in every state. It is wrong, irresponsible and wastes many lives. People who abuse alcohol hurt everyone around them, endanger public safety, and create carnage on the nations highways. There is nothing positive that can come out of drunk driving, so why do people do it? It is societys job to punish these menaces and try to take control of this out of control issue. America doesnt want to watch idly as hundreds of people are killed each day. We want to take a stand and let the world know that we may be the land of the free and the brave but there is nothing brave or free about driving drunk.

What should be done about this problem is debatable and certainly open to discussion, but the first step is lowering the BAC (blood alcohol concentration) level from . 10 to . 08. Many states have already done this and I commend them on this decision, but the government needs to mandate this to all the states. Some people oppose this decision and say that it is based on emotion, personal vendettas, and irrational, sound public policy, nor backed up by statistical data. ( DWI Dilema, Internet source) However, I disagree.

We need to send the message that it is not acceptable, nor is it constitutional to drive under any influence of alcohol, weather it be . 08 or . 20. Drunken driving was once treated much as car accidentsa regrettable but unavoidable part of life on the roads. But a vocal grass-roots movement led my MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) persuaded much of the country, over two decades, to view it as a type of criminal negligence. Public patience with drunk drivers quickly grew thin as well-publicized death tolls mounted. ( Mishra, Internet source)

What exactly is drunk driving? This is a question that has yet to be answered. To determine the concentration of alcohol in the body at any given time, it is necessary to establish the blood alcohol concentration (BAC), which measures the percentage of alcohol in the blood. When a person consumes more alcohol than his or her body can immediately eliminate, alcohol accumulates in the bloodstream and the BAC rises. (Henderson, 23) In Connecticut the BAC level is . 08, this means that the blood alcohol level needed to be arrested for drunken driving has to be . 08 or higher.

One can also be convicted of drunk driving without the results of a blood alcohol test or if your blood alcohol test result is lower than the statutory amount. A conviction can be based on evidence that your breath, conduct, language, and motor movements showed that you were drunk and unable to drive safely. (Driving While Intoxicated, Internet source) Alcohols effects are progressively more noticeable as the blood alcohol concentration increases. At a BAC of . 02 to . 05 percent the effects are almost entirely pleasurable. The drinker feels relaxed and sociable.

There may also be some modest impairment of reasoning or memory and general reduction in caution. A BAC of . 05 to . 07 produces a state of excitement. The drinker begins to suffer from what may be a slight but nonetheless noticeable impairment of balance, speech, vision, reaction time, and hearing. Judgement and self-control are also effected. The drivers behavior is apt to become more aggressive. In general, the drinker feels stimulated and highly capable. In reality his or her ability to safely perform tasks such as driving that require quick reactions, concentration, and good judgement has been significantly reduced.

A drinkers ability to function deteriorates quickly at BACs of . 08. to . 15 percent, the drinker enters a state of confusion. At this stage, the level of impairment becomes obvious, if it is has not already. Speech becomes slurred; the drinkers sense of balance, vision, reaction time, and reasoning ability are distinctly and obviously impaired. With a BAC this high the drinker cannot safely perform tasks that require sound judgement or motor coordination. No one at this level of intoxication, should ever operate a motor vehicle.

The difficulty of course is that someone who has reached this level of intoxication may refuse to believe his or her abilities are in any way impaired. Too often, the results of such misplaced confidence are tragic. BACs above . 15 percent have a progressively severe and obvious effect. Starting at a BAC of approximately . 15 percent, the brains alertness center begins to shut down. By the time the BAC reaches . 30 percent, the drinker is in a stupor. He or she is almost certain to fall asleep or pass out. BACs above . 30 percent are potentially life threatening.

At a BAC somewhere between . and . 40 percent, the drinker falls into a coma, which may or may not result in irreversible brain damage. A BAC above . 40 percent almost invariably results in death, usually because of respiratory failure. A 1996 study showed that 2. 6 million teenagers dont know that a person can die from an alcohol overdose. (Henderson, 26) America has always been a country that likes to debate. Weather the issue be politics, taxes, or Bill Clinton, there are always people voicing their own opinions. Currently there has been a lot of talk about what the BAC level should be in order to declare someone drunk.

Some people believe that the BAC level should be . 10 while others think it should be lowered to . 08. Herein lies the problem for the police and courts. Under the old BAC standards, typically . 15%, there was a strong correlation between what was accepted as drunk driving and the legal BAC threshold. Keep in mind that persons can and always could be arrested for drunk driving, virtually regardless of BAC levels, based on their driving performances. ( DWI: Are we going in the right direction? , Internet source) The overwhelming number of alcohol-related accidents are attributed to drivers with high BACs.

So why is so much political and organizational effort being invested in lowering legal BAC standards? Why are valuable and limited public resources being squandered on detecting, apprehending, trying, punishing, and treating persons who, by and large, are not creating highway safety problems? And, why are basic civil rights protections being disregarded when those persons responsible for DWI-related accidents are readily recognized and apprehensible using traditional and accepted law enforcement practices? ( NMAs views on DWI, Internet source)

Lowering the BAC level demonizes the large proportion of the population that occasionally drinks in moderation, then drives home carefully. All this does is to give the few chronic abusers who do the real harm plenty of cover, as enforcement will be diverted to the minimally risky drivers (much in the manner that low speed limits keep the troopers busy ticketing you for going 70, while someone driving 90 has the chance to slow down when he sees the trooper busy with you. ) ( Drinking and driving vs. Drunk driving, Internet source)

For the most part alcohol caused traffic accidents involve drivers with fairly high blood alcohol contents, greater than . 15%. Contrastingly, there is incessant pressure to lower legal BACs . The current campaign in most of the country is to drop the BAC to . 08% (12 states have already done this). This is to be followed by further efforts to reduce the legal BAC to . 05%. for some groups, the ultimate goal is . 00%, not only for driving a motor vehicle, but as a standard for responsible conduct. The US government endorses this by increasing highway funding for those states that have . 08% BAC limits. ( NMAs views on DWI, Internet source)

Other problems occur when intrusive enforcement measures must be implemented to identify drivers with low BACs. Roadblocks are the best example of a tactic used when there is no probable cause to stop an individual motorist. Roadblocks are not necessary to identify drivers with high BACs, nor do they deter problem drinkers. ( NMAs views on DWI, internet source) Movements to reduce the legal intoxication level from . 10 to . 08 percent BAC or less will do nothing to get at the problem. The hardcore group will not be thwarted by this legislation. The hardcore group wakes up in the morning close to a . 10 BAC and builds on it from there.

Most drunk driver fatalities have BAC levels close to . 20. If lawmakers reduce the level from . 08, they are simply catching more of the wrong people, the people who are not the problem. DWI laws are like bicycle locks-they keep responsible people honest but they are useless against determined bicycle thieves. The hardcore irresponsible drunk driver in our society is not going to be easily controlled, particularly by the well-meaning but ineffective efforts of those who think our criminal justice community can solve the problem. The police should focus on the characteristics of this hardcore group instead of the population in general.

People who conduct themselves in this manner can be spotted. ( DWI dilemma, Internet source) The truth is that the war on drunk driving is far from being won, and statistics show this. In 1997, 21 percent of the young drivers involved in fatal crashes had been drinking. Eight young people die a day in alcohol-related crashes, and 2,104 people ages 16-2- died in alcohol-related crashes in 1998. Approximately 240,000 to 360,000 of the nations 12 million current undergraduates will ultimately die from alcohol-related causes, more than the number that will get MAs and PhDs combined.

While more than one-third of the college students surveyed claimed to have driven under the influence, only 1. 7% said they were arrested. During a typical weekend, an average of one teenager dies each hour in a car crash. And, nearly fifty percent of those crashes involve alcohol. (MADD statistics, Internet source) The war on drunk driving has reached a complacent plateau characterized by many indifferent government leaders, strained law enforcement efforts and a dangerous public perception that the fight against drunk driving has been won.

Washington Post, Internet source) The truth is that the war is far from being won, it is just getting started. Lowering the BAC level to . 08 is a good way to get America back in the game. Many people argue that lowering the BAC level gets the wrong people. Yes, it is true that most people who are arrested for drunk driving do have very high BAC levels. But for that few people who are arrested for low BAC levels, hundreds of lives are saved. College kids are known to go bar hopping from one bar to another and get drinks from each bar.

When they leave from their first bar after a couple of drinks they may have a low BAC level of about . . But then they get in their car and drive to the next bar, and get a couple of shots there. Then their BAC level may rise to . 07, by the end of the night they may have a total BAC level of . 15, and they drive home, fatally killing an innocent victim on the highway. If the legal BAC level for arresting someone had been . 08, then these kids would have been arrested earlier, in the night, before they had a chance to go to their third of fourth bar.

This would have saved at least one innocent persons life. Another argument placed by people who want the BAC level to be kept at . is that by lowering it we will be catching more of the wrong people, the people who are not the problem. I find it hard to believe that by catching a person with a BAC level of . 08 is the wrong person. This person is out on the road, driving unaware of the problems of driving so heavily intoxicated. There is no such thing as the wrong person when drunk driving is involved. When roadblocks are set up to identify drivers with high BACs, this helps to deter problem drinkers. Some make the argument that this is a tactic used by the police when there is no probable cause to stop and individual motorist.

True, there is no cause to stop anyone, but it helps to catch people who are threats. Why do people have to make such a big deal about being stopped for two minutes to be examined by the police? This is no invasion of privacy, they are merely trying to help out America by catching the problem drinkers. This tactic works, and is helpful. It catches drunk drivers and saves lives. The people who are complaining about lowering the BAC level are the ones we need to watch out for. These are the people who like to drink at a party or social occasion, and then drive home.

But by catching them now, we lower the possibility of them going to another party and getting drunk, and then driving home with a BAC level of . 10. Once they are caught they will be too scared to drive home intoxicated again. Legislatures argue that by lowering the BAC now to . 08, it will eventually be lowered all the way to . 00. However, I have a hard time believing this. I dont believe that we should make it any lower than . 08, and there are only a few people who think that we should. There are very few side effects that occur at BACs lower than that.

By lowering the BAC now to . we wont have to lower it again because the drunk driving problem would be under control. When someone is driving drunk they are not only putting themselves and others in danger, but they are also putting themselves at the mercy of the police. If the police have probable cause to believe that they are driving while intoxicated, there are many tests that the police can give to determine DWI. If the police suspect that you are drunk, they can require you to take a Breathalyzer test. This measures your blood alcohol concentration by measuring the amount of alcohol exhaled in a breath.

Refusal to take a test normally results in an automatic suspension of your license for a significant amount of time, as much as six months or a year. (Driving while intoxicated, internet source) The Walk and Turn test must be performed on a hard, dry, level, non-slipping surface with sufficient room for the suspect to complete nine heel-to-toe steps. In order to properly administer this test it is important to understand what type of test it is. It is commonly referred to as a Divided Attention test because it divides the suspects attention between mental and physical tasks.

The physical tasks include balance and coordination while the mental tasks include comprehension of verbal instructions, processing of information and recall of memory. While a person may be able to perform one task they may not be able to perform the other if under the influence of alcohol. The suspect must take nine heel to toe steps, turn around and take nine heel to toe steps back. When the turn is performed, the suspect must keep the foot on the line, and turn by taking a series of small steps. Ones arms must be kept at their sides while walking, watching his feet at all times, and counting his steps out loud.

There are six scoring factors that determine if the suspect passed the test. If the suspect received two total points on this test, the officer is trained to use this as a probable cause to believe that the suspect is under the influence of an alcoholic beverage and to make and arrest. (Walk and Turn, Internet source) Drunk driving is a serious offense and has serious consequences. Punishment for first time offenders includes suspension of driving privileges, points, and fines. Punishment for second time and subsequent offenses increases significantly and typically involves a period of imprisonment.

Penalties for operation while under the influence, Internet source) After your arrest, the police will issue you with a summons to appear in court. You may be required to post a bond to be released. The police may also release you on a written promise to appear. Both will inform you of the date of your mandatory court appearance. Failing to appear in court may result in the State charging you with the crime of failure to appear. Even the lowest charge of failure to appear carries the potential penalty of 1 year in jail and/or a $2,000 fine.

America is not putting a deaf ear to the war on drunk driving. It is far from over, but every step we take to get it under control, is a step toward drying it up. Lowering the BAC level is just the first step, we still have a long journey ahead of us. Connecticut has taken a stand and been one of the twelve states to lower their legal BAC level to . 08. I truly agree with this decision, and hope that other states will follow our lead. Strict criminal prosecution of alcohol-impaired drivers is the most effective deterrent in reducing the menace of alcohol-impaired driving.

Henderson, 108) This battle isnt just between people who are old enough to drive as well as drink. Teenagers, much like my self, are taking action against drunk driving. In Hamden High School we have a very active club called S. A. D. D. (Students against Drunk Driving) This club makes young people aware of the dangers of driving even after drinking small amounts of alcohol. This is an issue that is not to be taken lightly, and it certainly isnt. I just hope that one day, this issue will be non-existent.

Misuse of alcohol

“Alcohol is a socially acceptable, legal drug that is consumed by the majority of Americans without problems to themselves or others (Milgram xiii). ” Misuse of alcohol can lead to alcoholism, one of the most widespread and complex problems in America. The reasons some people become dependent on alcohol and others do not are unknown. Many health problems are associated with chronic alcohol abuse, including damage to the liver, brain, or central nervous system. Alcohol is probably the most widely used recreational drug in the world.

The production of alcohol is the result of the fermentation of plant products such as fruit grains. Gin, Vodka, Whiskey, and other hard liquors, require a further process known as distillation. The active chemical ingredient in beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages is ethyl alcohol. Ethyl alcohol is a potentially addictive drug and a depressant of the central nervous system (Kestler 6). Alcohol acts as a sedative and as an anesthetic, reducing nerve transmissions and impulses to the central nervous system.

This depresses mental, motor, and vital functions such as pulse rate, respiration, and blood pressure (Kestler 6). The body can absorb alcohol very quickly, approximately 20% goes directly into the blood stream from the stomach, the rest enters the body through the small intestine. Moments after alcohol enters the blood stream it reaches the Cerebral Cortex, the part of the brain responsible for judgement. The areas of the brain controlling caution and self control are effected first, so most people feel more relaxed. Extremely large doses of alcohol may result in coma or death (Knox 42).

Intoxication varies greatly from one person to the next depending on his/her blood alcohol level. The speed of consumption can cause the blood alcohol level to rise. Other factors including body weight, emotional state, tolerance to alcohol, amount of time over which drinking takes place, and the amount of food in the stomach can also influence the blood alcohol level (Kestler 7). In a one-hundred and sixty pound person, alcohol is burned at the rate of one drink every two hours. The more rapidly alcohol is ingested, the faster the peak blood alcohol level will be reached.

When a person drinks faster than the alcohol can be burned, the drug accumulates in the body, resulting in higher levels of alcohol in the blood. The more body muscle a person has in relation to fat, the lower the blood alcohol concentration will be from a given amount of liquor (Taylor 23). A persons tolerance has developed if the drinker requires more alcohol to get the same effects he/she used to get with a lesser amount. If a person is alcohol tolerant he/she can “hold” or “handle,” or “not show” the amount of alcohol consumed (Long 57-58).

If a person has a high tolerance, the initially pleasant “buzz” or “glow” may wear off quickly leading them to drink more to recapture it (Kestler 7-8). A can of beer can raise a drinkers blood alcohol level just as much as a glass of wine or a cocktail with half an ounce of hard liquor. An ounce of beer does not contain as much alcohol as an ounce of whiskey but beer is usually consumed in greater proportions than other beverages. Wine contains between 12 and 15% alcohol and beers range from about 3 to 8%.

The percentage of alcohol in other types of liquor is indicated in proof, which is twice the percent of alcohol by volume. For example one hundred proof Vodka contains fifty percent alcohol (Kestler 6). Admittedly, there is no single cause for alcoholism, however, the most widely believed cause is the use of alcohol to solve problems. Alcoholism is thought to arise from a combination of a wide range of physiological, psychological, and genetic factors. It is characterized as an emotional and often physical dependence on alcohol (Milgram 85).

A sudden stop in the chronic abuse of alcohol may cause a withdrawal syndrome which can include Delirium Tremors, seizures, hallucinations, and acute anxiety (Kestler 9). Around 10% of adult drinkers in the United States have experienced drinking problems or are considered alcoholics. More males than females are affected, but drinking among the youth and among women is increasing (Knox 75). Alcoholism develops from several factors, including hereditary predisposition, home environment, and learned behavior. Children of alcoholics are more likely to become an alcoholic than a child born to a non-alcoholic.

Although the disease clearly has a family pattern experts disagree on whether it is due to genetics or behavior patterns learned from parents (Kestler 12-13). Alcoholism has been variously thought of as a symptom of psychological or social stress, although, unlike psychoactive drugs, alcohol is accepted in society. More recently it has come to be viewed as a complex disease entirely in its own right. Alcoholism usually develops over a period of years. Early symptoms include placing excessive importance on the availability of alcohol.

Ensuring this availability strongly influences a persons choice of associates and activities. Alcohol comes to be used more as a mood changing drug than as a beverage served as part of a social custom (Holmes 62). Certain behavioral changes are warnings of alcoholism. These changes include secretive drinking, drinking five or more drinks daily, drinking in the morning, drinking that threatens family and social relationships, repeatedly trying and failing to stop drinking, habitually drinking to the point of drunkenness, experiencing blackouts, or changing beverages to try to control drinking (Kestler 7).

Earlier and better treatment for alcoholism has led to an encouragingly high recovery rates. Specialized residential treatment facilities and separate units within general or psychiatric hospitals are rapidly increasingly in number. As the public becomes more aware of the nature of alcoholism, the social disgrace attached to it decreases, alcoholics and their families tend to conceal it less, and diagnosis is not delayed as long (Alcoholics 17).

In addition to managing physical complications and withdrawal states, treatment involves individual counseling and group therapy techniques aimed at complete and comfortable abstinence from alcohol. Such abstinence is the desired goal, despite some controversial suggestions that a safe return to social drinking is possible (Taylor 37). Alcoholics Anonymous is the oldest and largest group in the world dedicated to helping recovering alcoholics. There are about two million members in Alcoholics Anonymous of which more than half live in the United States.

Alcoholics Anonymous was founded by Bill W. and Dr. Bob S. , two alcoholics (Kestler 9). All men and women who feel they have a drinking problem are welcome to attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. Members are anonymous at the public level, and no dues are required. The Alcoholics Anonymous program is one of total abstinence, in which members are encouraged to stay away from one drink, one day at a time.

Their sobriety is maintained by sharing their experiences, strength, and hope at group meetings, and following the suggested twelve steps to recovery (Lang 76). The annual number of deaths related to excessive drinking exceed 97,000 in the United States alone. About thirty-five million people are injured in over 800,000 alcohol related car crashes each year. On an average weekend night one out of every ten drivers is drunk, and one out of every two Americans will be involved in an alcohol related crash in his/her lifetime.

Economic costs related to alcoholism are at least 100 billion a year (Taylor 6). Many factors may contribute to a persons dependence on alcohol. Whether the addiction to alcohol is a disease or not is debatable. However, the devastating effects of alcoholism are well documented. Louis Ridenour, in discussing the role of science said: There cannot be such a thing as a valid or eternal controversy in science because the very foundation of scientific work is o agree on an experimental frame which permits questions of interest to the scientists to be answered.

Cultural patterns have sanctioned both drinking and abstinence in the United States. In the past the alcohol question has been viewed as a moral issue. As scientific knowledge of the physiological, psychological, and sociological effects of drinking has increased the taboo on discussion of alcoholism and related problems has decreased. It is no longer arguable that if the alcoholic would just exert enough will power, he/she could control his/her drinking. Research has proven that unaided, he/she cannot.

The Alcohol Disease

Being in college, the topic that seems to suffice everyone’s attention span would contain reference to consuming a drink with some presence of alcohol. Party, kegger and beer all convert a seemingly dull conversation to a hysterical joke that everyone understands. The person that consumed the most liquor and either passed out or vomited uncontrollably reins over the mere individuals who staggered out of the event only half full. While some crown them the king of the party, others who comprehend the effects of drinking coin the phrase alcoholic.

Alcohol, a chemical compound of varying parts of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen,” (23) has become a serious problem for Americans, who strive to have a good time. While not all people who drink heavily are alcoholics, the addiction to liquor is caused by several varying aspects and the problem will only be answered once there is a national awareness of the consequences. What is alcoholism? One source states, “Alcoholism is a specific disease to which some people are vulnerable.

Those who are vulnerable develop the disease if they take up drinking” (2) while others call it merely an obsession. To be able to understand the result of drinking, the beginning of one’s fixation should be clear. Some of the reasons a person begins to drink depends on how often they are around the substance, if their parents were addicted and their mental state prior to drinking. It has been proven that alcoholism is an inherited trait from one’s family tree. Family members pass along their negative aspects such as a drinking fascination which develops early in a child’s life.

A father who is suffering from a drinking problem may effect his son’s or daughter’s outcome in life due to either his genetic material or because the father as driven the son or daughter to drink. An offspring may turn towards alcohol at a young age if the child has been exposed to the drug early on when the brain has not finished growing. New research has shown that a person’s brain does not stop maturing until the early twenties. This new discovery explains why kids who start to drink at a tender age are more likely to continue towards alcoholism then a grown adult.

When a young adult, ages 12 to 20, consume a beverage that contains liquor they damage parts of the brain responsible for memory and retention, and other growth mechanisms (Ariniello 2). The Islander Waves states that “Those with familial history of the disease are at a higher risk, but alcoholism is not exclusively a genetic disorder” (Griffin 8) and that other factors contribute to one’s struggle with the drug. Although the age for the consumption and purchasing of liquor is 21, there are 9. 7 million minors who drink each year.

Minors tend to see drinking as exciting and a chance to spend time with an older group of friends. The person who buys the beer, malts or wine not only breaks the law by providing the drug to kids who are underage but they harm them for the rest of their lives. Many underage bingers tend to depend on the alcohol for the rest of their life and continue the trend of handing over the drinks to children under the age of 21. The availability of alcohol scars a person for life and makes them crave the ambrosia. Billboards, television commercials and radio ads all contribute to the increase of liquor drinkers.

Commercials often feature scantily clad women or men playing sports which appeal to a person since they toy with their emotions. Advertisements scream “Drink me and look this good! ” to all that listen when in reality a beer or a malt beverage ill in most cases, not win you the big game or the dream girl. “Alcohol is a powerful drug” states the author of Drinking, Jack Weiner (214). Jack also asserts that since alcohol makes the drinker feel “loose and carefree” the liquor attracts people who can not find alternate ways of relieving stress in their lives.

A man who loathes his job is more likely to drink heavily then a man who enjoys going to work. Liquor evaporates the tensions and creates a new world for the drinker to live in, one that he believes he controls. The top three causes of alcoholism provide deadly ffects that create a hazardous world for even the non-drinker to exist in. The predicament of alcohol dependence affects the people who drink, the businesses that sell and distribute the product, the fluctuating economy and the people whom have nothing to do with the using or purchasing of alcoholic products.

People who consume liquor have physical or mental problems that affect their way of life. Alcohol can be used as a drug and people become addicted to the substance. “It is astonishing how many drinkers are ignorant of the way their favorite alcoholic potions affect them” (Weiner 214). These people believe they need to drink in order to function in everyday life, while they are only harming themselves and the community they live in. Diseases such a liver damage, kidney failure and brain trauma are effects that many users encounter after constant usage of liquor.

The alcohol is spread throughout the system at a constant rate but when a person drinks quickly, it reduces the amount of time that the system has to evenly distribute the liquid and results in high blood alcohol levels. The bloodstream then transfers the drug to the liver, and the brain (214). Cirrhosis of the liver occurs when an alcoholic consumes so uch liquor that the liver can not function properly and shuts down. There is a higher risk for people who drink obsessively to contract cancer, especially the liver.

The heart and circulatory system need thiamine, a vitamin that is vital to the body, and when alcohol enters the bloodstream it lacks thiamine cause the organs not to function properly. The most important organ that liquor effects is the brain, which causes severe damage that is irreversible. Alcohol introduces itself to the brain by attacking the cerebrum and the destruction of the frontal cortex. The cerebrum harbors reason, conscious thinking, memory and control while the rontal cortex contains power and judgment (Bennett 7).

After awhile the blood in the system thins, the brain stops working properly and although problems may not occur right away, the person is stuck with life long complications such as liver and heart injuries. Early death is always the ultimate end to an alcoholic’s life. Consequently, individuals that choose not to succumb to the pressures of alcohol bare the cost of others that enjoy the liquor. Family members that pass away due to excessive drinking leave relatives alone and wondering what they could have done to help and any other questions regarding one’s addiction to alcohol.

Alcohol, like any other cause of unnecessary death, hits a family hard and never leaves them the same, but a little more knowledgeable and understanding. Speaking on a person note, tragedy due to drinking in my family has caused me to turn away from alcohol and endeavor to make others recognize the harms it produces. On the other hand, there are also people who decide to drink and drive, which either’s allows the person to get home safely, or causes an accident that injuries the vehicle or a person/s in the car. Also wreck can involve innocent drivers, or pedestrians.

When a person drives drunk they run the risk of damaging lives since when a person is intoxicated they lose reaction time responses and “believe they are driving more skillfully” (Weiner 217). The drunk driver swerves, speeds and hits animate and inanimate objects that they do not see due to the blurred vision that occurs. There is a fatal accident involving a driver that is legally drunk, which is . 08 or higher, every 30 minutes and make up for more then half of the traffic accidents in the United States (Cable 1).

These are “certain characteristics that a majority of alcoholics” posses and a tartling majority have a “low frustration tolerance” which means they are angered easily (Pittman 38). Drinking causes an imbalance in the brain which results in mood changes and they often lash out at others. When a person who is intoxicated is around other people their minds are clouded and a minor action can produce a huge commotion often involving fighting. This is practically scary if you are a family member, friend or acquaintance who can not escape their abusive ways. There are many ways that innocent people are affected by someone’s decisions to drink.

While he drunken individual hurts the naive person they are unaware of the damage they are causing in their own drunkenness, not only to the other person but to themselves as well. Alcohol is a drug of choice for many people who try to flee from their surroundings. There are many reasons that drive a person to drink, but it also comes with consequences that will follow them until they die. The only way to solve the problem of alcoholism is to understand what causes it and how it affects everyone in the country. If there was no alcohol the death rate would be lower, abuse would decrease and people could lead happier lives!

Why You Shouldnt Drink And Drive

Attenion-Catching Remarks: Every person is accountable for his or her own right to drink. Failure to treat this or any right responsibly has consequences. The persons right can and should be taken away when the failure to act responsibly endangers other. Thesis: Today I would like to talk to you about the problems of drinking and driving, and why it is a concern for all of us. Main Point I: Id like to start off by talking about the penalties of drinking and driving. Did you know that drunk driving is the nations most frequently committed violent crime?

A chronic drunk driver is a person who has driven over 1,000 times before being caught. They do not respond to social pressures, law enforcement, and the messages that have been combined to reform the drinking and driving behavior of our society. Given the highly disproportionate role that these people play in drunk driving incidents, injuries, and fatalities, it would be wise to put our focus on them. The chronic drunk drivers comprise only a small percentage of all the drivers, yet they cause the most accidents.

Studies have found that 21 to 34 year olds make up approximately half of all the drunk drivers that are in alcohol-related fatal accidents. They are also responsible for more fatal accidents than any other age group, and seem to have the highest blood alcohol content. This is where the biggest problem is, considering that they are resistant to change their drinking patterns and behavior. About a third of all drivers arrested for DWIs are repeat offenders according to data gathered in 13 states. Every single injury and death caused by a drunk driver is totally preventable.

Know your limit! If you are not sure what your limit is experiment at home with a responsible person. Most people find that they can drink about one drink per hour without any ill effects. It is illegal for a bar or restaurant to serve an intoxicated person in all but four states. Nearly three out of four (about 72%) of the driving age think that penalties for drinking and driving should be more severe, and half of those think much more severe. On November 7, 2000 Montana residents will have the opportunity to vote on the DUI Inititative No. 5.

In Section 1 makes it unlawful for licensed establishments to sell to a restricted person under alcohol licensing laws. Section 2 provides a civil liability as well as criminal liability for any person providing alcohol to a person restricted from purchasing, possessing, or consuming alcohol. Individuals in their own homes, medical, and religious uses are excluded. Section 3 provides administrative action to be taken upon a licensed establishment violating the terms of licensing.

Section 5 will make it illegal to buy alcohol if restricted; and last, Section 7 provides that the punishment for a conviction of a drinking and driving violation shall include an alcohol restriction, with the restriction noted on the persons license. When you go to vote, vote yes on Inititative No. 135. Montana is 1 of the 22 states that does not have an open container law and is also one of the few states that does not revoke the drivers license of the person who is convicted of a DUI. Research shows that 75 percent of those with suspended licenses will drive illegally, depending on the length of the sentence.

A disturbing phenomenon is that many of these individuals are not choosing to have their license renewed once their sentences have been completed; the typical jail sentence for most drunk drivers is two to three days and, this amount of non-driving time does not have much impact in terms of drinking and driving. Additionally, jail time removes people from their every day lives and people can lose their jobs and the support of family members. In short, everything familiar that could serve as support is taken away.

Research shows that after they are released, convicted drunk drivers are just as likely to commit additional offenses as are offenders who are not jailed. Approximately 79% of legally drunk drivers have blood alcohol contents greater than . 15 and 52% exceed . 20, 99% of people who are of driving age consider drunk drivers a threat to themselves and their families. Main Point II: Next I would like to talk about accidents and the potential dangers there are with drunk drivers on the road. I would like to start out by telling you a story that is written by Kathleen Buenemann, Donettes mother.

On the night of August 8th, 1996, after finishing her shift at work, Donette was on her way home. A 29-year-old female left the beer garden at the county fair, around 11 PM. This girl had been there most of the night drinking. She managed to avoid the police and found her way through town in her Mercedes. Just outside of the city limits of town, she crossed the centerline and sideswiped a Jeep, the full length, and proceeded on across the line and hit my daughters 95 Neon, nearly head-on. My daughters car was spun around and flipped on the drivers side and slid down and embankment, and came to a rest.

A 3rd car drove through the point of impact and was untouched. The 4th car was hit by the debris from my daughters car, but no injuries there. My daughter had tried to move to the shoulder, but the other car continued on to hit her. Donette had her seat belt on and the air bags did deploy, but because of where the impact was the steering wheel went between the front seats so fast that the bag was of no use. Donettes head struck the A post and then the pavement when the car turned on its side. They said she died instantly of massive head injuries and never felt any pain.

I still wonder and have nightmares about this. Our daughter lay in her car, dead, while they attended to the drunk. Her dad was on his way home from work an hour later, on the same road and was detoured around the crash onto another road, not knowing it was Donette. He hadnt been home very long when we got the horrible knock on the door that forever rings in my head. The shock, the screaming, and the pain when your heart has been torn to shreds. Trying to make sense of it all, trying to find out where she is and that you cant go to her immediately, because she has been taken to a strange, cold morgue.

The next hardest thing Ive had to do outside of burying my daughter was to read the medical reports. How do you continue on knowing that her life drained from her ears, and that every major organ in her body was dislodged. The beautiful child, a gift from God, that you created, taken from you in a flash by an irresponsible drunk person, who made the choice to drink and then get in a car and drive. There is no excuse good enough that will ever satisfy us that this was an accident.

It was no accident that this person, took that first drink and chose to allow herself to get in the drunken state, with a blood alcohol content of . . This drunken persons injuries have healed, ours never will. Pain is our constant companion! Most drivers who have had something to drink have low blood alcohol content and very few are involved in fatal crashes. On the other hand, while only a few drivers have blood alcohol contents higher than . 15, many of those drivers have fatal accidents.

The average blood alcohol content among fatally injured drunk drivers is . 17, and almost half of fatally injured drunk drivers have a blood alcohol content of . 20 or higher. With a blood alcohol content of . 15 you increase your fatal accident rate 200 times, at . you increase the rate 460 times. Drunk drivers have slowed reaction and impaired judgment, they cause about 72,500 injuries and deaths every year according to federal estimates.

Here are some DUI statistics- o In 1990, more than half of the fatal car accidents in this country were related to alcohol, killing 22,083 people. This is the equivalent of a fully loaded 747 crashing. Three times a week. Every week. o In the past decade, four times as many Americans died in drunk driving accidents as were killed in the Vietnam War. o About two in every five Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related accident at some time in their lives.

In 1995, in Montana, 42. 3% of the traffic fatalities were alcohol related. o 21-34 Year old drinking drivers comprise approximately half of all the drunk drivers involved in alcohol-related fatal crashes, and they have the highest blood alcohol concentrations in fatal accidents. o Hard Core drunk drivers account for only 1% of all the drivers on the road at night and on weekends, while representing nearly half of all fatal accidents at that time. o The cost for each injured survivor of an alcohol-related crash averaged $67,000, including $6,000 in health care costs and $13,000 in lost productivity.

A drunk driving accident cost innocent victims $26,000. Comparable crime cost per victim: assault–$19,000; robbery–$13,000; motor vehicle theft–$4,000. While we must do even more to reduce drinking and driving, we have already accomplished a great deal. Alcohol-related fatal traffic accidents have declined steadily since 1987 and recently stood at a 18-year low of 33. 6%. ; there is only one fatality for every 600,000 miles driven while legally impaired; and finally, alcohol related traffic fatalities per miles driven dropped 55% between 1982 and 1996.

Main Point III: The last thing that I would like to talk to you about today is the problem of underage drinking and driving. Did you know that it is believed that the average young person will have seen 100,00 beer commercials between the age of 2 and 18? Teens and other young people are over-represented in drunk driving accidents because they tend to be relatively inexperienced drivers, inexperienced consumers of alcohol, more likely to use illegal drugs, and they have a false sense of invincibility and immortality.

People 16 to 24 years old are involved with about 28% of all alcohol-related driving accidents, although they make up 14% of the population. Fortunately driving accidents are declining among the young people. Deaths associated with young drunk drivers has dropped 47% in the last 15 years. Alcohol is a big part of society and the majority of Americans enjoy alcoholic beverages. To pretend that young people will grow up to enter a world of abstinence is both unrealistic and irresponsible. The drinking problems on campus are a self-fulfilling prophecy.

People go off to college falsely believing that everybody is drinking heavily, then they tend to conform in order to fit in as a student. Those who exaggerate the problem of alcohol abuse actually contribute to the problem and make it worse. Clincher: Remember that the typical bottle of beer, glass of wine or spirits drink (shots or a mixed drink) each contains the same amount of alcohol. When it comes to alcohol content, a drink is a drink is a drink. theyre all the same to a breathalyzer.

Alcohol Problems and the Family Life Cycle

I feel that alcohol causes problems not only to the user/drinker but also to their spouses, children, and other family members. Problem drinking can change the roles played by family members in relation to one another and the relationships that surround them. As a family member develops this problem, the drinker may fail to perform his or her functions as a breadwinner, to the support their children or to complete chores. These things get done by another person, often times, the spouse. However, a child may be forced to take on adult roles and responsibilities depriving them of their childhood.

The child, may, (like the non-drinking spouse) feel that he or she is to blame for the problems the family. The drinker’s behavior usually becomes unpredictable and disruptive making it difficult for the family to plan activities in advance or to stick to routines. The unpredictable, disruptive behavior of the drinker maybe embarrassing to them. The family may have a difficult time explaining to others the real reasons for what is happening in the family setting and out of the family setting. Domestic violence and alcohol are often associated.

Drinking is not necessary for domestic violence to occur; however, many abusers are either alcoholics or under the influence of alcohol at the time of the abuse. The child may experience various forms of neglect and feel abandoned by both parents. Alcohol problems vary in nature and in severity. Therefore, how badly a child is affected by the problems depend on the child’s age. A child under five is more vulnerable to poor or lack of physical care and nurturance; on the other hand, the older child may be more susceptible to psychological damage.

Of course the younger child can also suffer from psychological damage. Children of problem drinking parents are at increased risk of problems during their childhood. They can show anti-social behavior, emotional problems, and problems at school. Children of problem drinking parents are at risk of problems, but not all children experience problems at the same level. Some do not appear to experience any problems even while they are children, let alone as adults.

Some of the factors influencing the higher chances of a child experiencing problems are: violence, marital conflict, separation, divorce and loss of a parent, inconsistency in parenting. So, you see, alcohol can affect the family and the development of the family in many ways. The development can be stunted or stopped until the alcohol user gets help. And until, the family recognizes that this alcohol use is a problem, the cycle of the break down of the family unit will be perpetuated.

Alcoholism And Its Effects

When people hear the word “drug,” they usually think of an illegal substance such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana, or any other drug that can be found on the street. Most people never consider the fact that consuming alcohol can be just as harmful as illegal drugs, not only on the body, but on the mind and spirit as well (#1). If constantly abused, alcohol can be even worse for one than taking illegal drugs (#5) Irresponsible drinking can destroy a person’s life as well as the lives of those around them.

When people become both physically and psychologically addicted to alcohol, they become an alcoholic and suffer from a disease called alcoholism. One denotation of this term is “a diseased condition of the system, brought about by the continued use of alcoholic liquors” (Webster’s Dictionary, 37). Another definition of this term, given to me by my English professor, Janet Gould who is in fact, a recovering alcoholic, is that alcoholism is a mental dependence and a physical allergy (#3). Alcoholism somehow affects us all through a parent, sibling, friend, or even personal encounters with a stranger.

In fact “alcoholics may become angry and argumentative, quiet and withdrawn, or depressed. They may also feel more anxious, sad, tense, and confused. They then seek relief by drinking more” (Gitlow 175). Alcohol and Alcoholism is a big part in our society, which should be recognized and dealt with. In addition “about 7%” of all adults who consume alcohol in the United States today are considered alcoholics, or have suffered from some sort of drinking problem in their lives (Secretary of health viii).

“Although there is no indication of how the alcoholism of families members is linked … hrough genetics], studies show that about 50 to 80 percent of all alcoholics have had a close relative that was an alcoholic” (Caplan 266). Many times alcoholism starts during a person’s high school and college years; however some teenagers and young adults frequently abuse alcohol and never think about the physical, mental, and emotional toll that alcohol can have on a person’s life (#3). Alcoholism usually begins with social drinking then a person will find excuses to drink more often (Burgess 13).

When alcohol is made more readily available to an individual, such as in a college environment, it increases the risk that person will drink excessively (Ewing 173) (#5). The chances of a person becoming an alcoholic are much higher for a person who drinks excessively and lower for a person who drinks moderately. Most alcoholics start out by building up a tolerance, causing them to drink higher amounts of alcohol to get the same effect; this tolerance is the starting point of an alcoholic’s dependence and causes many problems in an alcoholic’s life (#2).

Alcohol begins to control the individual’s life and causes their drinking habits to conflict with their best interests (Burgess 16). Personal relationships can be torn apart, jobs are frequently lost, and the health of a person deteriorates when an individual begins to rely on a drink to get by (Burgess 16). Sometimes a person may start to drink at every waking moment of the day because they cannot deal with the withdrawals of being sober (Burgess 16).

Furthermore, alcohol can have many physical effects on a person’s body; internal organs and systems can be severely damaged and even shut down when too much alcohol is consumed (#2). The prolonged use of large amounts of alcohol without an adequate diet may cause serious liver damage, such as “cirrhosis of the liver” (Secretary of health 47). “It has been estimated that 10% of all alcoholic persons develop cirrhosis, a disease characterized by diffuse scarring of the liver” (Secretary of health 47).

The central nervous system can also be permanently damaged causing a person to possibly blackout, hallucinate, and experience tremors. The term “blackout” does not mean loss of consciousness, but is referred to as the “lost hour” with the intoxicated person remembering nothing the next day (Burgess 13). The withdrawal symptoms that a severe alcoholic can experience are sometimes compared to the same withdrawals as a heroin addict, yet people still do not consider alcohol to be a drug. Drinking during pregnancy can cause serious damage to the unborn child.

An unborn child of an alcoholic may develop mental or physical retardation during pregnancy. Additionally, a child who has an alcoholic parent is much more likely to become an alcoholic themselves later in life. For example, I have an extended family of alcoholics. Many of my uncles are alcoholics, and my grandmother is a recovering alcoholic (#1). I have seen how alcoholism has led my uncle to a divorce, and also how it drove my cousin to other dependencies such as cocaine, gambling, and theft (#1).

In a recent interview with my English professor, Janet Gould, she explained to me that alcohol affects alcoholics differently. Her first drink was at the age of nineteen with her boyfriend. After her first sip she said ” Wow I can feel the bubbles of this champagne going up to my head. ” She explained that alcohol, for her, was cunning, baffling, and yet powerful. Asking her husband, “How do you know when alcohol is a major part of your life” he stated “ask yourself the question how important is it to you? ” Alcohol destroyed her family life with her losing her husband and children.

I am glad to say she is now a recovering alcoholic and has been sober for sometime now. Clearly, alcoholism is a serious matter that is too often overlooked. “Alcohol is the most abused drug in the United States” (Sec of Health viii). Restaurants, sporting events, parties, and other social events all provide alcohol to just about anybody, even if a person is underage. High school and underage college students often find that obtaining alcohol is not an challenging obstacle. Simply being aware of how much an individual consumes and how often that they consume it can curb alcoholism.

Drinking is a large part of most social functions and is accepted by most people, but the problems begin when alcohol is abused (#1). The only guarantee that a person will not become an alcoholic is complete abstinence of alcohol whereas even the slightest amount of alcohol can lead to a person to alcoholism (#4). Anytime a person takes a drink; they are taking a risk that can change the way they will live the rest of their lives. Even though it is a legal substance, alcohol can destroy a person just as easily as any illegal drug.

Alcoholisim And Its Effects On An Individual

Alcoholism is a primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. The disease is often progressive and fatal. It is characterized by continuous or periodic: impaired control over drinking, preoccupation with the drug alcohol, use of alcohol despite adverse consequences, and distortions in thinking, most notably denial (NCADD). ” Its effects on an individual are an indescribable, harsh, reality of what one drug can do to an individual.

Some people wonder when drinking becomes a problem. For most dults, moderate alcohol use, no more than two drinks a day for men and one for women is relatively harmless. A “drink” consists of 1. 5 ounces of spirits, 5 ounces of wine or 12 ounces of beer (Etiology). Moderate use, however, lies at one end of a continuum that moves through alcohol abuse to alcohol dependence. Alcohol abuse is a drinking pattern that results in consequences that are significant and recurrent.

Alcoholics may fail to fulfill major school, work, or family obligations. They may have drinking-related legal problems, such as DUIs and they may have relationship problems related to their drinking. People with alcoholism have become compulsive in their alcohol use. Although they can control their drinking at times, they are often unable to stop once they start. As their tolerance increases, they may need more and more alcohol to achieve the same “high”.

Or they may become physically dependent on alcohol, suffering withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, sweating, restlessness, irritability, tremors and even hallucinations and convulsions when they stop after a period of heavy drinking. It doesn’t matter what kind of alcohol someone drinks or even how much: alcohol dependent people simply lack control over their Alcohol-related disorders are caused by many things. Problem drinking has multiple causes, with genetic, physiological, psychological and social factors all playing a role (Sher & Trull).

For some alcoholics, psychological traits such as impulsiveness, low self-esteem and a need for approval prompt inappropriate drinking. Others drink as a way of coping with emotional pain. Still others use alcohol to “medicate themselves. Heavy drinking can cause physiological changes that make more drinking the only way to avoid discomfort. Genetic factors cause some people to be especially vulnerable to alcohol. However, a family history of alcoholism doesn’t mean that children of alcoholics will automatically grow up to become alcoholics themselves.

Environmental factors such as peer pressure and the easy availability of alcohol can also play roles. Although alcohol-related disorders can strike anyone, poverty and physical or sexual Alcoholics, as a group, tend to demand a lot of themselves as individiuals. They put an enormous amont of emphasis on trying to please others and themselves. The frustration that can become of this is all but pleasing. They may become pinfully depressed or overly agressive causing amily life to deteriorate rapidly (Family).

If the person is married, the significant other is forced to make a decision as to whether they are going to stay with the alcoholic or not. Many families try to deny the fact that the person is an alcoholic causing the situation to deteriorate even further. One may wonder how alcoholisim affects the family. By allowing an alcoholics behavior to be controlled by a substance, the abuser, family members, friends and colleagues unknowingly become part of the problem. Substance abusers cannot stop the habit of drinking without the help of others.

Abusing alcohol can have several effects on the family. These things can be anything like a lack of trust in other people, difficulty expressing feelings, working hard to keep things going at home and school, insecurity, loneliness, anger, frustration, guilt, and fear (Family). However, one should not accept blame for someone elses behavior, have an attitude that makes the alcohoic think that they are less than oneself, use the if you loved me you would stop appeal, make idle threats, argue with the alcoholic when they are under the influence, and have unrealistic expectations.

What one really should do is learn the facts about alcoholisim, develop an attitude to match the facts, talk to someone such as a professional counselor about alcoholisim, make use of sources such as Al-Anon, maintain a healthy lifestyle for oneself, and take a stand about The symptoms of alcoholisim can start out minor and hard to detect at first, however they will rapidly show themselves over the course of time. Many of the symptoms may include loss of continuous impared control over drinking, progression with the drug, use of alcohol despite consequences, distortions in thinking, personality change, and most

Many alcoholics say that they have a good reason for their drinking. These reasons vary considerably from loneliness to attraction, and escaping from pain to control issues. These patterns are common to addiction. No individual would like to admit that they are any different than anyone else. Therefore, it is understandable that they would want to make excuses for their drinking. They would like to one day, control their drinking, for that is the wish of every alcoholic (Big Book). However, many alcoholics die in the process of doing this.

Alcohol-related disorders can affect people in many many ways. Small amounts of alcohol may have some beneficial physical effects, but heavy drinking can cause serious health problems and even death. Short-term effects include distorted perceptions, memory loss, hangovers and black-outs. However, most problems aren’t apparent until they become serious. Long term, heavy drinking can cause impotence, stomach ailments, cardiovascular problems, cancer, CNS (central nervous system) damage, serious memory loss and liver cirrhosis (NCADD).

Cirrhosis is one of the most common disorders associated with alcoholism. It is the most severe form of liver disease. The liver is especially vulnerable to the toxic effects of alcohol because it is the primary component for filtering out substances in the blood. Alcohol also increases the chances of dying from automobile accidents, homicide and suicide. Heavy drinking also has a impact on ones mental health. Alcoholism can worsen existing conditions, such as depression, or induce new problems, such as serious memory Alcoholics dont just hurt themselves.

According to National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence (NCADD), more than half of Americans have at least one close relative with a drinking problem (NCADD). The esults can be devastating. Spouses are more likely to face domestic violence. Children are more likely to develop psychological problems, suffer physical and sexual abuse and neglect. Women who drink during pregnancy run a serious risk of damaging their fetuses. A person that lives in a house with an alcoholic has an approximately twenty-five percent of marriying another alcoholic (Family). The reasons for this are still being researched.

However, some researchers believe that it occurs becuase the person is used to being with an alcoholic. The individual might be used to living with someone that is ot normal in societys eyes, but in their eyes is something that is normal to them (Sher, Walitzer, Wood). It has also been found that the children of alcoholics do drink most of the time. Some do not drink to the extent of the parent because they do not want to turn out like their parent. However, in studies and surveys, it has been found that the children of Someone should seek help when signs of a possible problem occur.

These include having friends or relatives express concern, being annoyed when people criticize your drinking, feeling guilty about your drinking and hinking that you should cut down but finding yourself unable to do so (NCADD). Needing a morning drink to steady your nerves or relieve a hangover is another warning sign. Alcoholics usually can’t stop drinking through willpower alone. Most need outside help. They may need medically supervised detoxification to avoid potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms such as seizures, for instance.

Depending on the problem’s severity, treatment can take place during office visits, hospital stays or residential treatment programs. Once people are stabilized, they eed help resolving psychological issues that may be associated with A psychologist can help an alcoholic. They play a huge role in the successful treatment of alcohol-related disorders. One should be sure to choose a psychologist who is experienced in working with alcohol-related disorders. To improve the chances of recovery, one should seek help early. Using individual or group psychotherapy, psychologists can help people address psychological issues involved in their drinking.

They can help people boost their motivation, identify situations that trigger drinking and learn new coping methods. They can also provide information to programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous. The treatment process doesn’t end once drinking does, however. To help prevent relapses, psychologists usually keep working with people as they begin new lives. Many people seek additional support through continued involvement in A. A. Because families influence both drinking and recovery, marital and family therapy are also key. Psychologists can help families repair relationships and work through the complex transitions that occur as recovery begins.

They can help families understand alcoholism and learn how to support family embers in recovery. They can also refer family members to self-help Many people also wonder if treatment really works. Evidence strongly suggests that many people, especially those with jobs, families and other forms of social stability, recover after their first attempt (History). Not everyone is so fortunate. Some cycle between relapse and recovery several times before achieving long-term sobriety. What’s important is for the person to stop drinking again and get additional support (Relapse).

While alcoholism is treatable, so far no cure has been found. That means people remain susceptible to relapses even after they’ve been sober for a long time. Reducing alcohol consumption doesn’t work. Most experts agree that the goal should be complete avoidance of alcohol. Alcohol-related disorders can severely impair people’s functioning and health. But the prospects for long-term recovery are good for people who seek help from appropriate sources. Qualified psychologists with experience in this area can help those who suffer from alcohol-related disorders stop drinking and start regaining control of their lives.

Alcohol Related Deaths

More than 100,000 deaths per year are attributed to alcohol, in the United States. Alcohol-related auto accidents account for approximately 24,000 of these deaths (most often the victims are under 30 years of age), while alcohol-related homicide account for 11,000 and suicide 8,000 deaths. Certain types of cancer, which are partly associated with the consumption of alcohol, contribute to another 17,000 deaths. Alcohol-related strokes are responsible for 9,000 deaths. 25,000 lost lives are due to 12 alcohol-related diseases including cirrhosis of the liver.

All these deaths combined are the equivalent of 200 jumbo jetliners rashing and taking the lives of everyone onboard, in just one year. Such numbers are staggering until you realize that it is Coronary Heart Disease that is the number one killer in the United States, not alcohol. There are roughly 900,000 persons admitted to U. S. hospitals for strokes annually and 830,00 admitted for Congestive Heart Failure. Though they are not always fatal, these diseases will leave its victims at varying levels of incapacitation.

Looking at specific age groups, cardiovascular disease is the #1 killer of those age 65+ and #2 killer of those age 25 64 This is a political issue for the U. S. with o many lives lost to alcohol-related disease and accidents. Leaders will not be perceived favorably by designating research money to study the health benefits of a drug responsible for damaging so many lives. I believe it is this political climate which limits research in this area, and I believe it is this climate that limits the amount of coverage the media provides about its possible benefits.

As I began to research this subject I was intrigued by the vast number of articles and studies on the health benefits of wine. The industry has submitted a number of press releases attempting to counter the negative social tigma alcohol had developed circa 1992 – 98. These articles aside, I found reputable sources, with published reports, from such respected names as Harvard, UC Davis, Georgetown, and the Mayo Clinic. Several of these studies have been published in the American Medical Journal, and the New England Journal of Medicine.

I found articles referring to the French Paradox. This is an occurrence where the French diet contains equal levels of fat as the U. S. however the coronary disease related mortality rate of France is 1/3 that of the U. S. diet. I believe we must investigate and prove or disprove the assertion hat wine is somehow involved. Either we are letting hundreds of thousands of people die or become severely debilitated senselessly by not taking advantage of wines possible benefits, or we are allowing an industry to spread half-truths with the potential of hurting unsuspecting consumers.

Mounting evidence continues to suggest that when taken with a balanced diet, moderate amounts of wine can reduce the level of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream, reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce the risk of stroke, and thus lower mortality rates. Are there health benefits to drinking moderate amounts of ine, which will reduce the mortality rate in humans?

Even though fat intake in France is similar to the American diet, the liberal consumption of wine in France protects the French against coronary heart disease by lowering LDL cholesterol and thereby lowering the risk of blockage, thus reducing mortality rates. First, mounting evidence continues to suggest that when taken with a balanced diet, moderate amounts of wine can reduce the level of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream. The human body manufactures approximately 80% of the cholesterol used and stored in its cells.

The remaining 20% is erived from eating animal products. Cholesterol is transported through the body via the bloodstream. To allow this, the body attaches a protein to the cholesterol. This combination is called a lipoprotein. The body requires high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (good cholesterol) to assist in the removal of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol from the blood vessels. Failure to remove excessive amounts of LDL cholesterol will result in a plaque buildup and blockage of the bodys main arteries.

Blockages may occur gradually or suddenly. Plaque can break off and create a blood clot, ith the consequences of a possible heart attack or stroke. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic suggest a low-fat diet and exercise to lower and maintain the correct balance of cholesterol. If the balance can not be achieved through diet and exercise, drugs are now available to reduce levels of HDL cholesterol; drugs for this treatment however are costly (up to $200 per month) and are associated with some risk of liver damage.

In a Mayo Clinic Dietician report the clinic sites a 1997 American Journal of Cardiology report that alcohol provides the greatest benefit by raising high density lipoprotein and by decreasing the stickiness f blood, making it less likely to clot. The report continued by saying red wines contain the antioxidants: flavonoids and phenols, which hinder plaque from forming. These antioxidants also possess an anti-clotting quality. Wine contains approximately 200 different phenolic compounds, but only a handful are considered antioxidants. The antioxidant flavonoids are water-soluble plant pigments.

First discovered by the Nobel Prize winning scientist Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi (who first discovered Vitamin C), Dr. Szent-Gyorgyi found that flavonoids strengthened capillary walls even better than Vitamin C. The main ources of flavonoids include fruit, tea, and soy. The report stated that the flavonoids in these foods protect against heart disease and cancer. Dr Andrew Waterhouse of the University of Davis, Department of Viticulture, and Enology says wine is one of the best sources of phenolic antioxidants available to Americans. Davis researchers believe wine to possess five times the phenolic levels of fresh grapes.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic as well as those at the University of California at Davis did stress alcohol is a highly addictive drug, and may not be appropriate for all persons (including children, adolescents and ersons with addiction issues). If used however, they believe wine should be used only in moderation. Because of differing opinions on its benefits, the researchers did not suggest that any patient start drinking. Evidence is mounting however that wine has the ability to lower LDL cholesterol, and reduces the damaging affects of the bad cholesterol.

Next, mounting evidence continues to suggest that when taken with a balanced diet, moderate amounts of wine can reduce the risk of heart disease, and thus lower mortality rates. A CNN report by Hacsi Horvath said on the benefits of wine, Several studies have hown that drinking a glass or two with meals may indeed help to protect against heart disease. The report referred to what some call the French Paradox a phenomenon where out of 21 affluent countries studied, France has the highest wine consumption rate, and the second lowest cardiovascular disease mortality rate.

This would coincide with the Mediterranean Diet. So why not simply drink more grape, or other dark fruit juices? Horvaths report said this would be beneficial, however other reports have suggested the concentration of phenolic compounds was greater in red wines because the juice is actually fermented with the grape skins, pulp, and stems. In addition, during the processing of ordinary juices he juice is exposed to much oxygen, greatly reducing the healthful benefits. Winemaking on the other hand is an anaerobic process; the healthful properties of the compounds are maintained.

So, juice is good but wine is better. Dr. Jean-Paul Broustet of Haut Leveque Hospital in Pessac, southern France, writing an editorial for the British medical journal Heart noted red wine as one of the best components contributing to a healthy heart. He states its beneficial traits of lowering LDL cholesterol, but also notes the presence of resveratrol a compound that heightens the production of HDL cholesterol. Red grapes produce esveratrol to protect themselves from fungus.

The highest concentrations of resveratrol are found in the red wines, particularly in Cabernet Sauvignon grapes of Bordeaux. Because red wines ferment with grape skins and stem parts, the red wines have higher concentrations of resveratrol than do white wines. It is believed that some phenolic compounds including resveratrol act as antioxidants to prevent cell damage from oxygen-containing chemicals known as free radicals. The CNN report concluded that there was still much evidence however that it is primarily the alcohol, which acts to lower LDL protein by hinning the blood.

Yet, wine with a balanced low fat diet, maintained lower levels of LDL cholesterol which contributes to a lower frequency of heart disease and lower mortality rates. Lastly, mounting evidence continues to suggest that when taken with a balanced diet, moderate amounts of wine reduce the risk of stroke, and thus lower mortality rates. A CNN review of a study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association it says, alcohol consumption appears to protect against ischemic strokes, which occur when the blood supply to the brain is blocked by a blood clot.

Dr. Salvatore ays that 80% of all strokes are ischemic strokes. The study group included 677 people forty years of age and older, from Manhattan, who had suffered an ischemic stroke. Test results were compared to 1,139 subjects from the same community; those who drank up to two drinks per day had a 45% lower risk for suffering a stroke. Another study found similar results. Dr. Michael Elkind of Columbia University said, Our study showed that having a drink a day or perhaps two drinks per day can reduce the risk of stroke perhaps as much as 50%.

Yet another, and much larger 16-year study of 13,000 test subjects in Denmark just one year earlier found similar results (32% less chance of stroke) from drinking one glass of wine per day. The study had not gained much attention in the United States because the sample included only one ethnic race. Dr. Stuart Seides, a cardiologist with the American Heart Association noted that the study is based on one ethnic population, while Americans are a diverse lot with many dietary habits.

In Dr. Salvatores more recent study however, test results were consistent across white, African American, and Hispanic groups. The Danish test contrasted the variables of wine, beer, and hard liquor. The same positive results were not achieved for the beer or hard liquor drinkers. Another researcher, Jane Freedman conducting a study at Georgetown University Medical Center introduced grape juice to cells that cause clotting, and said, they have a much less tendency to form clots.

Two other studies supporting the benefits of moderate consumption of wine include the Harvard-based Nurses Health Study and the Physicians Health Study. These studies found moderate drinking lowers womens risk of death by 17% and mens risk by 22%. Possibly because of its antioxidant value, and/or its blood thinning ffects, but evidence from studies continues to grow showing the moderate use of wine has a positive influence on decreasing the risk of stroke.

A drink is commonly defined as 12 ounces of beer or wine cooler, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits. Researchers all agree moderation is an important control. Evidence exists that wine in moderation (1 2 drinks per day) as part of a healthy diet does provide health benefits. However like other drugs, abuse of wine can prove destructive. If a greater number of persons with heart disease may benefit from moderate consumption of wine, should we imit further research because of those who may abuse the drug?

If we apply this logic to all controlled substances, we would not have access to many of the life-saving (or pain-killing) drugs available today. Existing research seems to indicate that further studies are required to determine the comparative levels of effectiveness between overall diet, the moderate consumption of wine with meals, and though not addressed in this report: exercise. Lower LDL cholesterol levels seem to be an important factor to reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack. The studies I reviewed indicate each of these factors contribute to a healthier life.

Alcoholism: Symptoms, Causes, and Effects

Alcoholism is a disease that affects many people in the United States today. It not only affects the alcoholic, but also their family, friends, co-workers, and eventually total strangers. The symptoms are many, as are the causes and the effects. Alcoholism is defined as a pattern of drinking in which harmful consequences result for the drinker, yet, they continue to drink. There are two types of drinkers. The first type, the casual or social drinker, drinks because they want to.

They drink with a friend or with a group for pleasure and only on occasion. The other type, the compulsive drinker, drinks because they have to, despite the adverse effects that drinking has on their lives. The symptoms of alcoholism vary from person to person, but the most common symptoms seen are changes in emotional state or stability, behavior, and personality. “Alcoholics may become angry and argumentive, or quiet and withdrawn or depressed. They may also feel more anxious, sad, tense, and confused.

They then seek relief by drinking more” (Gitlow 175). “Because time and amount of drinking are uncontrollable, the alcoholics is likely to engage in such behaviors as [1] breaking family commitments, both major and minor; [2] spending more money than planned; [3] drinking while intoxicated and getting arrested; [4] making inappropriate remarks to friends, family, and co-workers; [5] arguing, fighting and other anti-social actions. The alcoholic would probably neither do such things, nor approve of them in others unless he was drinking” (Johnson 203).

The cause of alcoholism is a combination of biological, psychological, and cultural factors that may contribute to the development of alcoholism in an individual. Alcoholism seems to run in families. “Although there is no conclusive indication of how the alcoholism of families members is associated, studies show that 50 to 80 percent of all alcoholics have had a close alcoholic relative” (Caplan 266). Some researchers have suggested that in several cases, alcoholics have an inherited, predisposition to alcohol addiction.

Studies of animals and human twins have lent support to this theory. Alcoholism can also be related to emotional instabilities. For example, alcoholism is often associated with a family history of manic-depressive illness. Additionally, like many other drug abusers, alcoholics often drink hoping to “drown” anxious or depressed feelings. Some alcoholics drink to reduce strong inhibitions or guilt about expressing negative feelings. Social and cultural factors play roles in to establishing drinking patterns and the development of alcoholism.

In some cultures, there is conflict between abstaining and accepting the use of alcohol as a way to change moods or to be social, thus making it difficult for some people to develop stable attitudes about and moderate patterns of drinking. Society tends to aid in the development of alcoholism by making alcohol seem glamorous, showing that by drinking, you will become more popular, more glamorous and more worthy of respects from others. The physical effects of alcoholism are somewhat gruesome. Excessive in take and prolonged use of alcohol can cause serious disturbances in body chemistry.

Many alcoholics exhibit swollen and tender livers. The prolonged use of large amounts of alcoholism without adequate diet may cause serious liver damage, such as cirrhosis of the liver” (McCarthy 505). Alcoholism also causes loss of muscular control. The condition, delirium tremens, known primarily to heavy drinkers, causes hallucinations along with loss of control of muscular functioning. When this condition develops and the alcoholic slows their drinking, withdrawal syndrome can and often does occur. This may include agitation, tremors, seizures, and hallucinations. Alcoholism also casues damage to the brain.

Alcoholics may suffer from lack of concentration. The alcoholic may also experience “blackouts,” occasional onsets of memory lapses, and possibly complete memory loss. They may also suffer from more serious forms of brain damage. The social effects of alcoholism can be as devastating as the physical effects. Children of alcoholics may be affected by the parents alcoholism in several different ways. Having a problem- drinker parent often increases the risk of becoming a problem drinker oneself. This may happen for reasons such as identification with or imitation of the alcoholic parent.

It may also happen because of the social and family conditons that are thought to be associated with the development of alcoholism. These include family conflict, job insecurity, divorce, and social stigma. Alcoholism is an outrageous public health problem. “The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences estimates that alcoholism and alcohol abuse in the United States cost society from $40 to $60 billion annually, due to the lost production, health and medical care, motor vehicle accidents,violent crime, and social programs that respond to alcohol problems.

One half of all traffic fatalities and one-third of all traffic injuries are related to to the abuse of alcohol” (Caplan 266). Accidents and suicides that are associated with alcohol problems are especially prominent in the teen years. It is estimated that over 3 million teens between the ages of 14 and 17 in the United States today are problem drinkers. Alcoholism is a serious problem in today”s society.

It is extremely important that the public, including the large groups of users and abusers of alcohol, gain as much knowledge as possible about the symptoms and effects of alcoholism if we ever want to see the reduction of statics involving fatalities, injuries, diseases caused from the use and abuse of alcohol. Education and realization of the effects alcoholism can have on the different aspects of a person”s life are the best ways that we can help control the number of alcoholics in the United States.

Alcohol vs. Marijuana

Alcohol and marijuana are two drugs commonly used and abused in the United States. Alcohol is the number one abused drug, while marijuana is number one among illegal drugs. While alcohol remains legal, and marijuana illegal, this does not necessarily mean that the alcohol is better for you. There have been many arguments where people suggest that marijuana should be legal because alcohol is more deadly. On the other hand, there are alcoholics who would tell a pothead that smoking weed is bad for you. Both substances are very bad for your health and should not be heavily used by anyone.

Marijuana has an immediate effect during and for about 2 hours after smoking. With alcohol, users feel slight effects after just one drink, and recover depending on the amount the person drank, how much they weigh, and how much they had to eat before ingesting the alcohol. Immediate effects of use are slurred speech, decreased inhibitions, poor judgment, and lack of motor coordination. Marijuana causes red eyes, dry mouth, increased appetite, slowed reaction, paranoia, hallucinations, decreased social inhibitions, and memory loss. Drinking heavy amounts of alcohol can lead to a coma or even death.

A person would have to smoke 40,000 times the amount to get high to overdose, so it is practically impossible. Alcohol is responsible for over 100,000 deaths per year. Marijuana kills less than 10,000 per year. Among the deaths caused by alcohol, drinking and driving is number one. Not only is it number one among alcohol related deaths, it is also one of the main causes of death and injury in the United States. Alcohol impairs judgment and vision, and causes speeding and reckless driving. On the other hand, there has been debate over the effect of marijuana on driving.

One study by a computer software company reported that people who smoked a small amount of marijuana drove faster and with fewer collisions in a driving computer game. Another study said that marijuana causes abnormally slow driving, proneness to distraction, and increases the time it takes to react, therefore greatly impairs your ability to drive. Long-term effects of alcohol are liver cirrhosis, stomach ailments, impotence, vitamin deficiency, increased stroke risk, decreased mental performance, heart disease, peptic ulcers, hepatitis, and various forms of cancer.

Alcohols effects on the brain are loss of coordination, poor judgment, slowed reflexes, distorted vision, memory lapses, and even blackouts. Long-term effects of marijuana are mouth, throat, and lung cancer, increased heart rate, decrease in testosterone levels for men, increased testosterone levels for women, diminished sexual pleasure, increased blood pressure, increased stress, decreased motivation, and respiratory problems. The THC in marijuana damages the nerve cells in the part of the brain where memories are formed, making it hard to remember things.

Both substances can lead to dependence, especially alcohol. If one abuses alcohol for to long and becomes dependent, they are considered to be an alcoholic. There has been debate on whether marijuana is addictive. Some experts believe that since there are no obvious withdrawal symptoms, it is not considered to be an addictive drug. Others claim that it is addictive because it takes the place of natural feel good chemicals in the brain, so people become physically addicted.

Alcoholism on the other hand, is considered a disease. Ten percent of people who drink will become alcoholics. There seems to be a genetic factor associated with alcoholism. Biological children of alcoholics have a greater chance of becoming alcoholics themselves than a child who is adopted into a family with a history of alcoholism. If an alcoholic abruptly stops drinking, he will go through withdrawal symptoms known as alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

The symptoms are nausea, tremors, sweating, anxiety, depression, weakness, hallucinations, and even death. Despite the talk about alcohol abuse and alcoholism, alcohol can actually be good for you. If one drinks in moderation (2-6 drinks per week in two or more sittings) it can lessen the chance of heart disease by thinning your blood. There are no known health benefits associated with moderate marijuana use. Both drugs have serious health effects when used heavily, but it seems that alcohol more detrimental to your health.

Teen alcoholism essay

Teen alcoholism is a problem that has been plaguing the United States for many decades now. The legal age for alcohol consumption is twenty-one years old in every state of the United States, but this law is commonly broken. The fact that it has not been strictly enforced caused an outbreak of alcohol consumption between minors all over, and because of this, we have been accepting teenage drinking more than ever. The problem lies in the lack of law enforcement, the acceptance by parents and guardians, and the overall attitude of teenagers themselves.

Although there are many ways to attempt to treat alcoholism, we find few solutions to be effective (Cristol, 2002). Alcoholism is defined as a disorder characterized by the excessive consumption of and dependence on alcoholic beverages, leading to physical and psychological harm and impaired social and vocational functioning. Alcohol is a huge problem in high school and in college. Twenty-one may be the legal drinking age, but some how minors find a way to get a hold of alcohol. People as young as fifteen are able to get their hands on an alcoholic beverage. Alcohol is said to be the chosen drug among high school and college students.

Underage drinkers have a tendency to drink more then the general population. It is said that high school students spend approximately $4. 2 billion annually on alcohol. This money is spent on 430 gallons of alcoholic beverages, and 4 million cans of beer. The type of school, location, the ethnic and gender makeup plays a role in the amount of drinking that occurs among students (USA Today[a], 2003). Studies show that students drink more when they are in a group, which speaks to peer influences. When it comes to drinking at parties there is no legal age so to speak.

When someone goes to a party they don’t get carded, they get a cup. Studies show that students between the ages of 16-21 drink more then those that are over 21. Statistics show that the younger the person the more he or she drinks. Forty one percent of students report to binge drinking, and nearly four percent drink daily. Binge drinking is defined as four drinks for a women in one sitting, and five drinks for a male in one sitting. Students that binge drink have even more problems then students who don’t. Binge drinkers are more likely to have hangovers and engage themselves in unplanned sexual activity.

There are endless consequences that come with drinking. A range of problems occur due to alcohol consumption. The most popular problem that occurs with drinking is academic problems, others include things such as trauma, date rape, recklessness, vandalism and pregnancy in women. In a recent study 56,000 students reported a slip in their grades. Students went from an A to D’s and F’s, their GPA’s dropped which will effects their future career plans as well as any scholarships they are receiving or attempting to receive (MADD[a], 2004). Alcoholism is the most common drug abuse problem in the United States.

Eleven million Americans suffer from it. This abuse occurs in several different ways: loss of control over drinking, getting drunk daily, or drinking every weekend. It is usually marked by withdrawal symptoms and by increasing tolerance for alcohol. It is a chronic, progressive, relapsing brain disease. Five percent of Americans die of alcoholism and ninety-five percent of alcoholics die of alcoholism. Its physical, social, and psychological effects tend to get progressively worse (Song, 2003).

Is alcoholism genetic or is it due to lack of self-control? Through research, Dr. Robert R. Perkinson attests that alcoholism is nothing to be ashamed of because it is genetic. There are different genetic types of alcoholism. Perkinson distinguished two forms of alcoholism. One type is an environmental related type of alcoholism, associated with recurrent alcohol abuse, but without criminality in the biological parents. The other type was found to be highly heritable and was associated with alcohol abuse in the biological parents (Cristol, 2002). The environmental alcoholism occurs in both men and women, has a later age of onset, is less severe, and is not often associated with social problems such as fighting and arrests.

The second type is known as the male-limited alcoholism, occurs mainly in males and has an earlier age of onset, a more severe course, and more alcohol-related social problems (Cristol, 2002). An alcoholic is not the only person affected. Family members are often drawn into this life of darkness. Not only is the divorce rate higher among alcoholics, but research completed by the American Institute for Prevention of Medicine notes that children of alcoholics are four times more likely to become alcoholics and have long lasting emotional problems (Cristol, 2002).

Also, alcohol consumption has devastating results when mixed with the operation of a motor vehicle. The more a person drinks, the more their ability to operate a motor vehicle becomes more dangerous. After just one drink, a driver can lose their ability to perform the task to drive a car. In fact, a driver will become illegally intoxicated and can be arrested for attempting to operate a motor vehicle. In every state there is a legal to how much alcohol you can have in your body if youre driving. If you drink and drive you can loses your drivers license and even go to jail.

Traffic crashes is the effect of driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, too. More than 5,000 young people die every year in car crashes and 1,000 more than injured. There is another reason why teens are in danger after they drink and driving. Teens drive faster and dont control the car as well as an experienced driver, especially after when they drink (USA Today[b], 2003). Though there are many ways to go about treating alcoholism, the best way is the confront the issue and make yourself quit.

It is a tedious and frustrating thing to do, so there are many groups and organizations out there to help you get through it. Alcoholism is a very serious problem that usually takes years of counseling and support to overcome. The physical and mental symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol make it extremely difficult for one to quit. At one time, doctors believed that alcoholics deserved this punishment for indulging in alcohol. However, today we know that a person who goes through several periods of withdrawal symptoms can end up with permanent brain damage (Steiner, 2003).

There are many ways to treat the problem of teen alcoholism and to prevent this problem from happening to teens at all. According to Derek Miller, a professor of adolescent psychiatry at Northwestern University, parents who set a good example for their children is a good way to prevent their children from abusing alcohol. He says that children tend to mimic their parents, and if the parents dont drink, their children probably wont either. Others say that knowledge is the key to help teens with drinking problems. They say that learning the truth will help teens with their problems (Steiner, 2003).

Many teens are not able to stop on their own so they need someone to help them. Because teens need someone to help them, there have been many self-help programs and organizations set up to help. For many teens self-help programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) might be the best way to get help. In Alcoholics Anonymous, people help each other with their drinking problems by offering each other support and advice. Alcoholics Anonymous now has about 2 million members worldwide, and in the United States over 50,000 of these groups meet regularly.

Being around others who are going through the same hardships that you are is both comforting and encouraging for those who want to stop abusing alcohol. In addition to Alcoholics Anonymous, many churches and synagogues may have self-help groups to help people with their alcoholism problems. At many alcohol treatment groups they ask you to take a simple test to see if you have a problem with alcohol. They ask you not to drink when everyone else is drinking and then to see if you feel comfortable like that (USA Today[a], 2003).

Also, today we are seeing more programs like Student Assistance Programs where schools get involved and help teens with their alcohol problems. Schools are trying to help in anyway they can now. In fact there is a new program in Minnesota called Sobriety High, where young teen alcoholics can recover and get help with others of their same age. Sobriety High is a 6-year high school. The students there et no homework but they still get the same amount of education as all other public high school students (Steiner, 2003).

Hopefully, by using these alcohol treatment programs and all other means to help stop teenagers from drinking we will cut down on the problem of underage drinking and prevent many problems that may occur due to underage drinking. Maybe by stopping the problem of teen drinking, we will stop other problems such as crime as well. For example, in California it was proven that an increase of alcoholism treatment results in a decrease in crime. In the past few years the problem of teen drinking has started to decrease, but we need to make sure it continues to do so in the future (USA Today[a], 2003).

Prohibition Led to the Rapid Growth of Organized Crime

Prohibition was a period in which the sale, manufacture, or transport of alcoholic beverages became illegal. It started January 16, 1919 and continued to December 5, 1933. Although it was designed to stop drinking completely, it did not even come close. It simply created a large number of bootleggers who were able to supply the public with illegal alcohol. Many of these bootleggers became very rich and influential through selling alcohol and also through other methods. They pioneered the practices of organized crime that are still used today.

Thus, Prohibition led to the rapid growth of organized crime. The introduction of prohibition in 1919 created numerous opinions and issues in American society. Prohibition had been a long standing issue in America, with temperance organizations promoting it since the late eighteenth century. The movement grew tremendously during the nineteenth century. The Independent Order of Good Templars, one of the major temperance societies, increased it’s membership by 350,000 between 1859 and 1869 (Behr 31).

Other societies followed a similar trend, and millions of Americans belonged to temperance societies by the end of the nineteenth century. When the United States entered World War I in 1914, there was a shortage of grain due to the large demands to feed the soldiers. Since grain is one of the major components in alcohol, the temperance movement now had the war to fuel their fight. “The need to conserve grain, the importance of maintaining some semblance of discipline and devotion …. to demonstrate the nation’s sober determination to protect its interests. Repeal .. 1933)

Thus, the war played a large part in the introduction of Prohibition. During the next five years many states enacted their own prohibition laws, and finally, at midnight on December 16, 1919, Amendment 18 went into effect. It states that, “… the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors … for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited. ” (Constitution) The public reaction to the introduction of Prohibition was largely mixed. The temperance organizations rejoiced at their victory. Over a century of work had finally paid off for them.

The rest of the country, however, was less than pleased. Many saw it as a violation of their freedom, and others simply wanted to keep drinking. It did not take long for people to begin their protest. Less than one hour after prohibition took effect six gunmen hijacked a train in Chicago and stole over $100,000 worth of whiskey that was marked for medicinal use (Gingold 28). In New York, although there were no violent protests recorded that night, people all over the city mourned the loss of alcohol at their favorite saloon or restaurant, and drank a final toast at midnight (John … Toll of 12).

The huge public demand for alcohol led to a soaring business for bootleggers. When prohibition began, people immediately wanted a way to drink. Hence, the extremely profitable bootlegging business was born. Before Prohibition gangs existed, but had little influence. Now, they had gained tremendous power almost overnight. Bootlegging was easy – New York City gangs paid hundreds of poor immigrants to maintain stills in their apartments. Common citizens, once law abiding, now became criminals by making their own alcohol. However, this posed risks for those who made their own.

The rich managed to continue drinking good liquor while less-affluent Americans often consumed homemade alcoholic beverages, which were sometimes made with poisonous wood alcohol. ” (Eighteenth … Prohibition) Thus, many died due to alcohol poisoning. There was very little enforcement to the law, since the government employed few prohibition agents, most of whom could be bribed by the bootleggers. Those in favor of prohibition “became increasingly dismayed with the efforts of the government to enforce the law. ” (Repeal … 1933) “In 1920, the government had fewer than 1,600 low-paid, ill-trained Prohibition agents for the entire country.

Speakeasies, which got their name because a password had to be spoken through the door to get in, popped up all over the country. “The number of speakeasies in New York was somewhere in the hundreds or even thousands. It was easy enough for police to close and padlock individual speakeasies, but there were so many it was impossible to keep them shut down. ” (Gingold 36) Even with prohibition in effect, the demand for alcohol never gave it a chance to work. Al Capone used prohibition to build a crime empire unparalleled in United States history.

He started as a member of John Torrio’s gang in Chicago. Torrio was a notorious gangster and bootlegger, and after he was shot in 1922 Capone became the leader of his gang. He quickly expanded the business, and by 1930 “controlled speakeasies, bookie joints, gambling houses, brothels, horse and race tracks, nightclubs, distilleries and breweries at a reported income of $100,000,000 a year. ” (History Files 1) By bribing police and prohibition agents, he was able to get away with almost anything he did. Capone was the first and last gangster to openly flaunt his crimes.

He was somewhat of a celebrity in Chicago and admitted what he did with quotes suck as: “All I’ve ever done is to supply a public demand – you can’t cure a thirst by a law … It’s bootleg when it’s on the trucks, but when your host hands it to you on a silver tray, it’s hospitality … They say I violate Prohibition. Who doesn’t? “(Michell 39) Capone also believed in killing anyone who got in his way. Throughout his career, Capone was said to have killed over 200 people, but he was never convicted of any related charge. In addition to bootlegging and his other establishments, Capone began the widespread use of racketeering.

Racketeering is when Capone would force businesses to pay him money in exchange for protection by his gang. Really, though, they were paying for protection from Capone’s gang (Letts 88). However, what goes up must come down. Capone became too famous for his own good. The American public began to hate him for being able to defy the law, and the government hated him for continuously breaking their laws and embarrassing them. After the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929, in which seven rival gang members were executed by gunmen dressed as police, Capone was seen as a truly evil and bad man by the public.

In 1931, Capone was indicted for tax evasion and sentenced to ten years in prison along with substantial fines. At first he went to Atlanta prison, but after being able to buy better treatment there he was transferred to Alcatraz, where his money meant nothing. He was soon diagnosed with syphilis and spent the rest of his term in a hospital. After he was released Capone returned to his Florida estate and slowly succumbed to his disease until his death on January 25, 1947 (History Files 6).

After the downfall of Al Capone and the repeal of prohibition, organized crime remained largely based on the methods of Capone and the gangsters like him. Prohibition was repealed with the 21st Amendment in 1933, much to the joy of many Americans. It was repealed for two reasons – one, people had decided that the negative aspects out weighed the positive, and two, the country was entering the Great Depression, so it was thought that producing and selling alcohol would create more jobs and help boost the economy (Asbury 227).

Even some proponents admitted that the Eighteenth Amendment resulted in ‘evil consequences’. ” (McGuire 1) One of the major negative aspects of Prohibition, organized crime, failed to be eliminated by the repeal. Although bootlegging became a thing of the past, other methods such as extortion, money laundering, and racketeering continued and became more prominent. “The bootleg wars ended with the relegalization of liquor, but the mobs did not fade away … In one form or another, these mobs are still with us today.

Prohibition led to organized crime as we know it today. Men like Al Capone got their start during Prohibition and were able to develop a system whose methods led into the Mafia and other forms of modern day crime. “Prohibition produced the like of Al Capone and organized crime, speak-easies, bootleggers, bathtub gin, and a national wildness called the “roaring twenties. ” (McGuire 1) Prohibition turned the small gangs that existed in the early twentieth century into the powerful Mafia that exists today.

Peoples Drinking Essay

Alcoholism refers to the abuse of alcohol by individuals who are unable to control their binge drinking behavior over a prolonged period of time. Alcoholics are not simply people who consume alcohol; instead, their entire lives revolve around alcohol. While many people usually dismiss the effects of heavy drinking to a hangover that will not last beyond the day, the effects of alcoholism are infinitely more enduring and devastating not only for the alcoholics, but also for their families and friends. Excessive consumption of alcohol can exert a severe impact on the brain, both on the short-term and long-term basis.

The reason why alcoholics exhibit aggressive behavior can be attributed to the effects of alcohol on various parts of the brain. First, alcohol can affect the gamma-aminobutyoric acid receptor (GABA-A) complex in the brain that inhibits aggressive behavior by creating anxiety over socially inappropriate behavior. Second, the effect of alcohol on the dopaminergic system that controls the psychomotor stimulation can lead to an increase in the intensity and level of aggression. The lower blood sugar in the brain can also contribute to a heightened level of aggression (Graham, Wells, & West, 1997, p. 626).

Consequently, alcoholics tend to overreact to unpleasant situations by using aggression. Furthermore, with excessive alcohol consumption, alcoholics lose their capacity to exercise self-control over their emotions and feelings. Very often, alcohol consumption becomes a means for them to unleash pent-up negative feelings. For other alcoholics, alcohol is a way for them to bury their negative feelings of anger, guilt and depression. Therefore, their general state of mind is moody and hostile, leading to increased chances of aggressive behavior at the slightest provocation (Graham, Wells, & West, 1997, p. 7).

Alcohol also has debilitating effects on the individuals’ ability to function effectively in a cognitive way. Alcoholics who are drunk are not cognizant of subtle social cues. They may behave in a socially improper way without even being aware of their actions. On the other hand, because they are only conscious of obvious externalized social cues, they are likely to be ultra- sensitive in their reactions to the situation. Deprived of their ability to think clearly and deeply, alcoholics, under the influence of alcohol, do not realize that they can behave in an alternative way.

What is even more dangerous is that drunken people can develop a sense of grandiosity and believe that they are more powerful than they actually are. Thus, they may deliberate provoke others or misinterpret others’ behavior as a challenge to their supremacy (Graham, Wells, & West, 1997, p. 627). Although the symptoms described above can be regarded as short-term effects of alcohol consumption, studies have indicated that alcohol abuse has long-term degenerative effects on the cerebellum.

The cerebellum is an integral part of the brain that controls the acquisition of motor skills and processes that deal with movement. Furthermore, the cerebellum also plays a part in certain cognitive processes, such as language production and “mental imagery” (Sullivan, Rosenbloom, Deshmukh, Desmond, & Pfefferbaum, 1995, p. 138). During the postmortem examination, researchers have found tissue volume loss and shrinkage of nerve cells in the cerebellums of older alcoholics.

The nerve cells are responsible for regulating eye movements. When they are damaged, visual perception can be affected adversely. In these cases, the individuals cannot perform eye-hand coordination activities, such as driving. These damages are most significant in older alcoholics who have been abusing alcohol for at least ten years (Sullivan et al. , 1995, p. 139). Older alcoholics aged between 40 and 63 years of age were found to suffer from balance problems after given an extensive series of tests.

Even though they have minor problems with their problem-solving skills, ability to process information and visuospatial capacity, they have severe problems with their balance even though this group has abstained from alcohol for about a month. With the combination of deficits of visuospatial capacity and balance disorders, these individuals are at high risk of falling and other accidents (Sullivan et al. , 1995, p. 139). It is possible that the cerebellar structural changes are irreversible. Therefore, even if these alcoholics abstain from drinking, the damage may not be repairable ((Sullivan et al. 995, p. 140).

Considering these debilitating effects of alcohol on the alcoholics’ ability to function in an appropriate manner, it is evident that alcoholics are incapable of performing well in their work and personal relationships. Most studies that attempt to analyze the relationship between alcohol use and income indicate that households with alcoholics have lower incomes than households with no alcoholic drinkers. The disparity in the incomes ranges from zero to 32-percent reduction in the incomes of households with alcoholics (Mullahy & Sindelar, 1992, p. 5).

According to some of these studies, alcoholics are incapable of holding a full-time job. The people in the prime age working group are most affected by alcohol abuse. Even though some studies show that with young adults, employment rate is higher among alcoholics than non-alcoholics, the main cause can be attributed to the fact that young adults drop out of school and start working at an earlier age. Even when they work, alcoholics are likely to miss work frequently because of their drinking problems.

One study indicates that absenteeism caused by alcoholism can exceed that of non-alcoholics by 40 percent (Mullahy & Sindelar, 1992, p. 136). In addition, because the alcoholics’ capacity to work is impaired by alcohol abuse, they cannot work in important occupations that demand reliability and high competence (Mullahy & Sindelar, 1992, p. 137). Alcoholic parents have a negative effect on their children because the effects of alcohol undermines their capacity to use their parenting skills in a number of ways. First, excessive drinking by the parents can lead to inconsistent parenting behavior.

When the child misbehaves in certain way, the parents may overreact by screaming the child on one occasion; on another occasion, the parents may act indulgently towards child. Consequently, the child receives mixed signals about appropriate behavior. In addition, the inconsistency in parenting behaviors creates an unpredictable and unstable environment that can undermine the child’s mental and emotional growth (Windle, 1996, p. 181). In a study conducted on the effects of alcohol on parents’ interactions with children, it was found that parents are unable to respond appropriately to a child’s improper behavior.

Although the child is acting improperly, the group of intoxicated parents not only fails to discipline the child, but engage in parental indulgences that are inappropriate for the occasion (Lang, Pelham, Atkeson, & Murphy, 1999, p. 188). Second, parents who are frequently abusing alcohol cannot monitor their children appropriately. An integral dimension of parental monitoring involves setting limits on proper and improper behavior along with a consistent enforcement of sanctions against violations of these rules.

Without the establishment of these rules and their consistent enforcement, the children cannot learn about limits and proper behavior (Windle, 1996, p. 181). Third, alcoholic parents are not nurturing parents who can provide quality time for their children. Because they constantly suffer from hangovers or mood changes from excessive alcohol consumption, these parents fail to behave in an emotionally supportive fashion towards their children. Thus, they push their children to seek emotional support in the outside worlda situation that can have adverse consequences (Windle, 1996, p. 1).

Fourth, parents who abuse alcohol are also known to exercise harsh discipline. As described above, alcoholics are easily provoked at the slightest offense. Therefore, they can be excessively harsh and arbitrary in their use of discipline. These forms of discipline can result in the growing alienation of the children from their parents (Windle, 1996, p. 181). Certainly, parents who drink heavily serve as negative role models for their children who are likely to take on their alcoholic behavior at a young age.

Without adequate supervision and control, it is likely that these children will become alcoholics and engage in alcohol-related activities (Windle, 1996, p. 181). By their actions, alcoholic parents teach their children to drink as a way of coping with life. Thus, these children are likely to turn to drinking themselves to escape from their lives ((Windle, 1996, p. 1821). Families with alcoholic parents are characterized by frequent marital discords. Therefore, their children grow up in an unhealthy emotional environment that is threatened by potential disintegration.

Children are afraid that they are going to lose their parents and their lives will be disrupted. Spousal and child abuse are also a common part of the picture of a household affected by alcoholism (Windle, 1996, p. 182). The inability for alcoholic parents to keep their jobs and their needs for medical treatment due to alcohol-related reasons certainly places tremendous stresses on the family. Financial stress is a common reason of disputes between spouses. However, coupled with the extra expenditure of alcohol purchase, medical treatment and the lack of income, alcoholism can destroy the welfare of a family (Windle, 1996, p. 2).

In the long run, children who grow up in these households develop a perverse perception of family life. They will come to accept the negative relationships and the alcoholic drinking as a normal way of life. As they reach adulthood, they will carry over all the negative practices they have experienced during their childhood. The intergenerational transmission of alcohol addiction is one of the most devastating effects of the enduring legacy of alcoholism (Windle, 1996, p. 182). From the above discussion, it is evident that alcoholism can exert a long-lasting physiological and social impact.

Alcoholics place themselves at high risk for various accidents and impair their capacities to function effectively in daily life and perform their jobs. Furthermore, alcoholism threatens the welfare of families by destroying the relationships between loved ones. Worst of all, children who grow up in such a dysfunctional environment grow up to become like their parents and impose their ways on their children, thus triggering a never-ending cycle of alcohol abuse. Alcoholics who are addicted to alcohol need to abstain from alcohol and seek help before they and their families are destroyed by a seemingly innocuous glass of wine.

Consequences of Underage Alcohol Use

Alcohol is the most widely used drug among youth. It causes serious and potentially life-threatening problems for this population. Research indicates that drinking is associated with risk-taking and sensation-seeking behavior among adolescents. Alcohol has disinhibiting effects that may increase the likelihood of unsafe activities. In 1997, 21 percent of the young drivers 15 to 20 years old who were killed in crashes were intoxicated. For young drivers, alcohol involvement is higher among males than among females.

In 1997, 25 percent of the young male drivers involved in fatal crashes had been drinking at the time of the crash, compared with 12 percent of the young female drivers involved in fatal crashes. According to national data, drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among adolescents and young adults. Factors contributing to youth drowning include alcohol which can severely affect a swimmer’s coordination and judgment. Forty to 50 percent of young males who drown were drinking when they died, and an equal percentage of all diving accidents are alcohol related.

Approximately 240,000 to 360,000 of the nation’s 12 million current undergraduates will ultimately die from alcohol-related causes. People who begin drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who wait until age 21. Each additional year of delayed drinking onset reduces the probability of alcohol dependence by 14 percent. Adolescents who drink heavily assume the same long-term health risks as adults who drink heavily. This means they are at increased risk of developing cirrhosis of the liver, pancreatitis, hemorrhagic stroke, and certain forms of cancer.

Adolescents who use alcohol are more likely to become sexually active at an earlier age, to have sex more often, and to engage in unprotected sex, which places them at greater risk of HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases. One study showed that students diagnosed with alcohol abuse were four times more likely to experience major depression than those without an alcohol problem. Alcohol use among adolescents has been associated with considering planning, attempting, and completing suicide. Research does not indicate whether drinking causes suicidal behavior, only that the two behaviors are correlated.

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can lead to serious and permanent brain damage in the unborn child. This can result in mental retardation and severe emotional problems as the child grows up. A lower dosage of alcohol will damage a young brain compared to a fully mature brain, and young brains are damaged more quickly. Alcohol exposure during adolescence is linked with a reduced ability to learn compared with those not exposed until adulthood. Alcohol is implicated in more than 40 percent of all college academic problems and 28 percent of all college dropouts. At both 2- and 4-year colleges, the heaviest drinkers make the lowest grades.

High school students who use alcohol or other substances are five times more likely than other students to drop out of school or to believe that earning good grades is not important. About half of college students who are victims of crime are drinking when they are victimized. In a high percentage of serious crimes, alcohol is found in the offender, the victim, or both, and alcohol-related problems are disproportionately found in both juvenile and adult offenders. Ninety-five percent of violent crime on college campuses is alcohol related, and 90 percent of college rapes involve alcohol use by the victim and assailant.

Alcoholism in the 21st Century

The dictionary describes alcoholism as continued excessive or compulsive use of alcoholic drinks. However, this disease is much more complex. Alcohol abuse is a growing problem in the United States today, causing more and more deaths each year. It affects nearly everyone in the U. S. today, either directly or indirectly. Over half of Americans have at least one close relative that has a drinking problem. About 20 million people in the United States abuse alcohol. It is the third leading cause of preventable deaths, and about 100,000 people die each year from alcohol related incidents (Peacock 11).

Alcohol is not a new invention of modern societies. It has been around through many different ancient cultures, wine being the most prominent substance. Some cultures viewed alcohol consumption as good, while others perceived it good only in moderation. For example, the Greek god Bacchus was known for his excessive drinking while the Roman god Dionysus was known for teaching moderation in drinking (Peacock 20-21). Alcoholism was also learned to have existed in history. Interpreted writings on the tomb of an Egyptian king who lived over 5,000 years ago read, “His earthly abode was rent and shattered by wine and beer.

And the spirit escaped before it was called for. ” This shows that he died from alcohol related causes. However, most cultures began to limit alcohol use when they learned how to efficiently produce the beverage. Babylonian king Hammurabi and Chinese emperor Chung K’iang executed violators of their laws concerning alcohol (Peacock 20). Even in the Bible, refrain from alcohol is stressed. “Nor drunkards will inherit the kingdom of God” (Alcohol and the Bible). The United States was not immune to strict laws opposing alcohol. In 1919, the 18th Amendment was passed, limiting alcohol use.

This period lasted for 14 years and became known as the Prohibition (Peacock 28). Ancient and modern literatures show that alcohol has been around longer than most people think. For example, in the ancient epic of Giglamesh, written 4,000 years ago, one character was the goddess of wine and brewing, Siduri (World literature 136, 139). The Chinese poet Tu Fu wrote about celebrating an old friend’s retirement with wine in his poem, “For Wei Pa, in Retirement” (World Literature 528). Prominent figures in more recent literature have died to alcohol related causes.

Edgar Allen Poe, author of popular poems such as “The Raven” and “The Bells”, died of alcoholism at the age of 40 (Selected Poetry). There is both physical and psychological dependence with alcohol addiction. Physical dependence reveals itself in withdrawal symptoms when alcohol intake is interrupted. Symptoms from withdrawal can vary from muscles cramps, convulsions, or nausea. Sometimes, the severity of these symptoms may be so distressing that a person will keep drinking to keep them away. Psychological dependence includes effects on the central nervous system as a depressant.

Results of this can include irritability, depression, or hallucinations (Peacock 39). As well as changing his or her own life, the lifestyle of an alcoholic usually affects the life of his or her friends and family. Domestic abuse is higher in cases where one spouse abuses alcohol. In 95% of these cases, the men are responsible for abusing their wife or girlfriend. Usually, the violence gets more severe as time goes on. Sometimes the violence will reach out to children, intentionally or unintentionally, and results in child abuse (Peacock 54).

Child abuse in families where at least one parent is an alcoholic is an overwhelmingly increasing problem today. Everyday, one in four children will come home to a parent who has a drinking problem (Botsford). Children of alcoholics have a higher tendency to abuse alcohol or other drugs, as they get older. These children also frequently suffer from depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Even if the children are not physically hit, they may be emotionally scarred from living in an abusive home (Peacock 54). Along with causing the people around them problems, alcoholics also bring down society.

The economy wastes billions of dollars each year on costs of alcoholism. In 1992, about $103. 6 billion was in lost productivity of alcohol-related illness or premature death. Another $18. 8 billion was used for treatment and medical costs of alcohol abuse. The cost spent on alcohol related automobile crashes was $13. 6 billion, and $12. 7 billion went towards alcohol related crimes (Peacock 56-57). Underage drinking is becoming a threatening problem among teens today. The media, especially, is not helping in the process to stop underage drinking.

A new joke being told is that a mother was asking her young child what sounds different animals make. The child was answering correctly, until the mother asked, “What does a frog say? ” to which the child answered, “Bud. ” Though this may seem amusing to some, it shows the reality of what we are exposing the future leaders of our country to. Children in the U. S. will be exposed to alcohol consumption through the media as well as real-life observations about 75,000 times before they reach the legal drinking age (Peacock 66).

Another problem with underage drinking is that many teens do not know the true facts about what they are drinking. Students in grades 7-12 consume 1. 1 billion cans of beer and 35% of all wine coolers sold in one year. However, one out of three of students doesn’t know that all wine coolers contain alcohol. A shocking 80% of students in grades 7-12 don’t know that a can of beer contains the same amount of alcohol as a shot of whiskey (Williams 105). A really big issue with alcohol today is drunk driving. It seems as if every time you turn around there is another person injured or killed by a drunk driver.

Speaking from personal experience, one of the worst things a family could go through is to have an innocent family member killed by a drunk driver. The rising statistics show that many families are experiencing what it is like to lose a loved one to drunk driving. Three out of every ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related car crash at some time in their lives (Williams 105). In 1999 alone, 15,786 traffic deaths were cause by drunken driving (Clinton Signs). With statistics as high as they are, one would think the government would be doing all they could to help stop people from drinking and driving.

However, until recently, not much was being done. The large problem our country is having is in part because of too many repeat offenders. If there were stricter laws and harsher penalties for breaking these laws, the number of alcohol-related crashes may decline. In most states, a person must have a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0. 10 to be legally charged for drunk driving. Last year, Clinton signed a bill that requires states to make the legal BAC standard for drunken driving 0. 08 by the year 2004.

States who wish not to participate in changing the legal BAC level will lose millions of dollars in federal highway funds (Clinton Signs). Alcoholism is a very serious problem that usually takes years of counseling and support to overcome. The physical and mental symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol make it extremely difficult for one to quit. At one time, doctors believed that alcoholics deserved this “punishment” for indulging in alcohol. However, today we know that a person who goes through several periods of withdrawal symptoms can end up with permanent brain damage (Peacock 84).

Today, there are many ways available to help those who abuse alcohol. One of the most widely used and effective ways to overcome alcoholism is joining a support group, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Alcoholics Anonymous now has about 2 million members worldwide, and in the United States over 50,000 of these groups meet regularly. Being around others who are going through the same hardships that you are is both comforting and encouraging for those who want to stop abusing alcohol (Peacock 81). Psychotherapy is also a method used to help alcoholics recover.

In this method, psychologists try to determine the origin of their problem, concentrating on how the person became an alcoholic. The theory behind this is that a person can change their behavior if they change their thoughts. Once they know what makes them drink, they will learn how to avoid tempting situations or how to act differently in the situations. Once a person becomes sober from being an alcoholic, it is very hard for that person to stay sober. Relapses are common and should not come as a surprise to doctors, patients, or families.

The relapses should be dealt with immediately before a serious problem develops again. About 90% of recovering alcoholics will experience at least one relapse in their first four years of sobriety (Peacock 88). Even if a person goes through a couple of relapses, they may still be able to get back on the right track with help and support. Though there is no cure for alcoholism yet, hope should not be lost. Researchers are working on finding a cure, while also finding the best ways to treat a person suffering from alcoholism.

The statistics for people affected by alcohol abuse are overwhelming. Even in spite of all these alarming statistics and warnings about alcohol, it still remains the most widely used psychoactive drug in the United States (Peacock 9). However, there is great hope for the future. In the past 25 years, research on causes and treatment has increased substantially. There are many new and traditional treatment methods being tested to treat alcoholism. Looking toward the future, there is hope for a successful treatment of alcoholism, and prevention in generations to come.

Alcoholism An Intrepretation

Alcoholism has been a problem throughout the history of humanity, a disease which has caused many people to be overcome with burdens, problems, and debts. Alcoholism is a term that is widely recognized throughout the United States and the World. Alcoholism is a chronic disease, progressive and often fatal; it is a disorder and not due to other diseases or emotional problems. Many scientists have tried to define what Alcoholism is, and what this disease may be rooted from.

Some people would argue that alcoholism is simply the over-consumption of alcohol, this statement is only somewhat true. An alcoholic is a person who relies on alcohol as a medium to help him or her deal with physical, emotional, or spiritual needs. To understand alcoholism, it must first be understood what this affliction is dependent on. Alcohol is a substance that is made by the fermentation of fruits, grains, or miscellaneous other organic materials. The chemical, alcohol, is a depressant and acts on every cell in the human body.

Due to this, the central nervous system, along with the pleasure centers of the brain, are affected resulting in a feeling of euphoria and a sense of well being. After repeated exposure, the brain becomes dependent on this drug to unburden itself whenever it feels the compulsion. Several factors that contribute to alcoholism are the individual’s psychology, genetics, culture, and the individual’s response to physical pain. In order to understand alcoholism, we must first define what scientists classify alcoholism to be.

Moderate drinkers drink equal to at least two drinks a day. An at-risk person for alcoholism will drink more than fourteen drinks a week or four drinks in one sitting. An individual who suffers from alcohol abuse would display one of the above mentioned behaviors for a period of a year or more and show typical symptoms such as: failure to fulfill work or personal obligations, recurrent use in potentially dangerous situations, problems with the law and continued alcohol use in spite of the harm that is being expressed to social or personal relationships.

Alcohol abuse can be attributed to the downfall of many famous people. Edgar Allen Poe, a classic author, suffered from alcoholism. Which were apparent in his stories that took on a dark and grotesque style. This may be attributed to his depressed state resulting from his own abuse of the drug we call alcohol. He was found dead in a gutter due to over-consumption of alcohol. Addictions to a substances such as alcohol can inhibit normal human lifestyles.

Many people forget that caffeine, being the opposite of alcohol due to its simulative qualities, is as addictive as alcohol. People who are addicted to caffeine go through similar withdrawals, though on a lesser level than those with alcohol related abuse. Caffeine addicts frequently experience headaches until they are able to satiate the craving for the caffeine which can be found in coffees, teas, sodas, and various other organic materials. Another common abuse would be that of prescription drugs.

Many people can develop an addiction to various prescription drugs without knowing it, for example sleeping medications easily become an addiction in which the user cannot sleep unless he or she takes their medication before bedtime. Non prescription medications such as Afrin when used only over a period of three days can develop into a serious addiction where the user cannot breath unless he or she uses this drug. Conclusively, alcohol is a chemical that is made from organic materials which has a physical, emotional, and spiritual effect on the human body.

Alcoholism is a disease that takes over the body, mind and soul. When over consumption turns into dependence, the disease provokes the user to become immune to the alcohol’s effects, or unconcerned about his or her life. There are other substances that can be just as detrimental to our health such caffeine,prescription drugs and various other non prescription medications. Alcoholism is not something that you would want to develop, and all people should be aware of the life endangering risks of using alcohol.

Research Paper Teen Alcohol Abuse

From unsupervised parties at home to college visits, the social calendars of most teens are full of alcohol. Other drugs rise and fall in popularity from generation to generation, but alcohol never really goes out of style. From being worshiped by the ancient Babylonians to being forbidden to teenagers, alcohol has caused many problems. Today, drinking is the drug of choice by teens and causes most wrecks and deaths today. To understand alcohol people must first know the history of alcohol, the effects of teen drinking, and the solutions to teen drinking.

Alcohol has been all around the world for centuries and has become a custom of people all over. No one knows for sure who discovered alcohol, but we know how different types of alcohol are made. Just as well, no know knows when alcohol was discovered. There are no records of the discovery or discoverers of alcohol. Although historians do know alcohol “was used by primitive people and recorded as early as 10,000 years ago in the Neolithic period and by European civilization”(Milgram 22). As early as 5000 B. C. the ancient Babylonians brewed, the process of making beer, their beer in religious temples because it was considered a gift from God.

Beer is an alcoholic beverage made by fermentation of cereal grains such as, wheat, rye, corn, or barley; beer contains 3 to 6 percent alcohol. Besides the ancient Babylonians, the ancient Egyptians drank beer. The Egyptians called their beer hek, which was made from barley bread. The bread was crumbled into jars, covered with water, and allowed to ferment. The Egyptian pharaohs blessed this beer in the honor of the goddess of nature, Isis. Egyptians handed out free jugs of beer to peasant workers, and by no surprise drunkenness was a common problem in ancient Egypt (Nielsen 13).

The strongest alcohol drinks are called liquors or spirits. Liquor was discovered in the eighteenth century A. D. by an Arabian alchemist named Geber. Geber made liquor by distillation, burning away the impurities that formed in wine during fermentation and isolated the remaining liquids. As a result, the concentrated liquid had a higher alcoholic content, which was “mainly flavored alcohol and water”(Milgram 65). Liquor was discovered in Europe 500 years later by Arnaud de Villanueva, when he made brandy. Arnaud claimed that brandy would cure all humanity’s diseases, prolong life, maintain youth, and clear away ill humor.

In the 1600’s gin, akravit, and whiskey were discovered in many other countries. Then in the 1700’s, the Americans invented bourbon. Teenagers rarely think before they do many things. Many times teenagers go to big parites or little get togethers with their friends on the weekends just to drink. Their first thought is not about death, their grades, or alcoholism; their main purpose is to get drunk fast and sober up before going home by their set curfews. At parties, teenagers have an average of five or more beers in one night. In the United States teenage drinking has become a major problem, with about 3. million teens as problem drinkers.

“One-fourth of all seventh through twelfth graders admit to drinking at least once a week”(Nielson 47). About forty percent of twelfth graders said they had one episode of heavy drinking in the past two weeks. Although no one knows why teens turn to drinking, various studies show that the amount of alcohol changes by their geographical location (Nielsen 47). One major problem with teens and alcohol is death. Many teenagers go to parties and drive home thinking that everything is all right, but “twenty- one percent of young drivers involved in fatal crashes have been drinking” (MADD 1).

On a normal weekend, an average of one teenager dies in a car crash every hour, and nearly fifty percent of these crashes were involved with alcohol. Uses of alcohol and other drugs are associated with the leading causes of death and injury among teenagers and young adults” (NCADD 1). Not only do car wrecks kill teenagers, so does compulsive drinking. Alcohol, a depressant on the central nervous system, is detectable when someone begins to have slurred speech, slow reaction time, or staggered walking (Milgram 20). The more a person drinks the higher the risk of having an alcohol overdose.

Some signs of an overdose are “mental confusion, stupor, coma, seizures, bluish skin color, low body temperature, slow or irregular breathing, and vomiting while sleeping”(Alcohol Education Program 4). If these symptoms appear, call 911 for an ambulance, but never leave the victim alone. Excessive drinking, it can lead to teenage alcoholism. People who begin drinking at the age of 15 are four-times more likely to develop alcoholism than those who start drinking at the age of 21. Most teens take their first drinks at the age of 13.

Alcoholism begins by first tasting, then social drinking, next abusive drinking, and last becoming a problem drinker or alcoholic. Many factors such as age, gender, and location, indicate that economic factors have little effects on teens (Nielsen 50). Most teenagers do not know why they drink but most do anyway. Peer pressure has a lot to do with teen drinking, as well as the people they hang out with. Teens turn to alcohol or other drugs when they are depressed or they try to fit in. By doing this, they become alcoholics. Under- age drinking is not an issue that is being ignored.

The government, parents, groups, and other countries are trying to come up with solutions to teen drinking. Many laws have already been passed to stop teenagers from drinking. The National Minimum Drinking Age Act was signed into law on July 17, 1984 by President Reagan. The act strongly encourages states to have laws prohibiting the “purchase and public possession” of alcoholic beverages by anyone under 21 years of age by withholding a portion of federal-aid highway funds from state without such laws.

On March 26, 1986, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations and the Federal Highway Administration published a joint rule implementing the statue. (Net Biz 1) Most U. S. states have the Age- 21 law, but in Louisiana you can be 19 to enter a bar. Because of this law, the youth drinks less and statistics have gone down a little. With the technology that we have today, many youth, from 20 to 35 percent, have possession of a fake identification.

In Texas, having a fake identification is a third degree felony and will be subject to an automatic license suspension of 90 days to a year and a fine of up to $5000. Another law in Texas that helps cut down teenage drinking is the curfew. This law says teens can not drive between midnight and 5 a. m. unless accomplished by a licensed driver 21 years old or older. If a teen is stopped past curfew, that teen is not eligible for a full driver’s license until the age of 18, and they cannot have an alcohol or drug convection within six months of applications.

In addition, the government placed pricing and taxation regulations on the sales of alcohol. “Regulation through pricing and taxations is unpopular with both the public and the liquor industry, but while the impact is inconclusive, there seems to be evidence that such regulations do have some beneficial effects” (O’Brien, Chafetz, and Cohen 34). The amount of taxes collected from alcohol sales places second as a source of revenue for the government (Milgram 37). Parents can also help stop teen drinking by talking to their children about the dangers of drinking and using other drugs.

Although most parents help their children by paying their fines, they can also help by keeping their children under lock and key with no privileges. “Teenagers whose parents talk to them regularly about the dangers of drugs are forty-two percent less likely to use drugs than those whose parents who do not” (NCADD 4). Talking to their teen is the best way to affect them. Also, when teens break a rule, punishments are to be spelled out and carried out. In conjunction with talking to their teenagers, parents can encourage high self-esteem and set good examples. Along with parents, groups can help fight against teenage drinking.

A popular group is MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. This group tries to pass persuade the government to pass laws to help lower drinking and driving. MADD thrives to make statistics public and get more people to join the fight against drinking and driving. Another group similar to MADD is SADD, Students Against Drunk Driving. This is a group of students that fight against drinking and driving, and encourage other teens to stay sober. A teacher that lost two of his students to drunk driving started this group. “Students who belong to SADD sign a contract promising not to drink and drive” (Nielsen 101).

These students also wear stickers and buttons that persuade other students not to drink and drive. If okayed by the principal, SADD hangs up posters around the schools, warning students of drinking and driving before an event or holiday. A program to help teen alcoholics is Alcoholics Anonymous. Teens are treated differently while in this program. While in AA, teenagers have special needs such as finishing schools, learning dating skills, and choosing a career. Teens can also go to half- way houses, after they finish treatment for alcoholism, where they can meet new friends.

Other countries can also help by raising their drinking age to 21 years of age. Many places in the world a person must be 18 to drink, but in Germany he or she only has to be 16 (Net Biz 1). Canada has made it legal for people 18 and older to drink, but they also have the stiff minimum penalties for driving under the influence. Since that law, drinking offenses have plunged twenty-three percent. Along with Canada, “drunken drivers in Finland, Sweden, England, and France receive automatic jail sentences and lose their licenses for at lease a year” (Neilson 61).

If other countries would raise drinking to age 21, then it would be tough for teenagers to get their alcohol. It is easy for teenagers that live in states bordering Canada or Mexico to bootleg across the border to the United States. By raising the age limits to 21 in Mexico and Canada, it would help cut down on teenage drinking. Everyday teenagers drink, despite the many dangers and risks that they are taking every time they drink. Throughout history and probably in the future, alcohol will be the leading drug of choice for teenagers. On the other hand, teenagers in turn are becoming better educated about themselves and the risk of alcohol.

Drinking Age, a big problem

Drinking is a big problem that causes many teen-age deaths in the United States, however, many people still argue that the legal age for drinking should be reduced to eighteen. This issue has been brought up many times, but the law has not been changed since the change to twenty-one in 1980. States have become stricter about preventing under-age drinking, but teen-agers have no problem getting alcohol. There are many arguments in favor of changing the drinking age back to eighteen.

The facts show that drinking alcohol is too large of a responsibility for an eighteen-year-old to handle. In 1980 the government raised the drinking age to twenty-one because the number of drunk driving accidents was causing many teen-age deaths. The young adults of America considered this law a second prohibition. The main objective of the law was to make the young people happier, healthier, and safer (Smith & Smith 1). Because this law was viewed as a revival of prohibition, it was not widely accepted by the public, and some states were hesitant to pass the new law.

Despite the opposition, the government pursued the passage of the law and offered states benefits for their cooperation. Some of these benefits included extra government money for state highways as well as other programs previously funded by the individual state governments (McCarthy 2). Although this law was a good idea and passed with the safety of American teen-agers in mind, many people were not happy with the change. People feel that if eighteen-year-olds are considered adults they should have the right to consume alcoholic beverages without worrying about the law.

Adults over twenty-one that party with friends that are under twenty-one get a bad record for giving alcohol to minors. This type of record can cause a problem in the future when looking for a job, applying for a professional license, or seeking admission to graduate school. These are some heavy prices to pay for young people whose only crime was to engage in the traditional campus rituals of beer drinking and partying. Eighteen-year-olds are treated as adults. They can vote, fight for our country, buy and sell real estate, and raise families of their own.

These are responsibilities that only an adult can handle (Smith & Smith 1). The biggest problem with changing the drinking age back to eighteen would be that many eighteen-year-olds are not responsible enough to drink and then say they can not get behind the wheel of an automobile. This is why the drinking age was moved up to twenty-one in the first place. Drunk driving is the leading cause of teen-age deaths (Roth 26). The government figured that if they raised the drinking age the percentage of deaths by drunk driving would decrease.

Statistics show that in recent years, 45,000 people were killed in car accidents, and if alcohol was not involved in those accidents then 10,000 of those who died would have live. If the drinking age were eighteen then this figure would increase by about 12,000 (Olson & Gerstein 34). The law prevents people under twenty-one to buy and drink alcohol, but there are many issues on why the advertising for alcoholic products is aimed towards a younger audience.

Of 77 sites surveyed on the Internet 82% of beer sites and 72% of spirits sites used techniques the CME says are particularly attractive to underage audiences. As tobacco companies start to back off on targeting younger audiences, the alcohol companies began to step up their targeting of younger audiences. A big reason why young adults under twenty-one feel they should drink is because many of the alcohol companies aim their advertisements toward the younger generation. This gets the youngsters interested in these beverages and they get the urge to try them (Beatty 1).

The drinking age should not change, but the way the alcohol companies present their products should not be aimed towards younger audiences. One of the main reasons that the age should not be changed back to eighteen is that many eighteen-year-olds are still in high school and can distribute what they purchase to younger peers. More than 1/3 of high school seniors drinks to get drunk and if the age was lowered then that number would increase (OMalley, Johnston, & Bachman 1).

Males were more likely to drink than females but by a small margin (56 percent versus 49 percent), but the gender difference for getting drunk is a greater percentage (39 percent versus 29 percent). The law that was passed in 1980 has helped by lowering the percentage of drunk driving accidents by teenagers (OMalley, Johnston, & Bachman 2). Many teen-agers that start before fifteen are four times more likely to become more alcohol dependent as those who begin drinking at age twenty-one are (Brody 1).

How American Society Glorifies The Consumption Of Alcohol

In this essay I will talk about how American society glorifies the consumption of alcohol. I will also talk about the causes and effects that alcohol has on the body, and the life of the user. American society glorfies alcohol on T. V. , radio, billboards, movies, and any other form of entertainment. I will talk also about American society targeting tabacco, but not alcohol. Alcoholism is also a huge problem in American society. American society glorifies alcohol in many ways. If you watch T. V. at all today you will at least see one alcohol advertisement.

Alcohol also has funny, cartoon like characters, to sell their product like the Budwieser frogs. When tabacco companies did this they got much ridicule for their character Joe Camel. Saying that it targets children. However the alcohol companies do this and no one says anything. Alcohol, to some people, is more dangerous then tabacco. It can cause liver damage, and can dissable your ability to operate machines, like cars. Alcohol is the number one cause of car accidents in America. People can also get addicted to alcohol, like tabacco. People who are addicted to alcohol are called alcoholics.

There are many places alcoholics can go to help their addiction, like support groups, meetings, and classes. Some other ways American society glorifies alcohol use are: advertising, social settings, sporting events, and initiations. By social settings I mean parties. It is automatically assumed if you go to a party as an adult, that alcohol should be involved. Alcohol is also used for celebrations. It is tradition in American society on New Years to drink alcohol. American society also incourages the drinking of alcohol at sporting events.

If you see any sporting event on T. V. ymore you will probably see an alcohol ad. Along with this alcohol is sold at most sporting events. Athletes, we would believe, would want to stay away from alcohol, because of the damage it does to the body. However it is still served at sporting events. American society also glorifies alcohol by initiations. This example is most seen on collage gorunds. To get into a frerturnity, most of the initiations involve drinking a large amount of alcohol. From this peer pressure, most collage students do the drinking required to get in. Some of them even drink so much that they die.

American society again incourages drinking alcohol by simply making it leagal. If you are over twenty-one years of age, in this country, you can drink leagally. In other countries, where they don’t have a drinking age, they don’t have as many alcohol related problems as our country does. That has posed the question, why do we have a drinking age then? Besides that, America tried to make alcohol illeagal in the 1920’s and 1930’s. That idea didn’t work because it lead to the organization of organized crime. After that America made alcohol leagal again, and it’s been that way ever since.

Some of the causes of American society glorifying alcohol are: peer pressure, depression, addiction, and etertainment. By peer pressure I mean people who other people think are their friends get them to drink by pressuring them. This is something that has been going on for years. This is also the reason why people drink so much for initiations. Their peers pressure them into drinking. American society also glorifies alcohol use through depression. Many Americans think they can drink to solve their problems, however the drinking usually creates more problems. This type of drinking usually is what creates alcoholics.

Alcoholics are people who are addicted to alcohol. This type of drinking also leads to things like: more depression, domestic violence, broken homes, and DWI. When people drink because of depression or for entertainment, they useually get addicted. When I say people drink for entertainment, I mean people drink because they think there’s nothing else to do. These people useually become alcoholics. If alcoholics don’t get help, they can become violent. They can beat their family, pets, and friends. Some of the effects of alcohol are: dissase, domestic violence, death, broken homes, medical insurance, addiction and treatment, and crime.

By dissase I mean liver cancer you can get from drinking alcohol. By domestic violence I mean violence in the home caused by the drinking. By death I mean death by things like: DWI, alcoholism, and liver cancer. By broken homes I mean families getting broken up by on of the family members drinking. By medical insurance I mean you have to pay for all your medical bills that the drinking causes. By addiction and treatment I mean you can get addicted and then you have to go through treatment to lose your addiction. By crime I mean people getting drunk and committing crimes.

Some of the crimes are: assult, battery, DWI, DUI, vehicular homicide, and burglary just to name a few. Drinking can cause serious problems. In conclusion American society glorifies some bad things. However, the worse thing we glorify is the consumption of alcohol. Alcohol consumption is very deadly, if misused. American society has tried to stop alcohol in the past, but it didn’t work. In other countries they don’t have a drinking age and they don’t have half the problems we do with alcohol consumption. Maybee we should change our ways, or maybee not.

Treatments Of Alcoholism

Alcoholism can destroy the life of an alcoholic and devastate the alcoholic’s family. But it also has overwhelming consequences for society. Consider these statistics from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence: *In 1988, alcoholism and problems related to it cost the United States an estimated $85. 8 billion in mortality and reduced productivity; *Fetal alcohol syndrome, caused by a woman’s drinking during pregnancy, afflicts five thousand infants a year; it costs about $1. 4 billion annually to treat the infants, children and adults More than twenty thousand people die annually in alcohol related car accidents.

Clearly alcoholism harms society in numerous ways and it is in society’s best interest to find effective treatments for alcoholics. The primary goal of all treatments for alcoholism is to get the alcoholic to stop drinking and refrain from abusing alcohol in the future. The paths to this goal are diverse. Several factors – biological, social and psychological – influence why an individual becomes an alcoholic. So treatments vary, depending upon why the alcoholic drinks and what the physician or therapist believes is the best method for recovery. Some treatments focus on the physical addiction of alcoholism.

Others emphasize the alcoholic’s social or psychological cravings. Alcoholics Anonymous and Rational Recovery are two support groups that help alcoholics recover. Other alcoholics benefit from one-on-one therapy with counselors, who may help patients understand drinking and change their behavior. Finally for some alcoholics, the most effective treatments are those that combine medical treatment with counselling.

Such treatments enable the alcoholic to more easily break the physical addiction to alcohol as they evaluate their social and psychological reasons for drinking. Two of these treatments are: Nutritional Therapy and Network Therapy. Alan Dalum was 37 years old and thoroughly convinced he was soon going to die. Dalum was not dying of cancer, heart disease or any other illness from which one can leave the world with dignity.

Dalum was dying of alcoholism. (Ewing, 1978) Just when he lost all hope for recovery, Dalum discovered a center that emphasized the importance of biochemical repair in alcoholism recovery using nutrients and herbs. Upon learning that Minneapolis, where he lived, had one of the only programs in the country that employed such methods, Dalum decided to give the Center’s six – week, outpatient program a shot.

The Health Recovery Center (HRC) in Minneapolis claims a 74 percent success rate (patients still sober one year later) and differs from conventional programsin several significant ways. First, it focuses on uncovering and treating physiological imbalances that may be causing alcohol cravings and throwing the entire body out of whack. For example: hypoglycemia is a common imbalance found in up to three quarters of alcoholics. The center’s philosophy is simple “Until the body begins getting the essential nutrients it needs, recovery cannot begin. (Ewing, 1978)

They believe that no amount of talk will stop the cravings, anxiety, depression, mental confusion and fatigue that result from alcohol’s biochemical and neurochemical damage. There is not time to obsess over past traumas when you’re dying of a major disease. Why do people persist in believing that the damage done by excess ingestion of alcohol can be undone with psychological methods alone? ” (Ewing, 1978) The Health Recovery Center is devoted to the restoration of bodies, minds and spirits that have been ravaged by alcohol.

Such restoration begins the moment a new patient walks through the door. After the staff physician takes a thorough medical history and performs the initial physical exam, the patient is hooked up to an IV solution, out of which drips high doses of ascorbic cid (vitamin C, a powerful detoxifier), calcium, magnesium, B vitamins (which help eliminate withdrawal symptoms), evening primrose oil (a natural anticonvulsant) and a full spectrum of amino acids including glutamine (an alternative form of glucose that significantly diminishes cravings).

While conventional programs frequently numb new patients with drugs like Librium and Valium to help ease withdrawals (and later must wean patients off of them), HRC’s formula is entirely natural. “The sum total of it all is that people go from consuming half a quart of alcohol a day to consuming none at all – without drugs. (Ewing, 1978) Following the IV, HRC patients are supplied with bottles of the vitamins and minerals they have been deficient in for so long and put on a diet that is free of sugar, salt, caffeine and most importantly, nicotine.

This is because tobacco is cured with cane, beet and corn sugars, which may not only cause intense cravings in those with hypoglycemia (and render them incapable of getting the condition under control), but may also stimulate allergic/addictive reactions in those sensitive to sugar and corn, two of the most common hidden food allergies. Sensitivities to corn, yeast, barley and other foods commonly found in alcoholic beverages are the reason some patients cannot stop drinking. (Ewing, 1978)

In the ensuing six weeks, HRC patients meet once weekly with a nutritionist, once weekly for individual therapy with one of HRC’s five certified counselors, and daily for group sessions, at which they talk openly about such subjects as anger, humor and insecurity. Such sessions are purposely not like conventional twelve step meetings, at which participants are expected to talk about the power they believe alcohol has over their lives. Rather, both the group and individual sessions focus on the here and now.

We call it rational management therapy. First we make a list of the client’s goals, long and short term, and map out ways they can achieve them. We decide together what they need to work on and we try to get them to do things that will make them feel good about themselves. ” In sharp contrast to the AA approach, HRC counselors try to instill in patients the belief that they are in control of their destinies, that they have power over alcohol rather than the other way around.

Twenty years ago, Marc Galanter was appointed as a career teacher in alcoholism and drug abuse by the National Institute on Mental Health. Galanter found nothing on the technique of resolving a drinking or drug problem for a patient who came to the doctor’s office. Since then, researchers in addiction have begun to develop a systematic understanding of how drug and alcohol dependence wreak their effects on thinking and behavior. But there are still very few descriptions of a comprehensive approach that the therapist can apply to addicted patients.

Few therapists venture beyond recommending to alcoholics that they attend AA or take a long break from job and family and go away to a rehabilitation hospital. ” (Stepney, 1987) Marc Galanter developed an approach that engages the support of a small group – some family, some friends – to meet with the substance abuser and a therapist at regular intervals to secure abstinence and help with the development of a drug free life. The majority of Galanter’s patients (77 percent) achieved a major or full improvement.

They were abstinent or had virtually eliminated substance use and their life circumstances were materially improved and stable. Marc Galanter named his therapy network therapy. Family and peers become part of the therapist’s working team, not subjects of treatment themselves. “Social supports are necessary for overcoming the denial and relapse that are so compromising to effective care for the substance abuser. ” (Stepney, 1987) Together, the group develops a regimen to support the recovery, one that includes individual sessions as well as meetings with this network.

The therapist continues to meet with the network while the abuser focuses on ways to protect continued abstinence and on the psychological issues that would allow the achievement of full recovery. As time goes on, the abuser’s abstinence is secured, the network sessions are held less frequently and individual therapy continues. “A social network is apparently a necessary vehicle to stabilizing the cognitive components of patients’ recovery, to allow them to deal with the reality they need to see and to provide the support essential for accepting the new reality. ” (Newman, 1987)

The purpose of network therapy is then to create an atmosphere that will allow an alcohol or drug abuser to experience relief from distress by participating and moving towards a drug free outlook. After initial sobriety has been achieved, network sessions often acquire a social quality. In order to act out a pattern of behavior that is clearly self-destructive, addicts must adopt a pattern of denial. This denial is supported by a variety of distorted perceptions: “persecution at the hands of employers, failings of a distraught spouse, a presumed ability to control the addiction if wanted.

This cognitive set is not only unfounded, but it is also at variance with the common sense views of the drug free family and friends. Because of this, intimate and positive encounters with them in the network produce an inherent conflict between addicts’ views and the views of network members. The addict must resolve this conflict, or cognitive dissonance, in order to feel accepted in the group. The network therefore creates an ongoing pressure on the addict to relinquish the trappings of denial.

Typically, addicts deal with this conflict by defensive withdrawal, but if their network is properly managed, cohesive ties in the group will engage them and draw them into an alternative outlook. Gradually, they come to accept that their distress can be relieved by a change in attitude, as denial and rationalization are confronted in a supportive way. Over time, engagement in the network allows an addict to restructure the perspective in which the addiction has been couched.

For addicts, both healthy and faulted attitudes have long coexisted in conflict with each other and the cognitive dissonance produced by these contradictions has driven them into a defensive stance. In a proper, supportive context, a constructive view premised on abstinence and on acknowledgment of the harmful nature of drug use can emerge. Addicts can experience a “conversion” of sorts, perhaps gradual, but real nonetheless. There is hardly any disorder more complicated and difficult to treat than alcohol/drug dependence.

Perhaps because alcohol dependence is so complex, it has attracted various professions and approaches, each having its own notion of etiology and treatment. The point is that treatment needs to be conceptualized for the patient as a long term process of years with the principle task for recovery being to provide the most effective treatment for a given person with a given problem. But until and unless researchers find a specific biological cause and cure for alcoholism, treatments will continue to vary, depending upon the alcoholic and the therapist.

Alcoholics in the United States

I am sitting at home playing Nintendo with my roommate, jake, when I hear a knock at the door. I wonder who in the world would be coming over this late at night, because it’s after midnight. As I open the door, the tired, bloodshot eyes of my upstairs neighbor, Steve, stare at me. Hi Sam, Steve says. As he attempts to enter my apartment, he stumbles on the slight rise where the weather strip runs under the door. As he trips, his forehead smashes onto the edge of the coffee table leaving a deep and bloody gash. I run in the bathroom and grab a towel while Jake tries to help Steve.

It doesn’t take us long to realize that Steve is going to need stitches and is in no condition to drive. He smells strongly of alcohol. We place a make-shift bandage on his cut and throw him in Jake’s Chevy truck. On the way to the hospital, Steve starts complaining about being really cold. He is talking incoherently and half crying. I ask Steve what he has been doing, and he just hangs his head down mumbling about drinking. Steve isn’t a social drinker. He drinks alone. He explains that he has been drinking by himself all night long.

Steve is not a young college kid experimenting with alcohol. Steve is over thirty years old. Steve drinks nearly every night. Steve is an alcoholic. Alcoholism is a disease that affects many people in the United States today. It not only affects the alcoholic, but also their family, friends, co-workers, and eventually total strangers. The symptoms are many, as are the causes and the effects. Alcoholism is defined as a pattern of drinking in which harmful consequences result for the drinker, yet, they continue to drink. There are two types of drinkers.

The first type, the casual or social drinker, drinks because they want to. They drink Dodd 2 with a friend r with a group for pleasure and only on occasion. The other type, the compulsive drinker, drinks because they have to, despite the adverse effects that drinking has on their lives. The symptoms of alcoholism vary from person to person, but the most common symptoms seen are changes in emotional state or stability, behavior, and personality. “Alcoholics may become angry and argumentative, quiet and withdrawn or depressed. They may also feel more anxious, sad, tense, and confused.

They then seek relief by drinking more” (Gitlow 175). “Because time and amount of drinking are uncontrollable, the lcoholic is likely to engage in such behaviors as [1] breaking family commitments, both major and minor; [2] spending more money than planned; [3] drinking while intoxicated and getting arrested; [4] making inappropriate remarks to friends, family, and co-workers; [5] arguing, fighting and other anti-social actions. The alcoholic would probably never do such things, nor approve of them in others unless he was drinking” (Johnson 203).

The cause of alcoholism is a combination of biological, psychological, and cultural factors that may contribute to the development of alcoholism in an individual. Alcoholism seems to run in families. “Although there is no conclusive indication of how the alcoholism of families members is associated, studies show that 50 to 80 percent of all alcoholics have had a close alcoholic relative” (Caplan 266). Some researchers have suggested that in several cases, alcoholics have an inherited, predisposition to alcohol addiction.

Studies of animals and human twins have lent support to this theory. Alcoholism can also be related to emotional instabilities. For example, alcoholism is often associated with a family history of manic-depressive illness. Dodd 3 Additionally, like many other drug abusers, alcoholics often drink hoping to “drown’ anxious or depressed feelings. Some alcoholics drink to reduce strong inhibitions or guilt about expressing negative feelings. Social and cultural factors play roles in to establishing drinking patterns and the development of alcoholism.

In some cultures, there is conflict between abstaining and accepting the use of alcohol as a way to change moods or to be social, thus making it difficult for some people to develop stable attitudes about and moderate patterns of drinking. Society tends to aid in the development f alcoholism by making alcohol seem glamorous, showing that by drinking, you will become more popular, more glamorous and more worthy of respects from others. The physical effects of alcoholism are some what gruesome. Excessive in take and prolonged use of alcohol can cause serious disturbances in body chemistry. Many alcoholics exhibit swollen and tender livers.

The prolonged use of large amounts of alcoholism without adequate diet may cause serious liver damage, such as cirrhosis of the liver” (McCarthy 505). Alcoholism also causes loss of muscular control. The condition, delirium remens, known primarily to heavy drinkers, causes hallucinations along with loss of control of muscular functioning. When this condition develops and the alcoholic slows their drinking, withdrawal syndrome can and often does occur. This may include agitation, tremors, seizures, and hallucinations. Alcoholism also causes damage to the brain.

Alcoholics may suffer from lack of concentration. The alcoholic may also experience “blackouts,” occasional onsets of memory lapses, and possibly complete memory loss. They may also suffer from more serious forms of brain damage. The social effects of lcoholism can be as devastating as the physical effects. Dodd 4 Children of alcoholics may be affected by the parents alcoholism in several different ways. Having a problem- drinker parent often increases the risk of becoming a problem drinker oneself. This may happen for reasons such as identification with or imitation of the alcoholic parent.

It may also happen because of the social and family conditions that are thought to be associated with the development of alcoholism. These include family conflict, job insecurity, divorce, and social stigma. Alcoholism is an outrageous public health problem. “The Institute f Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences estimates that alcoholism and alcohol abuse in the United States cost society from $40 to $60 billion annually, due to the lost production, health and medical care, motor vehicle accidents, violent crime, and social programs that respond to alcohol problems.

One half of all traffic fatalities and one-third of all traffic injuries are related to to the abuse of alcohol” (Caplan 266). Accidents and suicides that are associated with alcohol problems are especially prominent in the teen years. It is estimated that over 3 million teens between the ages of 14 and 17 n the United States today are problem drinkers. Alcoholism is a serious problem in today’s society.

It is extremely important that the public, including the large groups of users and abusers of alcohol, gain as much knowledge as possible about the symptoms and effects of alcoholism if we ever want to see the reduction of statics involving fatalities, injuries, diseases caused from the use and abuse of alcohol. Education and realization of the effects alcoholism can have on the different aspects of a person’s life are the best ways that we can help control the number of alcoholics in the United States.

What is alcoholism

The American Medical Association gives the following definition for alcoholism; \”Alcoholism is an illness characterized by preoccupation with alcohol and loss of control over its consumption, such as to lead, usually, to intoxication if drinking; by chronically, by progression and by a tendency toward relapse. It is typically associated with physical disability and impaired emotional, occupational and\\or social adjustments as a direct consequence of persistent excessive use. \” The people interviewed felt that the alcoholic started out with no intentions of letting alcohol become the controlling force in his or her life.

It was an experience that started out usually to be accepted by those around them. It was only after an amount of time that the alcoholic continued to drink because of other underlying reasons. Many of these underlying reasons centered on relationships, individualism and from their own life’s experiences. From reading the book Habits of the Heart, I felt these were the topics of interest to me. For a person to find meaning, Bellah states, \”Everybody needs to belong to a group\” because \”everybody needs to have an identity\” (pg. 135).

The importance of relationships with family and friends is stated by Ellen Schneider, \”People feel less depressed if they can maintain friendships and be with people\” (pg. 134). \”For a person to find one’s self means, among other things finding the story or narrative in terms of which one’s life makes sense,\” according to Bellah (pg. 81). \”Being good\” becomes \”feeling good\” (pg. 77). Oster suggests the need to \”try everything at least once\” (pg. 78). If the self is defined by its ability to choose it own basic values, on what grounds are those choices themselves based (pg. 5)?

Those that were interviewed believed that most people have a confused idea of alcoholism as a disease that invades or attacks your good health. These values and attitudes shape society towards alcoholics. A major implication of the disease concept is that what is labeled a \”disease\” is held too justifiable because it is involuntary. I do not believe this to be so. Problem drinking is a habit in which the alcoholic simply has decided that the benefits of drinking outweigh the liabilities; it is all a matter of personal choice.

An alcoholic participates in or causes many of their own problems by their behavior and the decisions they make. Alcoholism should not be viewed as a disease, but as an addiction brought about by the alcoholic’s personal choices. It was interesting to note how those interviewed were split on the idea of alcoholism as a disease. The Licensed Marriage and Family Counselor and Substance Abuse Specialist believed that it was a disease that causes people to lose control over the consumption of alcohol.

The Doctor stated that, \”What started out as a choice turns into a disease as the alcohol degrades the organs of the body, like the liver and neurological function. ” The Pastor and the alcoholic agreed that the individual had their own free will. While the alcohol clouded judgement, it did not negate the fact that the amount of alcohol consumed and if it is consumed at all, is completely up to the drinker, not an inevitable disease that overpowers your free will. The alcoholic went on to say that at the time he started drinking he wanted to express his own individualism and at the same time fit into a group — \”to please those around him. ”

He believed it was better to be an individual and that he often sacrificed relationships in pursuing what he thought was happiness. Habits of the Heart has caused me to take a close look within myself, and to evaluate my commitment in life. Bellah pushes us on to consider our purpose as we take part in the American life. He makes us question our motives and attitudes. Yet, at the same time, Bellah shows us how our society is so diverse. The main purpose of the book is to deepen my understanding and enable me to think about the kinds of moral problems we face as Americans (pg. 1).

I see alcoholism as a definite moral problem that we face. As Toulamin’s argument reflects, \”Human beings and their society are deeply interrelated, and the actions we take have enormous ramifications for the lives of others\” (pg. 284). In the book, Habits of the Heart, Bellah refers to a second language. \”Direct reliance on the Bible provides a second language with which to resist the temptations of the world\” (pg. 232). As one person in the book said, \”It’s not religion or the Church you go to that’s going to save you, rather it is your personal relationship with God.

Christ will come into your heart if you ask. ” (pg. 234). The Bible gives several passages relating to the temptation of alcohol. James 1:12-15, \”God blesses the people who patiently endure testing. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. And remember, no one who wants to do wrong should ever say, \”God is tempting me. \” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else either. Temptation comes from the lure of our own evil desires.

These evil desires lead to evil actions, and evil actions lead to death. 1 Peter 4:3,4 \”You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy — their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols. Of course, your former friends are very surprised when you no longer join them in the wicked things they do, and they say evil things about you. \” Ephesians 5:15-20, \”So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do.

Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you. Then you will sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, making music to the Lord in your hearts. And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. \” Proverbs 23:29-30, \” Who has anguish? Who has sorrow? Who is always fighting? Who is always complaining? Who has unnecessary bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? It is the one who spends long hours in the taverns, trying out new drinks.

To summarize the thoughts of those interviewed, society and alcoholics have both been misled by the erroneous classification of alcoholism as a disease. It is not right to let alcoholics believe they are helpless and dependent on others, that they have an inevitable disease. It is not right to excuse them legally or morally from their actions. It is not right to let society keep viewing them as helpless victims, to keep paying for their treatments, and to keep losing thousands of lives each year to drunks behind a wheel or women who drink while pregnant.

Alcoholics are not powerless; their choices led them to the life they live and until they realize that, only they can take responsibility for their actions. It is time we start viewing alcoholism for what it is — an addiction brought about by personal choices. In conclusion, individualism is at the core of our society. Individuals have differences in their understanding of alcoholism. Hopefully, we will be willing to learn to appreciate other peoples’ differences. Let us make choices that will promote right thinking, good judgment, and positive decision making in our society, the world and those we care about, including the individual.

Drinking and Driving Offences

My research paper is on “Drinking and Driving Offences”. In my paper I will tell you the various kinds of drinking and driving offences, the penalties, and the defenses you can make if you are caught drinking and driving. Let me tell you about the different offences. There are six offences in drinking and driving. They are “driving while impaired”, “Having care and control of a vehicle while impaired”,”Driving while exceeding 80 m. g. “, “Having care and control of a vehicle while exceeding 80 m. g. “, “Refusing to give a breath sample”, and “Refusing to submit to a roadside screen test.

These are all Criminal Code Offences. (Erwin p17) Now lets talk about the penalties of drinking and driving. The sentence for refusing to give a breath sample is usually higher than either of the exceeding 80 m. g. offences. Consequently it is usually easier in the long run for you to give a breath sample if asked. If, for example you are convicted of “Refusing to give a breath sample” for the first time, but was earlier convicted of “Driving while impaired”, your conviction for “Refusing” will count as a second conviction, not a first,and will receive the stiffer penalty for second offences. (Erwin p18)

For the first offence here is the penalty and the defenses you can make. Driving a vehicle while your ability to drive is impaired by alcohol or drugs is one of the offences. Evidence of your condition can be used to convict you. This can include evidence of your general conduct, speech, and ability to walk a straight line or pick up objects. The penalty of the first offences is a fine of $50. 00 to $2000. 00 and/or imprisonment of up to six months, and automatic suspension of license for three months. The second offence penalty is imprisonment for fourteen days to one year and automatic suspension of license for six months.

The third offence penalty is imprisonment for three months to two years (or more) and automatic suspension of license for six months. These penalties are the same for the following offences. (Purich p22) “Having Care and Control of a Motor Vehicle while Impaired” is another offence. Having care and control of a vehicle does not require that you be driving it. Occupying the driver’s seat, even if you did not have the keys, is sufficient. Walking towards the car with the keys could be sufficient. Some defenses are you were not impaired, or you did not have care and control because you were not in the driver’s seat, did not have the keys, etc.

It is not a defense that you registered below 80 m. g. on the breathalyzer test. Having care and control depends on all circumstances. (Purich p24) Driving While Exceeding 80 m. g. is the next offence. Driving a vehicle, having consumed alcohol in such a quantity that the proportion of alcohol in your blood exceeds 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood. Some defenses are the test was administered improperly, or the breathalyzer machine was not functioning properly. (Erwin p20) “Having Care and control of a Motor Vehicle while Exceeding 80 m. g,” is the next offence I will talk about.

This offence means having care and control of a vehicle whether it is in motion or not, having consumed alcohol in such a quantity that the proportion of alcohol in your blood exceeds 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood. The defenses are the test was administered improperly, or the breathalyzer machine was not functioning properly. To defend against breathalyzer evidence you must understand how the test should be administered. The proper procedure for a breathalyzer test is as follows. Warming up the machine until the thermometer registers 50 degrees centigrade.

This should take at least 10 minutes. The machine should then be turned to zero (by using the “adjust zero control”) and a comparison ampoule (of normal air) inserted. If the metre remains at zero, the test can proceed. An ampoule with a standard solution is then inserted. If the metre reads high or low by more than . 02% on two successive tests, the machine should not be used. If the trial is valid, the machine should be flushed with room air and the pointer set at start. You will then be asked to provide two breath samples, about fifteen minutes apart.

Normally they will take the result of the lowest result and use it as evidence against you. (Erwin p23) “Refusing to Give a Breath Sample” means refusing without a reasonable excuse to give a sample or refusing without a reasonable excuse to accompany a police officer, when demanded by the police officer. Before demanding by the police officer, he must have reasonable and probable grounds to believe that you are committing or at any time in the preceding two hours have committed, one of the offences of driving or having care and control of a vehicle while impaired or while having a blood alcohol level in excess of 80 m.

You can refuse to give a breath sample until you have communicated in private with your lawyer even if this takes you beyond the two hour period, unless it is shown that your request for a lawyer was not genuine and merely to delay the testing. The test can be done after the two-hour period, but a technician must testify in court as to what your blood alcohol would have been in the two-hour period. You cannot refuse to accompany the officer until you see your lawyer. You can argue that the officer didn’t have reasonable and probable grounds to suspect you, but this however depends on the circumstances.

Highway Traffic Law) “Refusing to submit to a Roadside Screening Test” is the last offense. When you commit this offense you are refusing without reasonable excuse to give a breath sample for a roadside screening device, or refusing without reasonable excuse to accompany a police officer for the purposes of giving such a sample, when demanded by an officer. Before the officer demands a breathalyzer he must reasonably suspect that you have alcohol in your blood. The maximum penalties for impaired driving causing bodily harm to someone is up to 10 years in prison and up to a 10 year prohibition from driving.

The maximum penalties for impaired driving causing death is up to 14 years and a 10 year prohibition from driving. The maximum penalty for manslaughter and criminal negligence causing death is up to life in prison and up to a lifetime prohibition from driving. (Purich p31) I think that these penalties for all the drinking and driving offences are very appropriate, but I think impaired driving causing death should be a lifetime imprisonment. All these offences should be taken seriously and no one should try and get around the law. The law is here for are protection on the rode and obey them and you should be safe.

Alcohol on Academics

Alcohol, when consumed in reason, can be fine. But when it is taken in great quantities it can be very detrimental to a student. Heather Wilson and Jeremy Foster wrote a perspective on drugs and alcohol in a book aimed to warn people about the dangers of alcohol and drugs. Here is there account. “During parents weekend, she, her roommate, and their parents went to her best friend’s room and found her soaked in blood and tears on the dorm-room floor. Heather’s friend had a history of depression, and the combination of this, a bottle of Jack Daniel’s Black Label, and too much cold medicine left her ravaged and suicidal”(Kuhn 21).

The girl in the story turned out to be ok. She had tried to slit her wrists the night before. The story went on to say that, “They found her in time to save her, but she will always carry the scars where she cut her wrists”(Kuhn 21). In this paper I intend to prove how alcohol is detrimental to college students. Our brain controls everything we do. Without it we wouldn’t be able to perform the simplest of tasks It is one of if not the most important thing we have as a person. As a college student I rely heavily on my brain to help me with all of the assignments for my classes.

But what if my brain didn’t work properly? When alcohol is inputted into the brain, it induces many output actions such as; impaired judgment, extreme emotion, and slowed behavior (Alcohol and its effects). Not only are the short term effects enough to side track any academic student, but the long term effects could have serious implications on your life. Long-term effects include damage in cognitive behavior, difficulty in learning new material, deficits in abstraction, problem solving, and reduced visuospatial abilities (Alcohol and its effects).

One of the long term effects listed was difficulty in learning. Now if you start drinking in high school, like most college aged tudents do, you already have a disadvantage against everyother person who choses not to drink. Researchers have found that the brains of alcoholics are smaller and have an increased number of brain tissue loss then a nonalcoholic(Alcohol and its effects). This would lead someone to believe that somebody who is the same age and does not drink would be faster and quicker in cognitive abilities(Alcohol and its effects).

We already know about the effects alcohol can have on your brain, but what about some of the non health related risks alcohol has that can hinder a college students education. Well college students who drink are more likely to have an unplanned sexual activity (Back to School and Drunk Again). Having unsafe sex can lead to getting many dangerous diseases, a lot of which don’t have any known cure, that could lead to you having to leave school so that you could get medical help. Also this increases the risk of having an unplanned pregnancy.

Having a child while in school could put a damper in your scholastic plans. Some people have kids and stay in school, but getting pregnant also leads some to drop out. There are other non medical effects alcohol could have on your future. Engaging in alcohol makes you more likely to damage property, injure yourself, get into trouble with the police, have an overdose, or it could just cause you to forget your actions (Back to School and Drunk Again). Drinking puts college students at risk for all of the aforementioned things.

Any one of those actions could cause you to lose focus on your academics and subsequently fail out of school. As previously stated in the paper alcohol can have negative effects on one of the most important parts of your body, the brain. But what some people don’t realize is that alcohol can affect many other parts of your body as ell. People with heart problems should stay away from alcohol because it can cause a disturbance in heart rate(Effects of Alcohol on Your Body).

Alcohol can also effect your lungs, which could lead to a chronic lung infection, your pancreas, which could casue it to become inflammed, and Liver(Effects of Alcohol on Your Body). Any of these problems could cause you to lose time at school. Not only that they could kill you. One important tool that all college aged students need is memory. There was some research done to see if there was a link with people who drank and memory loss. Studies showed that there was a dose-response relationship between alcohol consumption and diminished scores on certain neuropsychological tests(Alcohol and Cognition).

What that means is that there was a significant decrease in test preformance for people whose self-reported alcohol intake was in the range of what people refer to as someone who is a “social drinker” (Alcohol and Cognition). In treatment centers for alcohol 45-70 percent of patients have had deficits in problem solving, abstract thinking, concept shifiting, psychomotor performance, and difficult memory tasks(Alcohol and Cognition). Memory is one of the most important things to a college student.

If you can’t memorize important facts tests are going to be very difficult for you to do well on. Research shows people who don’t drink statistically have a better memory, and thus a better chance to do well in school. Underage drinking is always going to be a problem on college campuses across America. Kids are going to drink and get in to trouble. What my paper proved is that the ones who don’t will have a distinct advantage over the ones who do. I proved how alcohol not only affects the body, but how it also affects the mind.

Alcohol Abuse Essay

Alcohol is liquid distilled product of fermented fruits, grains and vegetables used as solvent, antiseptic and sedative moderate potential for abuse. Possible effects are intoxication, sensory alteration, and/or anxiety reduction. Symptoms of overdose staggering, odor of alcohol on breath, loss of coordination, slurred speech, dilated pupils, fetal alcohol syndrome (in babies), and/or nerve and liver damage. Withdrawal Syndrome is first sweating, tremors, then altered perception, followed by psychosis, fear, and finally auditory hallucinations.

Indications of possible mis-use are confusion, disorientation, loss of motor erve control, convulsions, shock, shallow respiration, involuntary defecation, drowsiness, respiratory depression and possible death. Alcohol is also known as: Booze, Juice, Brew, Vino, Sauce. You probably know why alcohol is abused some reasons are relaxation, sociability, and cheap high. But did you know that alcohol is a depressant that decreases the responses of the central nervous system. Excessive drinking can cause liver damage and psychotic behavior.

As little as two beers or drinks can impair coordination and thinking. Alcohol is often used by substance abusers to enhance the effects of other drugs. Alcohol continues to be the most frequently abused substance among young adults. HERE ARE SOME STRAIGHT FACTS ABOUT ALCOHOL…. Alcohol abuse is a pattern of problem drinking that results in health consequences, social, problems, or both. However, alcohol dependence, or alcoholism, refers to a disease that is characterized by abnormal alcohol-seeking behavior that leads to impaired control over drinking.

Short-term effects of alcohol use include: -Distorted vision, hearing, and coordination -Altered perceptions and emotions -Impaired judgment -Bad breath; hangovers Long-term effects of heavy alcohol use include: Loss of appetite -Vitamin deficiencies -Stomach ailments -Skin problems -Sexual impotence -Liver damage -Heart and central nervous system damage -Memory loss Here are some quick clues to know if I, or someone close, has a drinking problem:

-Inability to control drinking–it seems that regardless of what you decide beforehand, you frequently wind up drunk -Using alcohol to escape problems -A change in personality–turning from Dr. Jekyl to Mr. Hyde -A high tolerance level–drinking just about everybody under the table -Blackouts–sometimes not remembering what happened while drinking -Problems at ork or in school as a result of drinking -Concern shown by family and friends about drinking If you have a drinking problem, or if you suspect you have a drinking problem, there are many others out there like you, and there is help available. You could talk to school counselor, a friend, or a parent.

Excessive alcohol consumption causes more than 100,000 deaths annually in the United States, and although the number shows little sign of declining, the rate per 100,000 population has trended down since the early 1980s. Accidents, mostly due to drunken driving, accounted for 24 percent of these deaths in 1992. Alcohol-related homicide and suicide accounted for 11 and 8 percent respectively. Certain types of cancer that are partly attributable to alcohol, such as those of the esophagus, larynx, and oral cavity, contributed another 17 percent.

About 9 percent is due to alcohol-related stroke. One of the most important contributors to alcohol-related deaths is a group of 12 ailments wholly caused by alcohol, among which alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver and alcohol dependence syndrome are the most important. These 12 ailments together accounted for 18 percent of the total alcohol-related deaths in 1992. Mortality ue to the 12 causes rises steeply into late middle age range and then declines markedly, with those 85 and over being at less than one-sixth the risk of 55 to 64-year olds.

The most reliable data are for the 12 conditions wholly attributable to alcohol. The map shows these data for all people 35 and over. The geographical distribution for men and women follows much the same pattern, although men are three times as likely to die of one of the 12 alcohol-induced ailments. The geographical distribution for whites and blacks follows roughly the same pattern but the rates for blacks are two and half times higher.

In the ate nineteenth century blacks, who were then far more abstemious than whites, were strong supporters of the temperance movement, but the movement in the South was taken over by whites bent on disenfranchising black people by any means possible, such as propagating lurid tales of drink-crazed black men raping white women. Consequently, blacks became less involved in the temperance movement, a trend that accelerated early in the twentieth century with the great migration of blacks to the North, where liquor was freely available even during Prohibition.

The geographical pattern of mortality from the 12 conditions wholly aused by alcohol is partly explained by the average alcohol consumption among those who drink, which tends to be higher in the Southeast certain areas of the West and than elsewhere. In New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska, and in many counties in the Plains and Mountain states, the rates are high, in part, because of heavy drinking among Native Americans. Another possible contributor to high rates in the West is lower family and community support than elsewhere, as suggested by high divorce and suicide rates, low church membership, and the large number of migrants from other regions.

In the South Atlantic states, black males contribute heavily to the high mortality rates, although white rates there are above average. One unexplained anomaly is the comparatively low rates in the area stretching from Kentucky through Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, to Louisiana, all states with high alcohol consumption among those who drink. There were at least four cycles of high alcohol consumption in the last 150 years with peaks in the 1840s, in the 1860s, the first decade of the twentieth century, and again in the 1970-1981 period.

Each of these peaks was probably accompanied by n increase in alcohol-related deaths, as suggested by the course of liver cirrhosis mortality, which, since the early twentieth century, has followed more-or-less the same trend as consumption of beverages alcohol. America is now in a phase of declining alcohol consumption, so one would expect that the rate of alcohol-related deaths would continue to decline. Among westernized countries, America in the early 1990s was somewhat below average in both alcohol consumption and liver cirrhosis mortality. If you have been arrested for DWI, you may be court ordered to go to counseling for alcohol abuse.

Prohibition Was A Failure

Alcohol is illegal! “The reign of tears is over. The slums will soon be a memory. We will turn our prisons into factories and our jails into storehouses and corncribs. Men will walk upright now; women will smile and children will laugh. Hell will be forever rent” (Thorton 9). The Eighteenth Amendment of the Constitution went into effect on January 16, 1920, with three-fourths vote from congress (Boorstin 994). The National Prohibition of Alcohol was adopted to solve social problems, reduce the crime rate, stop corruption and minimize the tax burden created by prisons.

Some immediate results of the amendment included organized crime and the corruption of public officials. As time went on, the stock market crashed, the Great Depression began, and people no longer viewed Prohibition as a question of moral values and standards, but as economics. Because of the economic repercussions that our country endured during the thirteen years of Prohibition, the Eighteenth Amendment was finally repealed. (Thorton 1). In the beginning of Prohibition, many small-time bar owners and middlemen created bootlegging services that provided illegal alcohol.

Most of these people never gained a great deal of income from it, but with the rough economic times of the 1920’s, particularly in the later part of the decade, any extra source of funds was another way to provide for one’s family. Despite the minimal success of these men, there was the occasional exception who made millions of dollars on illegal and legal distribution. Al Capone is possibly the most famous example of all American mobsters. He was raised in Brooklyn and acquired the knowledge of petty crime at a young age.

His underground mob scene arose after his move to Chicago, where he worked his way and eventually became the strongest underground mobster in the area. When the Prohibition started, Capone’s gang began running underground bootleg services all over the city of Chicago in abandoned office buildings, bars, and nightclubs. By the end of the 1920’s, Capone’s illegal alcoholic deliveries were making him more than $20 million a year. Because of all this fame and fortune, Capone started gaining underground political power as well as an extensive underground crime organization.

Capone had agreements with Mayor Bill Thompson of Chicago, that he would run and direct the politics, police, and federal enforcement agencies of Chicago County. Throughout all of the liquor traffic, murder, and burglary, the only charge the police ever caught him for was tax evasion. He served eleven years in prison and died soon after his release of syphilis. Yet another bootlegger profiting from Prohibition was a young German, George Remus. Remus was a small convenience storeowner from Chicago when Prohibition started.

He began by illegally selling gallons of liquor to select customers. As word spread, and the demand for alcohol grew, the number of “select” customers rapidly grew into a large clientele. Remus soon earned enough profits to branch out and open a number of stores with an unlimited supply of alcohol. A revision was soon passed which permitted the sale of alcohol for medicinal purposes. Remus soon acquired stores nationwide concentrating in Cincinnati, Ohio (Behr 176). Since he was making such large sums of money, Remus took drastic measures.

He began to hire all law enforcement agents, such as local policemen and bureaucrats, and by 1921, almost the entire Cincinnati police force was on his payroll, generating over a $25 million income per year. Remus’s reign of terror soon ended after he was convicted of murdering his wife, and died in jail (Hintz 122). The Prohibition became a primary source for corruption. Anyone from major politicians to the cops on the streets were taking bribes from bootleggers and crime bosses. The Bureau of Prohibition soon had to reorganize in order to reduce this corruption (Thorton 13).

The organized crime and bootleg “rings” started a movement that would not be relinquished. Political leaders began to realize that the alcohol was no harder to come by than before the Prohibition and that all this did was put money in the pockets of mobsters such as Al Capone and ambitious businessmen like George Remus. Prohibition had many economic repercussions on the United States. The closing of many brewing factories increased the already growing unemployment pool. A contemporary humorist Will Rogers stated, “We were so afraid the poor people might drink, but now we fixed it so they can’t eat.

In this statement, Rogers is basically illustrating the tremendous failure of the Prohibition (Behr 266). The government had lost all of its taxes paid by companies involved with the sale of alcohol. Virtually everyone in the United States at the time was a moderate drinker. If even a hundred million people bought a bottle of gin a week, that is a lot of money that would bring in and help out the economy, but that was taken away (Boorstin 850). These people still found their gin, but on the black market.

The money that alcohol was making was going into the pocket of the likes of George Remus and Al Capone, instead of balancing the budget. As congress was realizing the mass failure of Prohibition, people were demanding change. While some wanted a simple revision of the Eighteenth Amendment, others wanted a complete repeal. At first, a revision was made to legalize and reinstate the full-time manufacturing and selling of beer. However, people were still not satisfied, and in turn, the Twenty-First Amendment was passed in 1933.

The amendment stated the repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment, and that the transportation or importation into any state for delivery of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the law, is prohibited (Boorstin 996). The repeal of the eighteenth amendment of the Constitution of the United States and the instating of the twenty-first amendment was an economic improvement that needed to be made at such times of depression and unemployment. New factories were built creating many stable jobs for many unemployed citizens.

The country profited greatly from the domestic sales as well as the exportation of the liquors. Alcohol is something that is originally a part of the “manifest destiny” that this country was based on. It is as customary as fancy clothes. At any gatherings of officials, clergymen, wealthy people, poor people, and middle-class people, there will almost always be some sort of alcoholic beverage consumption. Whether it is the wealthy sipping Dom Perignon, or the poorer people gulping cheap beer, it is simply an accepted part of American culture (Kerr 171).

The Eighteenth Amendment of the Constitution was, in fact, repealed because of the great rise on organized crime and bootlegging that had taken place in the thirteen years of Prohibition. “The most telling sign of the relationship between serious crimes and Prohibition, was the dramatic reversal in the rates for robbery, burglary, murder, and assault after the repeal” (Thorton 12). As in any society, in the 1920’s or 1990’s, when an accepted privilege is made illegal, people will still want to participate.

In the 1960’s marijuana was by many standards illegal, but since then the laws on it have been enforced much stronger, and yet, the amount of people who still smoke marijuana today is not too far different. From 1920-1928, the first years of the Prohibition, roughly 50,000 people died of alcohol poisoning which proves how easy it was to attain. Thanks to Al Capone and George Remus, 25 million gallons of alcohol were sold illegally each year of the Prohibition, and 30 million gallons of alcohol were sold legally for “medicinal purposes” each year during the Prohibition.

Alcohol is something that has been generally accepted in society. From the Roman Emperors indulging in wine, to the businessman who has a drink at the end of the day, alcohol, as a social function, is accepted. To attempt to remove alcohol from society would be repeating the mistake of Prohibition. Prohibition was a failure; it failed to improve the crime rate in America, as well as the economy. It failed to empty prisons, reduce taxes, and solve social problems. Instead, it added to the problems it was intended to solve and the only things that flourished from it were bootleggers and crime bosses (Thorton 14).

Had the Prohibition not been repealed, the economy would have created an even bigger deficit, because without the profits of the liquor industry, the country was losing millions of dollars annually. By today’s society, the organized crime loops would’ve grown so large that they would probably have greater power within the federal government. The repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States was necessary for the sanctity of the country.

The 18th Amendment to the Constitution

The 1920’s were a time of major social change in the United States. The social changes during this period were reflected in the laws and regulations that were brought into play at this time. One of the most prominent examples of this was prohibition. The 18th Amendment to the Constitution, also known as the Volsted Act, which got it’s name from it’s sponsor, Representative Andrew Volsted of Minnesota, was created to eliminate the use of alcohol in the United States. In doing this, the followers of prohibition hoped to end the social problems associated with alcohol such as domestic abuse.

It was an attempt to promote Protestant middle-class culture as a means of imposing order on a disorderly world”(Dumenil 226). However, this goal of keeping peace by not consuming alcohol, was not reached during the years of prohibition, or even the years following it. Alcohol consumed among Americans did decline, but it was not totally eliminated as hoped to be, and some of the social problems seemed to be even greater then before prohibition was in effect. Therefore prohibition was not successful in its original purpose.

To better understand the reasons behind the failure of prohibition, one must have to look at the years before, during, and after prohibition. This will give a better understanding to the implementation of the 18th Amendment, as well as show the trends of Americans’ alcohol use and the effects of alcohol on American society. The early 1900’s were a time of great prosperity in the United States. America was thriving economically, and big cities were booming. However, some Americans thought that this was not a good thing, because of the social problems that came with the urban culture.

The “Dry’s”, as Prohibitionists were referred to, saw large cities as providing people with readily available alcohol. This in turn led to an increase in crime, poverty and immorality. During the period of 1911-1915 the average per-capita consumption of alcohol of each American was 2. 56 gallons (Kyvig 24). The only solution that was proposed was a national prohibition of alcohol. The goal of this was to eliminate drinking in America, which would result in reducing all of the problems associated with it.

The Prohibitionists thought that the sale of liquor was a social crime, that the drinking of liquor was a racial crime, and that the results of liquor were criminal actions”(Sinclair 220). By making alcohol illegal nationally, such as it would be with prohibition, the social problems of America would be fixed. On January 16, 1920 alcohol became illegal with the passing of the 18th Amendment. Under the Volsted Act, named after its author, the importing, exporting, transporting, and manufacturing of all intoxicating substances was outlawed.

The government defined intoxicating liquor as anything having an alcoholic content of more then . . However this excluded alcohol used in religious or medical purposes. With the passing of this Amendment, the temperance movement in the United States had won a major victory. They saw the implementation of prohibition as the key to freeing America from the fiery vices of alcohol. So began the prohibition era. At the onset of prohibition, alcohol use in the United States did decline. “It did cut alcohol consumption, perhaps by as much as thirty percent, and was more effective in the early years (1919-1922)” (Dumenil 233). However, this reduction in consumption was not permanent or even long lasting.

Seldom has a law been more flagrantly violated. Not only did Americans continue to manufacture, barter, and possess alcohol; they drank more of it”(Bowen 154). One of the reasons for this was because prohibition was so hard to enforce. This was partly due to the poor wording of the Amendment. The 18th Amendment prohibited the sale, import, export, manufacture, and transport of alcohol, but it failed to specifically make purchasing alcohol or its use a crime. According to David E. Kyvig, “This allowed continued possession of intoxicants obtained prior to prohibition, provided that such beverages were only for personal use in one’s own home”.

This loophole in the Amendment was not on the side of the Prohibitionists, and ultimately led to a decline in prohibition’s effectiveness. Another reason that the decline in alcohol sale and usage was not permanent was its increased profitability. After the implementation of prohibition, the price of alcohol went up dramatically. During prohibition, the price of beer went up 600%, and the price of gin went up 520%. (Kyvig . 25). This made the sale of illegal spirits more profitable to bootleggers. The alcohol trade was a very lucrative practice. Bootleggers smuggled alcohol in to the country and sold it at tremendous profits.

Therefore, because alcohol was more profitable to sell during prohibition, it was more widely consumed. The levels of consumption never reached those of pre-prohibition times, but alcohol use in the United States was not totally eliminated. “National prohibition substantially reduced, but did not altogether eliminate, the use of alcoholic beverages”(Kyvig 22). The huge public demand for alcohol led to a soaring business for bootleggers. When prohibition began, people immediately wanted a way to drink. Hence, the extremely profitable bootlegging business was born.

Before Prohibition gangs existed, but had little influence. Now, they had gained tremendous power almost overnight. Bootlegging was easy – New York City gangs paid hundreds of poor immigrants to maintain stills in their apartments. Common citizens, once law abiding, now became criminals by making their own alcohol. However, this posed risks for those who made their own. The rich managed to continue drinking good liquor while less-affluent Americans often consumed homemade alcoholic beverages, which were sometimes made with poisonous wood alcohol. Do to this, many died due to alcohol poisoning.

There was very little enforcement to the law, since the government employed few prohibition agents, most of whom could be bribed by the bootleggers. Those in favor of prohibition “became increasingly dismayed with the efforts of the government to enforce the law. ” (Fisher 133) In 1920, the government had fewer than 1,600 low-paid, ill-trained Prohibition agents for the entire country. Speakeasies, who got their name because a password had to be spoken through the door to get in, popped up all over the country. The number of speakeasies in New York was somewhere in the hundreds or even thousands.

It was easy enough for police to close and padlock individual speakeasies, but there were so many it was impossible to keep them shut down. Even with prohibition in effect, the demand for alcohol never gave it a chance to work. One of the biggest gangsters of all time got his name achieved his fame during the times of prohibition. Al Capone used prohibition to build one of the biggest crime empires in United States history. He started as a member of John Torrio’s gang in Chicago. Torrio was a notorious gangster and bootlegger, and after he was shot in 1922 Capone became the leader of his gang.

He quickly expanded the business, and by 1930 controlled speakeasies, bookie joints, gambling houses, brothels, horse and race tracks, nightclubs, distilleries and breweries at a reported income of $100,000,000 a year. By bribing police and prohibition agents, he was able to get away with almost anything he did. Capone was the first and last gangster to openly flaunt his crimes. He was somewhat of a celebrity in Chicago and admitted what he did with quotes such as: “All I’ve ever done is to supply a public demand – you can’t cure a thirst by a law.

It’s bootleg when it’s on the trucks, but when your host hands it to you on a silver tray, it’s hospitality. They say I violate Prohibition. Who doesn’t? ” Capone also believed in killing anyone who got in his way. Throughout his career, Capone was said to have killed over 200 people, but he was never convicted of any related charge. In addition to bootlegging and his other establishments, Capone began the widespread use of racketeering. Racketeering is when Capone would force businesses to pay him money in exchange for protection by his gang.

Really, though, they were paying for protection from Capone’s gang. However, what goes up must come down. Capone became too famous for his own good. The American public began to hate him for being able to defy the law, and the government hated him for continuously breaking their laws and embarrassing them. After the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929, in which gunmen executed seven rival gang members dressed as police, the public saw Capone as a truly evil and bad man. In 1931, Capone was indicted for tax evasion and sentenced to ten years in prison along with substantial fines.

At first he went to Atlanta prison, but after being able to buy better treatment there he was transferred to Alcatraz, where his money meant nothing. He was soon diagnosed with syphilis and spent the rest of his term in a hospital. After he was released, Capone returned to his Florida estate and slowly succumbed to his disease until his death on January 25, 1947. During prohibition, the social ills of America that the prohibitionists had hoped to cure with the implementation of the Volsted act were not eradicated. Before prohibition, the temperance movement blamed an increase in crime on alcohol.

This was one of the main arguments for prohibition. However, after the beginning of prohibition the homicide rate actually increased for America. This was mainly due to the fact that the selling of liquor was becoming increasingly more profitable for criminals. Because each separate criminal group was fighting for the same thing, to sell the most illegal alcohol, there were increasing tensions between these groups. The crime rate in major cities went up, as did the homicide rate. Serious crimes such as homicide and assault and battery increased 13% during prohibition.

Even though proponents of Prohibition saw the 18th Amendment as a law that would reduce criminal activities in America, this was not the reality. Another social problem that prohibition was supposed to address was the loss of morals in America. “The emerging middle class used the temperance and evangelical movements to establish a culture of sobriety, restraint, and industry to strengthen the family, promote individual and community prosperity” (Dumenil 226). Many Americans thought that society was morally and ethically decaying. There was prostitution, gambling, and open sexuality, more prevalent in the cities than in rural areas.

Prohibition would cure this. With prohibition in place the Temperance Movement claimed that, “The abolition of the saloon and of drinking in clubs and at public dinners are an unequivocal sign that the new ideal of social responsibility has progressed”(Fisher 186). Prohibitionists thought that this was the path America should be headed in. But prohibition failed its desired outcome. In the times of prohibition America did not move toward the new ideal of social responsibility, but, in fact, backed off to being less ethical then it was before prohibition.

During the years of prohibition, the number of illegal clubs for drinking or speakeasies increased dramatically. “Just in New York, as early as 1923, the estimate was 5,000 which later upped to 32,000 (more than double the 15,000 places where a man could have gotten a drink legally in pre-Volstead days)”(Lee 58). And this was not the only place where this was happening. All over America speakeasies were popping up. In Illinois there were an estimated 40,000, and Pennsylvania 20,000, and California 15,000 (Lee 68). This shows that even though it was illegal to drink, frequenting saloons was still a common habit among Americans.

With this increase in speakeasies, there was also an increase in moral decay. These establishments brought with them crime, gambling, and prostitution, all things that the Temperance movement thought would be eradicated with prohibition. The year 1933 marked the conclusion of a thirteen-year prohibition of alcohol in the United States, with the 21st Amendment to the Constitution. This marked the end to a lengthy period of the great experiment, which was prohibition. Looking at the era following prohibition will complete the picture of how prohibition did not meet its goals.

The amount of per capita consumption of Americans did in fact decrease to . 97 gallons of alcohol in 1933 from 2. 56 gallons in 1915, but alcohol consumption was not eliminated. In addition, the homicide rate for America actually decreased in the years after prohibition was repealed. Even though this fact would seem to be a positive effect of prohibition, in favor of the prohibitionists, that is not the case. One reason for the decline in the homicide rate could be the fact that after prohibition, there was not as much violent crime between gangsters.

During prohibition, there was more cause for violence because alcohol was such a precious commodity. This would explain the decrease in the homicide rate after prohibition. Prohibition also did not accomplish its goal of stopping the decay of America’s morals and values. After prohibition was repealed, the cultural change had already taken place. There were new acceptable ethics. Progress in the 1920’s had changed the ways American life, inevitably, as it does in every generation. After looking at prohibition in the context of the time period before, during and after, we can better paint a picture of the failure of prohibition.

Prohibition did not achieve its goals. Instead, it added to the problems it was intended to solve”(Thornton). We can see that prohibition did reduce the amount of alcohol consumed in the United States, but alcohol use was not altogether eliminated. The social problems that were hoped to be addressed were not solved either. The great experiment that was prohibition did not accomplish its goals of solving the social problems of America and eliminating alcohol consumption. But it will always be remembered for causing Americans to reflect on the effects of alcohol on society.

Excessive Alcohol Consumption, Its Effects and Social Acceptance

Rumors and old wives’ tales such as stress makes women heavier drinkers, divorce prompts heavy alcohol use, people drive better when they are drinking, and teenagers are the main group of drunk drivers, are being thrown at today’s society left and right in an effort to blame the other guy. With all the talk about alcohol use and abuse these days, people are lost between fact and fiction. All of this tossed in with the truth leads to confusion where most of society is torn between tradition and personal beliefs.

Alcohol is a destructive drug that can lead to addiction, arrest, illness, and even death; all of these consequences, however, have not caused much of a dramatic change in alcohol’s social acceptance or usage. Most people know what alcohol is, but not everyone knows its history, where it comes from, or how it is produced. Alcohol is a word derived from the Arabic al-kohl, which was a term used to describe eyeliner that Middle Eastern women wore. Later, the definition broadened to mean an exotic substance (Monroe 5-6).

It was primarily used among ancient people for special ceremonies, magic, and medicine, and ‘by about 1500 BC, Egyptian doctors included beer or wine in about 15 percent of their medicines’;(Monroe 8-9). Alcoholic beverages are produced through a process called fermentation using plants such as corn, rye, barley, potatoes, and grapes, and are classified by their types and proofs. Some types of alcohol are beer, ale, stout, porter, malt liquor, wine, whiskey, bourbon, gin, rum, brandy, and liqueur. The term proof refers to the percentage of pure alcohol contained in a drink.

While there is no international standard, in the United States, each degree of proof is equal to 0. 5 percent alcohol (Fettner 275). Beer, wine, and whiskey tend to be the three major categories used when comparing alcohol. Most beers contain about two to eight percent alcohol, which is one to four proof. Wine, depending on whether it is natural or fortified, can have anywhere from eight to twenty-one percent alcohol eight to fourteen percent for natural and eighteen to twenty-one percent for fortified. Whiskeys usually range from about twenty to twenty-five proof, or forty to fifty percent alcohol.

The strongest type of alcohol, however, is brandy used to fortify dessert wines, which can be up to ninety-five percent alcohol (Fettner 275-276). Although studies show that alcohol consumed in small amounts can actually help the body remain healthy by stimulating cell functions, heavy or chronic use produces an opposite, suppressive effect on cell production (Wolfgan 3-4). Excessive usage can cause damage to many areas of the body, including the liver, the heart, and the brain. The liver is the primary target because it deals directly with the metabolism of alcohol.

And even though light use of alcohol has been shown to help prevent coronary artery disease, prolonged use causes many problems for the heart and brain, which are the next two hardest hit organs. Heart disease, heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure, and neuropsychological disorders are among the worst consequences (Wolfgan 5). Also, taking depressants or tranquilizers while drinking can cause death (Fettner 276). Alcohol does not only affect its immediate users, either; it may also affect the offspring of chronic users.

Exposure in prenatal and early postnatal development shows an increased risk of disrupt in development or damage to the immune system. The most severe defect resulting from prenatal alcohol consumption, however, is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), characterized by many behavioral problems (Wolfgan 7). Several types of violence, including homicides, suicides, and spousal abuse, suggest a strong relationship with alcohol. In more than sixty percent of homicides, violators were drinking at the time of the offense, and thirty-six percent of suicide victims had a positive blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

Researchers have several suggestions about the link between alcohol and violence. One theory is that aggression is triggered by sensitivity to pain and frustration. Furthermore, the frustration may be caused by lack of problem-solving skills through effects on the brain’s frontal lobe (Wolfgan 8-9). In alcohol metabolism, the first sip of alcohol usually only takes a few minutes to move to the brain. The alcohol briefly irritates the mouth and esophagus lining, and then flows into the stomach. Food in the stomach slows alcohol progression to the rest of the body while the stomach absorbs about twenty percent itself.

However, once the alcohol gets past the stomach, it quickly moves into the small intestine, bloodstream, and heart. The bloodstream carries alcohol to the brain where it begins to slow down brain cells and increase heart rate. The only two ways that the body can remove alcohol is through excretion and metabolism. But, only ten percent of consumed alcohol is released through excretion urine, breath, saliva, and sweat leaving the other ninety percent to be broken down in the liver. A typical liver can handle about a half an ounce of pure alcohol in about one and a half-hours.

And, for example, a twelve ounce can of beer, a twelve ounce wine cooler, a five ounce glass of wine, and a drink with 1. 25 ounces of liquor each contain about one-half ounce of pure alcohol (Monroe 21-24). The effects of alcohol depend on several factors including weight, age, gender, type of alcohol, and history of use. Alcohol generally effects women and teens faster than men because women and teens have smaller bodies. Teens and children are still developing physically, mentally, and emotionally, and likewise are more easily affected.

Females are affected faster than men also because they have a higher percentage of body fat. Fat absorbs alcohol poorly; therefore alcohol tends to concentrate more in a woman’s bloodstream. Tolerance to alcohol builds up in chronic, heavy drinkers (Monroe 24). According to the 1998 edition of The World Almanac and Book of Facts ‘regular alcohol use by seniors from 1975 to 1997 has declined from 90. 4% to 81. 7%’; (878). And, Lori Wolfgan found that ‘average annual alcohol consumption per person began to decline in the early 1980s and continued to drop through 1993, when it reached 2. 5 gallons of alcohol the lowest level recorded since 1964’; (1).

However, ‘heavy alcohol use by 8th graders between 1991 and 1997 has risen from 12. 9% to 14. 5%’; (Famighetti 878). Heavy alcohol use is generally defined as five or more drinks consecutively at least once a week (Famighetti 878, Wolfgan 5, Peradotto 63). Also, the above statistics do not include school dropouts and absentees, which normally have higher usage. Arrests in 1996 that were related to alcohol use were divided into three general categories driving under the influence, drunkenness, and liquor laws.

The World Almanac and Book of Facts lists the total estimated arrests as ‘1,467,300 for D. U. I. s, 718,700 for drunkenness, and 677,400 for liquor laws’; (892). With the drop of alcohol use also came the fall in alcohol-related crashes. Recent alcohol research has shown that ‘from 1983 to 1993, the proportion of fatal crashes that involved alcohol decreased by 26 percent’; (Wolfgan 8). And while ‘the number of male drivers of all ages who were involved in crashes between 1977 and 1993 decreased by 22 percent…the number of female drivers involved in such crashes increased by 18 percent’; (Wolfgan 8).

Despite the steady rise for women, Wolfgan shows that ‘the total number of fatal traffic accidents involving women drivers who were legally intoxicated has remained far below that of men’; (8). Many alcohol-related rumors are repeated so often that society begins to accept them as truth. For instance, Marilyn Elias tells us that ‘the more roles women play wife, mother, worker the less likely they are to have drinking problems,’; which is the opposite of the commonly accepted idea that stress makes women heavier drinkers (61).

Elias also discredits the theory that divorce prompts more alcohol use by saying that ‘leaving an unhappy marriage marred by problem drinking…improves women’s chances of ending an alcohol habit’; (61). Sylvain Tremblay and Anna Kemeny note that ‘although public opinion often associates teenagers with impaired driving, the latest statistics indicate that it is people aged 20 to 44 who are substantially over-represented among those charged: while they make up 57% of all licensed drivers, they account for 74% of all impaired charges’; (64).

Health problems are not the only negative side effects; addiction can also result from chronic drinking. There is, however, a difference between dependence and abuse. The most recent edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders defines alcohol dependence as ‘a cluster of symptoms that includes continued drinking despite significant alcohol-related problems,’; while alcohol abuse is listed as ‘repeated drinking in harmful situations with negative consequences’; (Wolfgan 2).

According to the above definitions, a large national survey conducted in 1994 shows that 7. 4 percent of those sampled could be classified as engaging in alcohol abuse, experiencing alcohol dependence, or both (Wolfgan 2). Many research projects have been conducted in an attempt to find treatment and prevention for alcohol dependence, which ‘is the most widespread form of drug abuse, affecting at least 5 million persons’; (Fettner 276). Through this research, several factors have been determined as predictors of treatment success or failure.

They are subjective well being, drinking-related beliefs, patient readiness to change, alcohol-related expectancies, social functioning, and social support for drinking or abstinence. There are many reasons why society should be concerned with alcohol abuse and addiction about one-third of the nation’s high school students are thought to be problem drinkers (Fettner 276). Alcohol consumption among youths can produce far worse effects than on adults. For example, youths that start drinking before their fifteenth birthday are four times more likely to become alcoholics than people who begin drinking at age twenty-one.

Furthermore, the risk of alcohol dependence decreases by fourteen percent for every year that a teenager waits to start drinking (Patrick 62). Excessive alcohol consumption has some negative side effects that do not deal with health; consider the fact that drinking is a leading cause of social and personal problems and loss of income (Fettner 276). Individual factors, environmental factors, and genetic influences all impact drinking behavior and alcoholism risk.

Two broad dimensions of personality deviance proneness and negative emotionality have been associated with the risk of alcoholism through research. Deviance proneness, also termed behavioral undercontrol and behavioral disinhibition, is marked by unconventionality, over-activity, aggression, and impulsivity, while negative emotionality is characterized by depression and anxiety. There are three main environmental factors that can influence or significantly impact a person’s decision about alcohol use.

First, are the cultural norms, which can affect a person’s views on the propriety of drinking, how much is acceptable, and what timing is appropriate. Another major influence is friends’ and family members’ habits. Exposure to and parental standards regarding alcohol consumption greatly affect a person’s views. Thirdly is the psychological stress that the person is experiencing at a given period of time (Wolfgan 3). Many people parents, students, and even some educators continue to see under-age drinking as a simple rite of passage.

Patrick says that ‘society has focused so much attention on the anti-drug message that alcohol, which many people don’t consider a drug, has gotten lost’; (62). Of course there are some teachers, administrators, and law officials who dedicate their time to programs like D. A. R. E. in an attempt to educate children (Patrick 62). Although these programs are not perfect, they do seem to help in preventing abuse and misuse at a young age. But, alcohol misuse will not be stopped until society changes its views and beliefs about alcohol.

Teen Drinking Essay

Alcohol use among American teenagers is a problem of epidemic proportions. Alcohol is a drug — the drug of choice of adolescents and adults. Abuse of this drug Is responsible for death and injury in automobile accidents, physical and emotional disability, loss of productivity amounting to millions of dollars annually, deterioration of academic performance, aggressive and disruptive behavior causing problems with family and friends, and individual financial ruin. It also is the primary cause of criminal behavior and a leading cause of broken homes.

Despite the problems caused to young and old by alcohol, society sends a mixed signal to its youth. The media presents beer drinking with peers as not only acceptable but almost mandatory in order to insure friendship and good times. Wine is presented as a sophisticated and romantic beverage, which is drunk in a setting of dim lights, soft music, and expensive decor. Hard liquor is portrayed as the perfect drink to top of the day and to be enjoyed with the glamorous company of the opposite sex. We joke and laugh about alcohol consumption, our own and others. Parents and teachers look forward to their happy hour at the end of the work day.

We use euphemisms to avoid the reality of alcohol abuse. We rarely say we are going to get drunk; instead we talk about partying. We prefer to say that we, or someone else is bombed, smashed, or zonked rather than to call it what it is — drunk. Drinking alcohol is presented as routine behavior in many television programs and movies. Can I fix you a drink? , is a familiar opening line in television and movie dialogue. Occasionally, movies present a stark and realistic picture of alcohol abuse. But most of the messages we send to children are mixed and confused. In fact, many adults attitudes about alcohol are confused.

And our schools reflect the confusions of the larger society in the message they send to their students about alcohol use. Our curriculum guides in health talk about the responsible use of alcohol. We don’t consider teaching the responsible use of marijuana, cocaine, or heroin. Society is not confused about what it wants its schools to teach its youth about these drugs. But alcohol is viewed differently. No other drug presents this problem to our schools and society. Alcohol drinking has become the norm in America and abstinence the exception. Yet it is impossible to describe the typical drinker.

More men than women drink, but the statistics are changing since the number of women drinkers has increased significantly in the past 10 years (McCormick 1992) . While most adults drink occasionally, about 30% of adults dont drink at all. Of those who do drink, 10% account for the 50% of the alcoholic beverages consumed (Youcha 1978) . For some groups the ideal drinking behavior is not drinking at all; for other groups moderate or infrequent drinking behavior is acceptable; for still other groups occasional heavy drinking or even frequent heavy drinking is permissible.

The media bombard the American public, particularly its young people, with the acceptability of alcoholic beverages in adult society. A report by the Scientific Analysis Corporation examined portrayal of drinking practices on television. The study showed that alcoholic beverages were the most frequently used drinks by television characters. In 225 programs 701 alcoholic drinking acts were recorded, compared to second-place tea and coffee drinking recorded in 329 cases (Royce 1981) . Television characters seldom drank water or soft drinks.

Furthermore, many of the references to alcohol in the scripts were of humorous nature. These findings should be brought to the attention of the teenagers in order to help them sort out the realities of alcohol consumption from the make-believe world of television. Drinking is viewed as an adult behavior in our society. It is promoted as a rite of passage from adolescence to adulthood. The age when young people are taking there first drink is becoming lower each year. Many studies report that preteens are experimenting with alcohol and many are already heavy drinkers.

Three of every ten junior and senior high school students can be defined as problem drinkers (Cahalan 1987) . It may be difficult for parents and teachers to believe that a seventh-grade student can have an alcohol problem, but a study of student drinking practices shows that 5% of seventh-grade boys and 4. 4% of seventh-grade girls are seriously abusing alcohol (Cahalan 1987) . The largest increase in drinking for boys occurs between seventh eight grades and for girls between eight and ninth grades. Nearly 28% of all high school students in one major study were identified as alcohol abusers (Caholan 1987) .

Their immaturity, their inexperience with drinking, and their lack of understanding of the effects of alcohol only intensifies the problem of drinking among adolescence. Teenagers value driving as a symbol of independence and the highways as a place to demonstrate that independence. Inexperienced driving combined with inexperienced drinking is a deadly combination. A report from the National Center for Health Statistics reports that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among persons 15 to 24 years old. Forty-five out of every 100,000 people in this age group die in fatal car crashes annually.

Nationally this figure translates to 16,500 youths. The study further reports that more motor vehicle fatalities occur in that age group on weekends evenings between the hours of 11 p. m. and 3 a. m. than at any other time. One out of every four senior high school student was at risk of an alcohol-related accident at least once during the past year. Although adolescents may present a veneer of sophistication about alcoholic drinking, research shows them to be naive and gullible. A recent survey found that more than 50% of the teenagers studied did not know that beer is intoxicating as mineral spirits.

Many believed it was impossible to get drunk on beer. Others believed that as many as five to seven cans of beer could be drunk within a two-hour period without risk of intoxication (Yaoucha 1978) . Their lack of understanding of the intoxicating properties of beer is especially alarming since beer is the preferred alcoholic drink for teenager. Where alcohol is concerned, teenagers are short on fact and long on myths. For example, 70% of the respondents in one study believed that a cold shower will sober up someone who is intoxicated; 62% believed that black coffee will serve the purpose.

Few realized that only time can restore sobriety (Youcha1978). Binge Drinking was rated the number one health risk to teens in the United States. Seventy percent of college students polled admitted to bingeing, and one half of all bingers do so regularly (Kalb and McComick 89). Most teens, however, did not know that bingeing could lead to alcoholism. Six teens will die today alone in alcohol related automobile crashes (Pille 1). Binge drinking has become a popular social activity sometimes caused by peer pressure, problems at home and problems at school.

The consequences of bingeing can be deadly, or in some cases lead to severe alcoholism (Jamison). Educating teens about the effects of binge drinking could help bring this popular trend to an end. What exactly is binge drinking? Bingeing for a man is an intake of five or more drinks in a row, or during a short period of time. For a women bingeing is the same, with the exception that it requires only four drinks for the alcohol to take effect. Alcohol affects the female body differently than that of the male (Kalb and McCormik 89). Binge drinking differs from having a drink, because bingers become intoxicated.

An example of bingeing would be guzzling pitchers of a very potent drink, such as Three Wise Men, an alcoholic beverage normally served in shots (Purdy 71-72). One cause of binge drinking is simply peer pressure. Some teens drink just so they can fit in (Pille 1). When most teens and college aged students are around friends who are drinking, they are more than likely to do it too (Price 17). In some cases peer pressure turns to hazing. Scott Crougar, an 18-year-old freshman at MIT, went to a Fraternity party five weeks after arriving at the school. Scott was a bright young man with a wonderful future ahead of him.

At this Fiji house party Scott was forced to drink two cases of beer along with vacadie spiced rum. His blood alcohol level was five times the legal driving limit. When members of the Fraternity house found Scott passed out and puking, they simply left him on the basement couch where he choked on his own vomit and died (Walters, Barbara). Another cause of binge drinking is problems at school. Students with poor or low grades may become frustrated and turn to alcohol as a way out. Problems in ones social life at school could also result in bingeing.

If a teen has had a fight with a close friend or had a break-up with a boy or girlfriend, they may find it necessary to get drunk (Pille 1). Additionally, problems at home may lead to binge drinking. For example a death in the family could cause depression, or a divorce could cause anger and frustration. All are signs of family members being emotionally unstable. Emotional instability in the home commonly forces family members to binge (Jamison). Forty percent of teens that admit to drinking say they do so when they are upset and looking to relieve stress (Purdy 72).

One effect of binge drinking is people participating in activities they are unaware of and/or will later regret. In a survey of frequent binge drinkers, fifty-nine percent drove after drinking, fifty-six percent experienced memory lapses, and forty-five percent were involved in unplanned sexual activity (Kalb and McCormick 89). Kevin Price sets a good example of what can go wrong when people drink too much. Price is currently spending time in prison for the killing of five people. He had been at a college fraternity party and was binge drinking. His last memory of that night was sitting down with friends to play a drinking game.

He was unaware that he would be the cause of a drunk driving automobile accident that night (Price 17). Another effect of bingeing is the disease of alcoholism. Binge drinkers can be alcoholics. Even if a person only drinks on weekends or is a social drinker, they can still be classified as an alcoholic (Jamison). Alcohol is a mind-altering drug. It alters moods and causes changes to the body. Alcohol is a downer which can depress the central nervous system. It can easily become addictive or habit forming (Pille 1). The state classification for alcoholism requires three things. One is a change in tolerance.

This means that each time someone drinks they must consume more alcohol to get drunk. Second is the compulsion to use alcohol, and third is a continuance to drink despite adverse consequences. If a person has any one of these three signs, then they can be classified as an alcoholic (Jamison). The worst effect binge drinking can have on a person is death. An average of fifty-six teens die each year in the western United States alone as a result of binge drinking (Purdy 72). What most people are unaware of is that when someone is passed out, it is because they have alcohol poisoning. This means that they are in a coma.

It is common at parties to pick on the people who are passed out and play games with them. Many people never wake up from these comas (Wechaler 2). One way for people suffering from alcoholism to get help is for them to contact their local Alcoholics Anonymous, or AA. The only requirement to join is that the alcoholic must have the desire to quit drinking (A. A. ). If a person is unsure that their binge drinking is a problem, they can also contact their AA who will give them brochures which include questions. If the person answers yes to these questions, then they will know to seek help (A Message to Teens).

One solution that many colleges are now trying is having open bars on campus. These bars are open to all students who are of legal drinking age. Some people argue that open bars on campus are sending the wrong message to students. The school officials however beg to differ. They claim that all drinking on campus is monitored closely. It is almost impossible to ban all alcohol from colleges, but this way bartenders have control of the amount of alcohol consumed by students (Purdy 73). Despite all efforts to end binge drinking, many teens continue to do so (Purdy 72).

It is believed that mortality rates would be lower if teens were educated more, not just about the effects of binge drinking, but about what to do in any given situation (Wechaler 2). If members of the Fiji house had been educated on what to do when someone has alcohol poisoning, then it is possible that Scott Crougar would still be alive today. It is likely that most of the Fiji house members did not know that Scott would choke on his own vomit and die. Medical records show that if Scott had been treated for alcohol poisoning just hours earlier, he would have survived (Walters).

Alcohol and Teens

From pastures to unsupervised blowouts at home, the social calendars of most teens are full of alcohol. Other drugs rise and fall in popularity from generation to generation, but alcohol never really goes out of style. From being worshiped by the ancient Babylonians to being forbidden to teenagers, alcohol has caused many problems. Today, drinking is the drug of choice by teens and causes most wrecks and deaths today. To understand alcohol people must first know the history of alcohol, the effects of teen drinking, and the solutions to teen drinking.

Alcohol has been all around the world for centuries and has become a custom of people all over. No one knows for sure who discovered alcohol, but we know how different types of alcohol are made. Just as well, no know knows when alcohol was discovered. There are no records of the discovery or discoverers of alcohol. Although historians do know alcohol was used by primitive people and recorded as early as 10,000 years ago in the Neolithic period and by European civilization(Milgram 22). As early as 5000 B. C. , the ancient Babylonians brewed, the process of making beer, their beer in religious temples because it was considered a gift from God.

Beer is an alcoholic beverage made by fermentation of cereal grains such as, wheat, rye, corn, or barley; beer contains 3 to 6 percent alcohol. Besides the ancient Babylonians, the ancient Egyptians drank beer. The Egyptians called their beer hek, which was made from barley bread. The bread was crumbled into jars, covered with water, and allowed to ferment. The Egyptian pharaohs blessed this beer in the honor of the goddess of nature, Isis. Egyptians handed out free jugs of beer to peasant workers, and by no surprise drunkenness was a common problem in ancient Egypt (Nielsen 13).

The strongest alcohol drinks are called liquors or spirits. An Arabian alchemist named Geber discovered liquor in the eighteenth century A. D. Geber made liquor by distillation, burning away the impurities that formed in wine during fermentation and isolated the remaining liquids. As a result, the concentrated liquid had a higher alcoholic content, which was mainly flavored alcohol and water(Milgram 65). Arnaud de Villanueva discovered liquor in Europe 500 years later, when he made brandy. Arnaud claimed that brandy would cure all humanitys diseases, prolong life, maintain youth, and clear away ill humor.

In the 1600s gin, akravit, and whiskey were discovered in many other countries. Then in the 1700s, the Americans invented bourbon. Teenagers rarely think before they do many things. Many times teenagers go to big blowouts or little get togethers with their friends. Their first thought is not about death, their grades, or alcoholism; their main purpose is to get drunk fast and sober up before going home by their set curfews. At parties, teenagers have an average of five or more beers in one night. In the United States teenage drinking has become a major problem, with about 3. 3 million teens as problem drinkers.

One-fourth of all seventh through twelfth graders admit to drinking at least once a week(Nielson 47). About forty percent of twelfth graders said they had one episode of heavy drinking in the past two weeks. Although no one knows why teens turn to drinking, various studies show that the amount of alcohol changes by their geographical location (Nielsen 47). One major problem with teens and alcohol is death. Many teenagers go to parties and drive home thinking that everything is all right, but twenty- one percent of young drivers involved in fatal crashes have been drinking (MADD 1).

On a normal weekend, an average of one teenager dies in a car crash every hour, and nearly fifty percent of these crashes were involved with alcohol. Uses of alcohol and other drugs are associated with the leading causes of death and injury among teenagers and young adults (NCADD 1). Not only do car wrecks kill teenagers, so does compulsive drinking. Alcohol, a depressant on the central nervous system, is detectable when someone begins to have slurred speech, slow reaction time, or staggered walking (Milgram 20).

The more a person drinks the higher the risk of having an alcohol over dose. Some signs of an overdose are mental confusion, stupor, coma, seizures, bluish skin color, low body temperature, slow or irregular breathing, and vomiting while sleeping(Alcohol Education Program 4). If these symptoms appear, call 911 for an ambulance, but never leave the victim alone. Excessive drinking, it can lead to teenage alcoholism. People who begin drinking at the age of 15 are four-times more likely to develop alcoholism than those who start drinking at the age of 21.

Most teens take their first drinks at the age of 13. Alcoholism begins by first tasting, then social drinking, next abusive drinking, and last becoming a problem drinker or alcoholic. Many factors such as age, gender, and location, indicate that economic factors have little effects on teens (Nielsen 50). Most teenagers do not know why they drink but most do anyway. Peer pressure has a lot to do with teen drinking, as well as the people they hang out with. Teens turn to alcohol or other drugs when they are depressed or they try to fit in. By doing this, they become alcoholics.

Under-age drinking is not an issue that is being ignored. The government, parents, groups, and other countries are trying to come up with solutions to teen drinking. Many laws have already been passed to stop teenagers from drinking. The National Minimum Drinking Age Act was signed into law on July 17, 1984 by President Reagan. The act strongly encourages states to have laws prohibiting the purchase and public possession of alcoholic beverages by anyone under 21 years of age by withholding a portion of federal-aid highway funds from state without such laws.

On March 26, 1986, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations and the Federal Highway Administration published a joint rule implementing the statue. (Net Biz 1) Most U. S. states have the Age- 21 law, but in Louisiana you can be 19 to enter a bar. Because of this law, the youth drinks less and statistics have gone down a little. With the technology that we have today, many youth, from 20 to 35 percent, have possession of a fake identification. In Texas, having a fake identification is a third degree felony and will be subject to an automatic license suspension of 90 days to a year and a fine of up to $5000.

Another law in Texas that helps cut down teenage drinking is the curfew. This law says teens cannot drive between midnight and 5 a. m. unless accomplished by a licensed driver 21 years old or older. If a teen is stopped past curfew, that teen is not eligible for a full drivers license until the age of 18, and they cannot have an alcohol or drug convection within six months of applications. In addition, the government placed pricing and taxation regulations on the sales of alcohol.

Regulation through pricing and taxations is unpopular with both the public and the liquor industry, but while the impact is inconclusive, there seems to be evidence that such regulations do have some beneficial effects (OBrien, Chafetz, and Cohen 34). The amount of taxes collected from alcohol sales places second as a source of revenue for the government (Milgram 37). Parents can also help stop teen drinking by talking to their children about the dangers of drinking and using other drugs. Although most parents help their children by paying their fines, they can also help by keeping their children under lock and key with no privileges.

Teenagers whose parents talk to them regularly about the dangers of drugs are forty-two percent less likely to use drugs than those whose parents who do not (NCADD 4). Talking to their teen is the best way to affect them. Also, when teens break a rule, punishments are to be spelled out and carried out. In conjunction with talking to their teenagers, parents can encourage high self-esteem and set good examples. Along with parents, groups can help fight against teenage drinking. A popular group is MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. This group tries to pass persuade the government to pass laws to help lower drinking and driving.

MADD thrives to make statistics public and get more people to join the fight against drinking and driving. Another group similar to MADD is SADD, Students Against Drunk Driving. This is a group of students that fight against drinking and driving, and encourage other teens to stay sober. A teacher that lost two of his students to drunk driving started this group. Students who belong to SADD sign a contract promising not to drink and drive (Nielsen 101). These students also wear stickers and buttons that persuade other students not to drink and drive.

If okayed by the principal, SADD hangs up posters around the schools, warning students of drinking and driving before an event or holiday. A program to help teen alcoholics is Alcoholics Anonymous. Teens are treated differently while in this program. While in AA, teenagers have special needs such as finishing schools, learning dating skills, and choosing a career. Teens can also go to half- way houses, after they finish treatment for alcoholism, where they can meet new friends. Other countries can also help by raising their drinking age to 21 years of age.

Many places in the world a person must be 18 to drink, but in Germany he or she only has to be 16 (Net Biz 1). Canada has made it legal for people 18 and older to drink, but they also have the stiff minimum penalties for driving under the influence. Since that law, drinking offenses have plunged twenty-three percent. Along with Canada, drunken drivers in Finland, Sweden, England, and France receive automatic jail sentences and lose their licenses for at lease a year (Neilson 61). If other countries would raise drinking to age 21, then it would be tough for teenagers to get their alcohol.

It is easy for teenagers that live in states bordering Canada or Mexico to bootleg across the border to the United States. By raising the age limits to 21 in Mexico and Canada, it would help cut down on teenage drinking. Everyday teenagers drink, despite the many dangers and risks that they are taking every time they drink. Throughout history and probably in the future, alcohol will be the leading drug of choice for teenagers. On the other hand, teenagers in turn are becoming better educated about themselves and the risk of alcohol.

Alcohol Affects Us All

When people hear the word drug, they usually think of an illegal substance such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana, or any other drug that can be found on the street. Most people never consider the fact that consuming alcohol can be just as harmful as illegal drugs, not only on the body, but on the mind and spirit as well . If constantly abused, alcohol can be even worse for one than taking illegal drugs. Irresponsible drinking can destroy a persons life as well as the lives of those around them.

When people become both physically and psychologically addicted to alcohol, they become an alcoholic and suffer from a disease called alcoholism. One denotation of this term is a diseased condition of the system, brought about by the continued use of alcoholic liquors (Websters Dictionary, 37). Another definition of this term, given to me by my mother dawn Gregory who is in fact, a recovering alcoholic, is that alcoholism is a mental dependence and a physical allergy. Alcoholism somehow affects us all through a parent, sibling, friend, or even personal encounters with a stranger.

In fact “alcoholics may become angry and argumentative, quiet and withdrawn, or depressed. They may also feel more anxious, sad, tense, and confused. They then seek relief by drinking more” (Gitlow 175). Alcohol and Alcoholism is a big part in our society, which should be recognized and dealt with. In addition about 7% of all adults who consume alcohol in the United States today are considered alcoholics, or have suffered from some sort of drinking problem in their lives (Secretary of health viii).

Although there is no indication of how the alcoholism of families members is linked … [through genetics], studies show that about 50 to 80 percent of all alcoholics have had a close relative that was an alcoholic” (Caplan 266). Many times alcoholism starts during a persons high school and college years; however some teenagers and young adults frequently abuse alcohol and never think about the physical, mental, and emotional toll that alcohol can have on a persons life. Alcoholism usually begins with social drinking then a person will find excuses to drink more often (Burgess 13).

When alcohol is made more readily available to an individual, such as in a college environment, it increases the risk that, that person will drink excessively (Ewing 173). The chances of a person becoming an alcoholic are much higher for a person who drinks excessively and lower for a person who drinks moderately. Most alcoholics start out by building up a tolerance, causing them to drink higher amounts of alcohol to get the same effect; this tolerance is the starting point of an alcoholics dependence and causes many problems in an alcoholics life.

Alcohol begins to control the individuals life and causes their drinking habits to conflict with their best interests (Burgess 16). Personal relationships can be torn apart, jobs are frequently lost, and the health of a person deteriorates when an individual begins to rely on a drink to get by (Burgess 16). Sometimes a person may start to drink at every waking moment of the day because they cannot deal with the withdrawals of being sober (Burgess 16). Furthermore, alcohol can have many physical effects on a persons body; internal organs and systems can be severely damaged and even shut down when too much alcohol is consumed.

The prolonged use of large amounts of alcohol without an adequate diet may cause serious liver damage, such as cirrhosis of the liver” (Secretary of health 47). It has been estimated that 10% of all alcoholic persons develop cirrhosis, a disease characterized by diffuse scarring of the liver (Secretary of health 47). The central nervous system can also be permanently damaged causing a person to possibly blackout, hallucinate, and experience tremors. The term blackout does not mean loss of consciousness, but is referred to as the lost hour with the intoxicated person remembering nothing the next day (Burgess 13).

The withdrawal symptoms that a severe alcoholic can experience are sometimes compared to the same withdrawals as a heroin addict, yet people still do not consider alcohol to be a drug. Drinking during pregnancy can cause serious damage to the unborn child. An unborn child of an alcoholic may develop mental or physical retardation during pregnancy. Additionally, a child who has an alcoholic parent is much more likely to become an alcoholic themselves later in life. For example, I have a family of alcoholics. Two of my uncles are alcoholics, and my mother and father are recovering alcoholics.

I have seen how alcoholism has led my parents to a divorce, and also how it drove my uncle to other dependencies such as cocaine, gambling, and theft. I interviewed my mother, she explained to me that alcohol affects alcoholics differently. Her first drink was at the age of seventeen with her boyfriend. She explained that alcohol, for her, was cunning, baffling, and yet powerful. I asked her how do you know when alcohol is a major part of your life she stated I asked myself the question how important is it to me? Alcohol destroyed her family life with her losing her husband (my father).

I am glad to say she is now a recovering alcoholic and has been sober for sometime now. Clearly, alcoholism is a serious matter that is too often overlooked. Alcohol is the most abused drug in the United States (Sec of Health viii). Restaurants, sporting events, parties, and other social events all provide alcohol to just about anybody, even if a person is underage. High school and underage college students often find that obtaining alcohol is not a challenging obstacle. Simply being aware of how much an individual consumes and how often that they consume it can curb alcoholism.

Drinking is a large part of most social functions and is accepted by most people, but the problems begin when alcohol is abused. The only guarantee that a person will not become an alcoholic is complete abstinence of alcohol whereas even the slightest amount of alcohol can lead to a person to alcoholism. Anytime a person takes a drink; they are taking a risk that can change the way they will live for the rest of their lives. Even though it is a legal substance, alcohol can destroy a person just as easily as any illegal drug.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or FAS

There are different characteristics that accompany fetal alcohol syndrome or FAS in the different stages of a child’s life. “At birth, infants with intrauterine exposure to alcohol frequently have low birth rate; pre-term delivery; a small head circumference; and the characteristic facial features of the eyes, nose, and mouth” (Phelps, 1995).

Some of the facial abnormalities that are common of children with FAS are: small head size, small eye openings, broad nasal bridge, flattened mid-faces, thin upper lip, skin folds at the corners of the eyes, indistinct groove on the upper lip, low nasal ridge, and an abnormal smallness of the lower jaw (Wekselman, Spiering, Hetteberg, Kenner, & Flandermeyer, 1995). These infants also display developmental delays, psychomotor retardation, and cognitive deficits. In the central nervous system there is mental retardation, alcohol withdrawal at birth, poor sucking response, sleep disturbances, short attention span, and learning disabilities.

Plus the child will have muscle problems, bone and joint problems, genital defects, heart defects, and kidney defects. As a child with FAS progresses into preschool, physical, cognitive and behavioral abnormalities are more noticeable. These children are not the average weight and height compared to the children at the same age level. Cognitive manifestations are another problem with children who have FAS. “Studies have found that preschoolers with FAS generally score in the mentally handicapped to dull normal range of intelligence” (Phelps, 1995). Children with FAS usually have language delay problems during their preschool years.

Research has also shown that these children exhibit poorly articulated language, delayed use of sentences or more complex grammatical units, and inadequate comprehension (Phelps, 1995). There are many behavioral characteristics that are common among children with FAS. The most common characteristic is hyperactivity (Phelps, 1995). “Hyperactivity is found in 85% of FAS-affected children regardless of IQ”(Wekeselman 1995). School failure, behavior management difficulties, and safety issues are some of the problems associated with hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder.

Another behavioral abnormality of with children with FAS, is social problems. “Specific difficulties included inability to respect personal boundaries, inappropriately affectionate, demanding of attention, bragging, stubborn, poor peer relations, and overly tactile in social interactions” (Phelps, 1995). Children are sometimes not diagnosed with FAS until they reach kindergarten and are in a real school setting. School-aged children with FAS still have most of the same physical and mental problems that were diagnosed when they were younger.

The craniofacial malformations is one of the only physical characteristic that diminishes during late childhood (Phelps, 1995). “Several studies have evaluated specific areas of cognitive dysfunction in school-age children exposed parentally to alcohol. Researchers have substantiated: (a) short term memory deficits in verbal and visual material; (b) inadequate processing of information, reflected sparse integration of information and poor quality of responses; (c) inflexible approaches to problem solving; and (d) difficulties in mathematical computations” (Phelps, 1995).

The behavioral manifestations of a child with FAS during the early years of life are still apparent in children who are in grade school. Hyperactivity is still the most common characteristic portrayed by these children. Some of the descriptions used to explain these school-aged children’s behaviors include: distractible, impulsive, inattentive, uncooperative, poorly organized, and little persistence toward task completion (Phelps, 1995). As a child reaches puberty and develops into an adult, some of the physical, mental and behavioral characteristics change.

These adolescents begin to gain weight, but still remain short and microphalic (Phelps, 1995). Cognitive abilities of children with FAS continue to be low through adolescence and adulthood. Low Academic performance scores of adolescents and adults are persistent throughout their lives. Many cognitive tests have been done on adolescent/adults with FAS, and each of them have found deficiencies in mathematics and reading comprehension (Shelton & Cook, 1993). The behavioral manifestations of adolescents and adults with FAS ontinue to concentrate around the problem of hyperactivity.

Inattentiveness, distractibility, restlessness, and agitation are the main behaviors that stem from hyperactivity. “Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales results suggest that communication and socialization skills average around the seven year old range”(Phelps, 1995). The prevalence of children with FAS is on the rise. More than ever, children are being diagnosed with FAS. Better techniques and knowledge by physicians are accountable for the increase. Physicians are diagnosing more babies today with FAS, because they have more knowledge and resources to evaluate the children at risk.

FAS has no racial barriers and has been reported by variable ages from neonatal to young adult (Becker, Warr-Leeper, & Leeper, 1990). Estimates in the United States of people with FAS vary from 2 live births per 1,000 to 1 per 750 (Shelton & Cook, 1993). “In a medical review of 5602 women, six instances of FAS were identified among 38 children of alcohol abusing women. Although 22 of the 38 were traced at follow-up, the outcome for the 6 FAS cases per se was not specified.

Nevertheless, 18 of 22 children of the alcohol-abusing women were found to be in state hospitals” (Emhart, Greene, Sokol, Martier, Boyd, & Ager, 1995). For a doctor to identify a child as having FAS, he/she must have the proper education. A test to see if a child has a central nervous system dysfunction or growth deficiency is not enough for a reliable diagnosis. An accurate diagnosis would also involve a facial phenotype study (Astley & Clarren, 1995). The Southwestern Native Americans have the highest incidence of FAS in the United States (Shelton & Cook, 1993).

Native Americans are three times as likely as Caucasians to produce FAS children” (Shelton & Cook, 1993). Tribes that have a loose social organization reflect a higher rate of FAS compared to a structured organization because the structured organization views a alcoholic female in the tribe as socially unacceptable (Shelton & Cook, 1993). More cases of FAS are being diagnosed, but there are many children who slip through the cracks and do not receive the support that is needed. There are few interventions and programs to help children that are affected by FAS.

Most states fail to identify FAS program coordinators, it is difficult to ascertain respective program parameters” (Shelton & Cook, 1993). Many children with FAS are living with an alcoholic parent. Children of alcoholics are at greater risk for developing social and emotional problems that need intervention options so they do not follow in their parents footsteps and become alcoholics (Wekselman, 1995). “Even though public schools are attempting to work with FAS, the bottom line is that more research needs to be done on treating FAS” (Shelton & Cook, 1993).

Educators and administration personnel working in the school system should be knowledgeable about FAS and the different age characteristics, degrees of incidences, and interventions that are available to their students. All children with FAS are at risk for failure in school and in every day life. With proper diagnosis and treatment that is available, some of these failures will be avoided. After all of this there are still common questions than now have answers, such as the following: What is meant in warnings to pregnant women not to drink alcohol?

Research has shown that even small levels of alcohol consumed during pregnancy may affect the fetus in damaging ways. In pregnant women, alcohol is not only carried to all organs and tissues, but also to the placenta, where it easily crosses through the membrane separating maternal and fetal blood systems. In this way, alcohol is transported directly to the fetus and to all its developing tissues and organs. When a pregnant woman drinks an alcoholic beverage, the concentration of alcohol in her unborn baby’s bloodstream is the same level as her own.

Unlike the mother, however, the liver of a fetus cannot process alcohol at the same adult’s rate of one ounce every two hours. High concentrations of alcohol, therefore, stay in the fetus longer, often for up to 24 hours. In fact, the unborn baby’s blood alcohol concentration is even higher than the mother’s during the second and third hour after a drink is consumed. What kind of damage can occur to the fetus from alcohol consumption by the mother? There are two degrees of damage that can occur. The most severe is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS).

The Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Study Group of the National Council on Alcoholism outlines minimal criteria for the diagnosis of FAS as being, “evidence of abnormalities in three specific areas: growth, central nervous system functions and facial characteristics. ” Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) include less severe birth defects in the same areas. In both FAS and FAE, birth defects are caused when a woman drinks alcohol during pregnancy. FAS and FAE form the single largest class of birth defects that are 100 percent preventable. (The Arc National Headquarters, 2000) Is there a safe amount of alcohol that a pregnant woman can drink?

The best advice is not to drink during pregnancy. It has not yet been determined if there is a safe level, and it may vary considerably with different individuals. The adverse effects of alcohol may vary with the stage of pregnancy and the amount of alcohol consumed on each occasion. There appears to be no difference in the type of alcoholic beverage (beer, wine, hard liquor) and its effects during pregnancy. Early exposure presents the greatest risk for serious physical defects, and later exposure increases the chances of neurological and growth deficiencies or miscarriage. Women should just not drink while pregnant.

Teen Drinking Essay

Alcohol use among American teenagers is a problem of epidemic proportions. Alcohol is a drug — the drug of choice of adolescents and adults. Abuse of this drug Is responsible for death and injury in automobile accidents, physical and emotional disability, loss of productivity amounting to millions of dollars annually, deterioration of academic performance, aggressive and disruptive behavior causing problems with family and friends, and individual financial ruin. It also is the primary cause of criminal behavior and a leading cause of broken homes.

Despite the problems caused to young and old by alcohol, society sends a mixed signal to its youth. The media presents beer drinking with peers as not only acceptable but almost mandatory in order to insure friendship and good times. Wine is presented as a sophisticated and romantic beverage, which is drunk in a setting of dim lights, soft music, and expensive decor. Hard liquor is portrayed as the perfect drink to top of the day and to be enjoyed with the glamorous company of the opposite sex. We joke and laugh about alcohol consumption, our own and others. Parents and teachers look forward to their happy hour at the end of the work day.

We use euphemisms to avoid the reality of alcohol abuse. We rarely say we are going to get drunk; instead we talk about partying. We prefer to say that we, or someone else is bombed, smashed, or zonked rather than to call it what it is — drunk. Drinking alcohol is presented as routine behavior in many television programs and movies. Can I fix you a drink? , is a familiar opening line in television and movie dialogue. Occasionally, movies present a stark and realistic picture of alcohol abuse. But most of the messages we send to children are mixed and confused. In fact, many adults attitudes about alcohol are confused.

And our schools reflect the confusions of the larger society in the message they send to their students about alcohol use. Our curriculum guides in health talk about the responsible use of alcohol. We don’t consider teaching the responsible use of marijuana, cocaine, or heroin. Society is not confused about what it wants its schools to teach its youth about these drugs. But alcohol is viewed differently. No other drug presents this problem to our schools and society. Alcohol drinking has become the norm in America and abstinence the exception. Yet it is impossible to describe the typical drinker.

More men than women drink, but the statistics are changing since the number of women drinkers has increased significantly in the past 10 years (McCormick 1992) . While most adults drink occasionally, about 30% of adults dont drink at all. Of those who do drink, 10% account for the 50% of the alcoholic beverages consumed (Youcha 1978) . For some groups the ideal drinking behavior is not drinking at all; for other groups moderate or infrequent drinking behavior is acceptable; for still other groups occasional heavy drinking or even frequent heavy drinking is permissible.

The media bombard the American public, particularly its young people, with the acceptability of alcoholic beverages in adult society. A report by the Scientific Analysis Corporation examined portrayal of drinking practices on television. The study showed that alcoholic beverages were the most frequently used drinks by television characters. In 225 programs 701 alcoholic drinking acts were recorded, compared to second-place tea and coffee drinking recorded in 329 cases (Royce 1981) . Television characters seldom drank water or soft drinks.

Furthermore, many of the references to alcohol in the scripts were of humorous nature. These findings should be brought to the attention of the teenagers in order to help them sort out the realities of alcohol consumption from the make-believe world of television. Drinking is viewed as an adult behavior in our society. It is promoted as a rite of passage from adolescence to adulthood. The age when young people are taking there first drink is becoming lower each year. Many studies report that preteens are experimenting with alcohol and many are already heavy drinkers.

Three of every ten junior and senior high school students can be defined as problem drinkers (Cahalan 1987) . It may be difficult for parents and teachers to believe that a seventh-grade student can have an alcohol problem, but a study of student drinking practices shows that 5% of seventh-grade boys and 4. 4% of seventh-grade girls are seriously abusing alcohol (Cahalan 1987) . The largest increase in drinking for boys occurs between seventh eight grades and for girls between eight and ninth grades. Nearly 28% of all high school students in one major study were identified as alcohol abusers (Caholan 1987) .

Their immaturity, their inexperience with drinking, and their lack of understanding of the effects of alcohol only intensifies the problem of drinking among adolescence. Teenagers value driving as a symbol of independence and the highways as a place to demonstrate that independence. Inexperienced driving combined with inexperienced drinking is a deadly combination. A report from the National Center for Health Statistics reports that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among persons 15 to 24 years old. Forty-five out of every 100,000 people in this age group die in fatal car crashes annually.

Nationally this figure translates to 16,500 youths. The study further reports that more motor vehicle fatalities occur in that age group on weekends evenings between the hours of 11 p. m. and 3 a. m. than at any other time. One out of every four senior high school student was at risk of an alcohol-related accident at least once during the past year. Although adolescents may present a veneer of sophistication about alcoholic drinking, research shows them to be naive and gullible. A recent survey found that more than 50% of the teenagers studied did not know that beer is intoxicating as mineral spirits.

Many believed it was impossible to get drunk on beer. Others believed that as many as five to seven cans of beer could be drunk within a two-hour period without risk of intoxication (Yaoucha 1978) . Their lack of understanding of the intoxicating properties of beer is especially alarming since beer is the preferred alcoholic drink for teenager. Where alcohol is concerned, teenagers are short on fact and long on myths. For example, 70% of the respondents in one study believed that a cold shower will sober up someone who is intoxicated; 62% believed that black coffee will serve the purpose.

Few realized that only time can restore sobriety (Youcha1978). Binge Drinking was rated the number one health risk to teens in the United States. Seventy percent of college students polled admitted to bingeing, and one half of all bingers do so regularly (Kalb and McComick 89). Most teens, however, did not know that bingeing could lead to alcoholism. Six teens will die today alone in alcohol related automobile crashes (Pille 1). Binge drinking has become a popular social activity sometimes caused by peer pressure, problems at home and problems at school.

The consequences of bingeing can be deadly, or in some cases lead to severe alcoholism (Jamison). Educating teens about the effects of binge drinking could help bring this popular trend to an end. What exactly is binge drinking? Bingeing for a man is an intake of five or more drinks in a row, or during a short period of time. For a women bingeing is the same, with the exception that it requires only four drinks for the alcohol to take effect. Alcohol affects the female body differently than that of the male (Kalb and McCormik 89). Binge drinking differs from having a drink, because bingers become intoxicated.

An example of bingeing would be guzzling pitchers of a very potent drink, such as Three Wise Men, an alcoholic beverage normally served in shots (Purdy 71-72). One cause of binge drinking is simply peer pressure. Some teens drink just so they can fit in (Pille 1). When most teens and college aged students are around friends who are drinking, they are more than likely to do it too (Price 17). In some cases peer pressure turns to hazing. Scott Crougar, an 18-year-old freshman at MIT, went to a Fraternity party five weeks after arriving at the school. Scott was a bright young man with a wonderful future ahead of him.

At this Fiji house party Scott was forced to drink two cases of beer along with vacadie spiced rum. His blood alcohol level was five times the legal driving limit. When members of the Fraternity house found Scott passed out and puking, they simply left him on the basement couch where he choked on his own vomit and died (Walters, Barbara). Another cause of binge drinking is problems at school. Students with poor or low grades may become frustrated and turn to alcohol as a way out. Problems in ones social life at school could also result in bingeing.

If a teen has had a fight with a close friend or had a break-up with a boy or girlfriend, they may find it necessary to get drunk (Pille 1). Additionally, problems at home may lead to binge drinking. For example a death in the family could cause depression, or a divorce could cause anger and frustration. All are signs of family members being emotionally unstable. Emotional instability in the home commonly forces family members to binge (Jamison). Forty percent of teens that admit to drinking say they do so when they are upset and looking to relieve stress (Purdy 72).

One effect of binge drinking is people participating in activities they are unaware of and/or will later regret. In a survey of frequent binge drinkers, fifty-nine percent drove after drinking, fifty-six percent experienced memory lapses, and forty-five percent were involved in unplanned sexual activity (Kalb and McCormick 89). Kevin Price sets a good example of what can go wrong when people drink too much. Price is currently spending time in prison for the killing of five people. He had been at a college fraternity party and was binge drinking. His last memory of that night was sitting down with friends to play a drinking game.

He was unaware that he would be the cause of a drunk driving automobile accident that night (Price 17). Another effect of bingeing is the disease of alcoholism. Binge drinkers can be alcoholics. Even if a person only drinks on weekends or is a social drinker, they can still be classified as an alcoholic (Jamison). Alcohol is a mind-altering drug. It alters moods and causes changes to the body. Alcohol is a downer which can depress the central nervous system. It can easily become addictive or habit forming (Pille 1). The state classification for alcoholism requires three things. One is a change in tolerance.

This means that each time someone drinks they must consume more alcohol to get drunk. Second is the compulsion to use alcohol, and third is a continuance to drink despite adverse consequences. If a person has any one of these three signs, then they can be classified as an alcoholic (Jamison). The worst effect binge drinking can have on a person is death. An average of fifty-six teens die each year in the western United States alone as a result of binge drinking (Purdy 72). What most people are unaware of is that when someone is passed out, it is because they have alcohol poisoning. This means that they are in a coma.

It is common at parties to pick on the people who are passed out and play games with them. Many people never wake up from these comas (Wechaler 2). One way for people suffering from alcoholism to get help is for them to contact their local Alcoholics Anonymous, or AA. The only requirement to join is that the alcoholic must have the desire to quit drinking (A. A. ). If a person is unsure that their binge drinking is a problem, they can also contact their AA who will give them brochures which include questions. If the person answers yes to these questions, then they will know to seek help (A Message to Teens).

One solution that many colleges are now trying is having open bars on campus. These bars are open to all students who are of legal drinking age. Some people argue that open bars on campus are sending the wrong message to students. The school officials however beg to differ. They claim that all drinking on campus is monitored closely. It is almost impossible to ban all alcohol from colleges, but this way bartenders have control of the amount of alcohol consumed by students (Purdy 73). Despite all efforts to end binge drinking, many teens continue to do so (Purdy 72).

It is believed that mortality rates would be lower if teens were educated more, not just about the effects of binge drinking, but about what to do in any given situation (Wechaler 2). If members of the Fiji house had been educated on what to do when someone has alcohol poisoning, then it is possible that Scott Crougar would still be alive today. It is likely that most of the Fiji house members did not know that Scott would choke on his own vomit and die. Medical records show that if Scott had been treated for alcohol poisoning just hours earlier, he would have survived (Walters).

The Definition Of Alcoholism

The definition of alcoholism can be described as a chronic illness, which is marked by uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages that interferes with physical or mental health, and social, family or occupational responsibilities. This dependence on alcohol has only been diagnosed as a medical disorder recently in the medical field. Like many other diseases, it has a predictable course and is influenced environmentally and sometimes genetically.

The disease can also be called progressive and fatal which means that the disease can persist over a long period of time, bodily changes progress as the drinking continues and can cause premature death through overdose, suicide, motor vehicle crashes and complications of the brain, liver, heart, and other organs. Alcoholism can be detected by four basic symptoms, they are tolerance which is the increasing need to drink excessive amounts to feel its affects, also impaired control which is the problem of not being able to stop oneself from drinking at any given time.

Craving is another symptom characterized by a strong compulsion to drink, and the last one is physical dependence which shows withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, sweating, nausea or shakiness. Some other common minor symptoms would be solitary drinking, making excuses to drink, episodes of violence while under the influence, unexplained mood swings, neglect of physical appearance, and hostility when confronted about drinking. Also, one can have what is called preoccupation of alcohol which means excessive focused attention given to the drug, its effects and its use.

Causes of Alcoholism There is no definite cause of alcoholism, however, many factors can play a role in the development of the disorder. In a family with an alcoholic parent, a child is more likely to become an alcoholic than a child without an alcoholic parent. Alcoholism can be inherited genetically from parent to child. An alcoholic disorder can occur if one or both parents drank alcohol at the time of conception or the mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. A women drinking during pregnancy can also cause several other complications besides a drinking disorder.

In a study done it concluded that if one person in a family was an alcoholic that nine out of ten times alcoholism will be reported in two or more family members. Environmental causes can occur such as the influence of friends, the easy availability of alcohol, the social acceptance of alcohol and a life containing high stress levels. Also alcoholism can occur when his or her parents did not teach or treat their child right causing frustration and anxiety to the child later in life. Or the family teaches the child to drink such as if the father drinks then the child follows the example set by his father.

That child can learn from observation that alcohol may be used to cope with problems such as fatigue, stress and depression. Also the values of a family can include the encouragement or acceptance of alcohol which both promote drinking. Psychological factors also include in this such as a need to be relieved of anxiety, conflicts within a relationship which are unsolved, or a low self-esteem. Phases of Alcoholism There are four phases of alcoholism which take a period of five to seven years to develop. Some of these stages can be skipped or not gone in the same order depending on the person.

The first stage is called the warning stage. It happens when the user consumes alcohol as a form of relief for tension to make them feel better. The persons drinking habits can increase from often to daily or regularly in which he or she will seek more reasons and occasions to drink. Lastly during this stage a tolerance is built from the larger consumption of alcohol. The second stage is dangerous to the person. The drinker has larger quantities of alcohol to obtain relief. More frequent and deeper intoxication are part of this phase.

Drinking alone, blackouts and gulping alcohol are symptoms to stage two. The third stage of alcoholism is the most crucial phase of all. The drinker loses all control of the amount of alcohol that was intended to be consumed. Withdrawal from social environment, neglect of responsibility, and the hiding of alcohol occur during phase three. Also the drinker may intend to be hospitalized after his or her consumption of alcohol. The fourth and final stage is the chronic stage, where the person may be intoxicated most of the time during a course of a day.

During this the alcoholic has lost all control of the drinking and may drink anything regardless of the harm to further his or her intoxication. Sobriety to the person in this stage seems to be a torment and gives up all excuses involved with their drinking. Treatment of Alcoholism The treatment of an alcoholic has to start with the realization that him or her has the disorder. Denial is often associated with alcoholism which is not believing that him or her needs medical attention for the chronic disease.

Many of the alcoholics that seek treatment arent voluntarily occurring, instead it is normally out of pressure from others that brings treatment to their attention. A family member or a close friend should try to confront the person while sober not during a drinking episode. By the time person recognizes he or she has a problem then abstinence of drinking is the only successful treatment. Many times family members or close friends are mentally affected by the person and can also receive counseling along with the alcoholic. The first step in the treatment of an alcoholic is detoxification.

The alcohol is eliminated from the body through a controlled, supervised setting. Most of the time this is done in a medical facility because of the severe reactions during withdrawal of the alcohol. Tranquilizers and sedatives are often prescribed to the patient to help control symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. The process takes anywhere from four to seven days. After, examination of other alcohol related problems such as liver and depression are analyzed. Once detoxification is achieved then the treatment continues in a public or private hospital with a combination of medical and psychiatric methods.

It can be accomplished in an inpatient or outpatient setting depending on the condition of the alcoholic. Individual and group psychiatric consultation is used to recover from the disease. In the outpatient clinics, the person receives medical or psychiatric treatment on a regular basis but is not hospitalized. Another method of treatment is called a Halfway House. That is a situation in which the patient works daily and visit his family, but he returns to sleep and eat at the halfway house.

This kind of treatment gives the person independence and lets them function in a life of sobriety. A less common type of therapy called aversion therapy is a drug that produces very unpleasant side effects if there is alcohol intake within two weeks of the drug being taken. This kind of treatment is very forceful making the person dislike the alcohol because of the repulsive side effects. A self-help group called Alcoholics Anonymous exists that gives emotional support and acts as a role model because of the recovery being made by the alcoholics.

The majority of the patients are very unwilling to get help because they are either too lazy or just dont really care too much. To help induce treatment, dealing with motivation to help maintain and increase his or her desire to recognize and then to stop his or her alcohol related problems. Therapy can be done by all professionals or nonprofessionals or both. Through a series of steps of identification, confrontation, and then medical and psychiatric treatment, most alcoholics can be guided through the process fairly smoothly.

Alcohol And Marijuana

Alcohol and marijuana are two drugs commonly used and abused in the United States. Alcohol is the number one abused drug, while marijuana is number one among illegal drugs. While alcohol remains legal, and marijuana illegal, this does not necessarily mean that the alcohol is better for you. There have been many arguments where people suggest that marijuana should be legal because alcohol is more deadly. On the other hand, there are alcoholics who would tell a pothead that smoking weed is bad for you. Both substances are very bad for your health and should not be heavily used by anyone.

Marijuana has an immediate effect during and for about 2 hours after smoking. With alcohol, users feel slight effects after just one drink, and recover depending on the amount the person drank, how much they weigh, and how much they had to eat before ingesting the alcohol. Immediate effects of use are slurred speech, decreased inhibitions, poor judgment, and lack of motor coordination. Marijuana causes red eyes, dry mouth, increased appetite, slowed reaction, paranoia, hallucinations, decreased social inhibitions, and memory loss. Drinking heavy amounts of alcohol can lead to a coma or even death.

A person would have to smoke 40,000 times the amount to get high to overdose, so it is practically impossible. Alcohol is responsible for over 100,000 deaths per year. Marijuana kills less than 10,000 per year. Among the deaths caused by alcohol, drinking and driving is number one. Not only is it number one among alcohol related deaths, it is also one of the main causes of death and injury in the United States. Alcohol impairs judgment and vision, and causes speeding and reckless driving. On the other hand, there has been debate over the effect of marijuana on driving.

One study by a computer software company reported that people who smoked a small amount of marijuana drove faster and with fewer collisions in a driving computer game. Another study said that marijuana causes abnormally slow driving, proneness to distraction, and increases the time it takes to react, therefore greatly impairs your ability to drive. Long-term effects of alcohol are liver cirrhosis, stomach ailments, impotence, vitamin deficiency, increased stroke risk, decreased mental performance, heart disease, peptic ulcers, hepatitis, and various forms of cancer.

Alcohols effects on the brain are loss of coordination, poor judgment, slowed reflexes, distorted vision, memory lapses, and even blackouts. Long-term effects of marijuana are mouth, throat, and lung cancer, increased heart rate, decrease in testosterone levels for men, increased testosterone levels for women, diminished sexual pleasure, increased blood pressure, increased stress, decreased motivation, and respiratory problems. The THC in marijuana damages the nerve cells in the part of the brain where memories are formed, making it hard to remember things.

Both substances can lead to dependence, especially alcohol. If one abuses alcohol for to long and becomes dependent, they are considered to be an alcoholic. There has been debate on whether marijuana is addictive. Some experts believe that since there are no obvious withdrawal symptoms, it is not considered to be an addictive drug. Others claim that it is addictive because it takes the place of natural feel good chemicals in the brain, so people become physically addicted.

Alcoholism on the other hand, is considered a disease. Ten percent of people who drink will become alcoholics. There seems to be a genetic factor associated with alcoholism. Biological children of alcoholics have a greater chance of becoming alcoholics themselves than a child who is adopted into a family with a history of alcoholism. If an alcoholic abruptly stops drinking, he will go through withdrawal symptoms known as alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

The symptoms are nausea, tremors, sweating, anxiety, depression, weakness, hallucinations, and even death. Despite the talk about alcohol abuse and alcoholism, alcohol can actually be good for you. If one drinks in moderation (2-6 drinks per week in two or more sittings) it can lessen the chance of heart disease by thinning your blood. There are no known health benefits associated with moderate marijuana use. Both drugs have serious health effects when used heavily, but it seems that alcohol more detrimental to your health.

People’s Drinking Essay

Alcoholism refers to the abuse of alcohol by individuals who are unable to control their binge drinking behavior over a prolonged period of time. Alcoholics are not simply people who consume alcohol; instead, their entire lives revolve around alcohol. While many people usually dismiss the effects of heavy drinking to a hangover that will not last beyond the day, the effects of alcoholism are infinitely more enduring and devastating not only for the alcoholics, but also for their families and friends. Excessive consumption of alcohol can exert a severe impact on the brain, both on the short-term and long-term basis.

The reason why alcoholics exhibit aggressive behavior can be attributed to the effects of alcohol on various parts of the brain. First, alcohol can affect the gamma-aminobutyoric acid receptor (GABA-A) complex in the brain that inhibits aggressive behavior by creating anxiety over socially inappropriate behavior. Second, the effect of alcohol on the dopaminergic system that controls the psychomotor stimulation can lead to an increase in the intensity and level of aggression. The lower blood sugar in the brain can also contribute to a heightened level of aggression (Graham, Wells, & West, 1997, p. 626).

Consequently, alcoholics tend to overreact to unpleasant situations by using aggression. Furthermore, with excessive alcohol consumption, alcoholics lose their capacity to exercise self-control over their emotions and feelings. Very often, alcohol consumption becomes a means for them to unleash pent-up negative feelings. For other alcoholics, alcohol is a way for them to bury their negative feelings of anger, guilt and depression. Therefore, their general state of mind is moody and hostile, leading to increased chances of aggressive behavior at the slightest provocation (Graham, Wells, & West, 1997, p. 7).

Alcohol also has debilitating effects on the individuals ability to function effectively in a cognitive way. Alcoholics who are drunk are not cognizant of subtle social cues. They may behave in a socially improper way without even being aware of their actions. On the other hand, because they are only conscious of obvious externalized social cues, they are likely to be ultra- sensitive in their reactions to the situation. Deprived of their ability to think clearly and deeply, alcoholics, under the influence of alcohol, do not realize that they can behave in an alternative way.

What is even more dangerous is that drunken people can develop a sense of grandiosity and believe that they are more powerful than they actually are. Thus, they may deliberate provoke others or misinterpret others behavior as a challenge to their supremacy (Graham, Wells, & West, 1997, p. 627). Although the symptoms described above can be regarded as short-term effects of alcohol consumption, studies have indicated that alcohol abuse has long-term degenerative effects on the cerebellum.

The cerebellum is an integral part of the brain that controls the acquisition of motor skills and processes that deal with movement. Furthermore, the cerebellum also plays a part in certain cognitive processes, such as language production and \”mental imagery\” (Sullivan, Rosenbloom, Deshmukh, Desmond, & Pfefferbaum, 1995, p. 138). During the postmortem examination, researchers have found tissue volume loss and shrinkage of nerve cells in the cerebellums of older alcoholics.

The nerve cells are responsible for regulating eye movements. When they are damaged, visual perception can be affected adversely. In these cases, the individuals cannot perform eye-hand coordination activities, such as driving. These damages are most significant in older alcoholics who have been abusing alcohol for at least ten years (Sullivan et al. , 1995, p. 139). Older alcoholics aged between 40 and 63 years of age were found to suffer from balance problems after given an extensive series of tests.

Even though they have minor problems with their problem-solving skills, ability to process information and visuospatial capacity, they have severe problems with their balance even though this group has abstained from alcohol for about a month. With the combination of deficits of visuospatial capacity and balance disorders, these individuals are at high risk of falling and other accidents (Sullivan et al. , 1995, p. 139).

It is possible that the cerebellar structural changes are irreversible. Therefore, even if these alcoholics abstain from drinking, the damage may not be repairable ((Sullivan et al. 995, p. 140). Considering these debilitating effects of alcohol on the alcoholics ability to function in an appropriate manner, it is evident that alcoholics are incapable of performing well in their work and personal relationships. Most studies that attempt to analyze the relationship between alcohol use and income indicate that households with alcoholics have lower incomes than households with no alcoholic drinkers.

The disparity in the incomes ranges from zero to 32-percent reduction in the incomes of households with alcoholics (Mullahy & Sindelar, 1992, p. 5). According to some of these studies, alcoholics are incapable of holding a full-time job. The people in the prime age working group are most affected by alcohol abuse. Even though some studies show that with young adults, employment rate is higher among alcoholics than non-alcoholics, the main cause can be attributed to the fact that young adults drop out of school and start working at an earlier age. Even when they work, alcoholics are likely to miss work frequently because of their drinking problems.

One study indicates that absenteeism caused by alcoholism can exceed that of non-alcoholics by 40 percent (Mullahy & Sindelar, 1992, p. 136). In addition, because the alcoholics capacity to work is impaired by alcohol abuse, they cannot work in important occupations that demand reliability and high competence (Mullahy & Sindelar, 1992, p. 137). Alcoholic parents have a negative effect on their children because the effects of alcohol undermines their capacity to use their parenting skills in a number of ways. First, excessive drinking by the parents can lead to inconsistent parenting behavior.

When the child misbehaves in certain way, the parents may overreact by screaming the child on one occasion; on another occasion, the parents may act indulgently towards child. Consequently, the child receives mixed signals about appropriate behavior. In addition, the inconsistency in parenting behaviors creates an unpredictable and unstable environment that can undermine the childs mental and emotional growth (Windle, 1996, p. 181). In a study conducted on the effects of alcohol on parents interactions with children, it was found that parents are unable to respond appropriately to a childs improper behavior.

Although the child is acting improperly, the group of intoxicated parents not only fails to discipline the child, but engage in parental indulgences that are inappropriate for the occasion (Lang, Pelham, Atkeson, & Murphy, 1999, p. 188). Second, parents who are frequently abusing alcohol cannot monitor their children appropriately. An integral dimension of parental monitoring involves setting limits on proper and improper behavior along with a consistent enforcement of sanctions against violations of these rules.

Without the establishment of these rules and their consistent enforcement, the children cannot learn about limits and proper behavior (Windle, 1996, p. 181). Third, alcoholic parents are not nurturing parents who can provide quality time for their children. Because they constantly suffer from hangovers or mood changes from excessive alcohol consumption, these parents fail to behave in an emotionally supportive fashion towards their children. Thus, they push their children to seek emotional support in the outside worlda situation that can have adverse consequences (Windle, 1996, p. 1).

Fourth, parents who abuse alcohol are also known to exercise harsh discipline. As described above, alcoholics are easily provoked at the slightest offense. Therefore, they can be excessively harsh and arbitrary in their use of discipline. These forms of discipline can result in the growing alienation of the children from their parents (Windle, 1996, p. 181). Certainly, parents who drink heavily serve as negative role models for their children who are likely to take on their alcoholic behavior at a young age.

Without adequate supervision and control, it is likely that these children will become alcoholics and engage in alcohol-related activities (Windle, 1996, p. 181). By their actions, alcoholic parents teach their children to drink as a way of coping with life. Thus, these children are likely to turn to drinking themselves to escape from their lives ((Windle, 1996, p. 1821). Families with alcoholic parents are characterized by frequent marital discords. Therefore, their children grow up in an unhealthy emotional environment that is threatened by potential disintegration.

Children are afraid that they are going to lose their parents and their lives will be disrupted. Spousal and child abuse are also a common part of the picture of a household affected by alcoholism (Windle, 1996, p. 182). The inability for alcoholic parents to keep their jobs and their needs for medical treatment due to alcohol-related reasons certainly places tremendous stresses on the family. Financial stress is a common reason of disputes between spouses. However, coupled with the extra expenditure of alcohol purchase, medical treatment and the lack of income, alcoholism can destroy the welfare of a family (Windle, 1996, p. 2).

In the long run, children who grow up in these households develop a perverse perception of family life. They will come to accept the negative relationships and the alcoholic drinking as a normal way of life. As they reach adulthood, they will carry over all the negative practices they have experienced during their childhood. The intergenerational transmission of alcohol addiction is one of the most devastating effects of the enduring legacy of alcoholism (Windle, 1996, p. 182). From the above discussion, it is evident that alcoholism can exert a long-lasting physiological and social impact.

Alcoholics place themselves at high risk for various accidents and impair their capacities to function effectively in daily life and perform their jobs. Furthermore, alcoholism threatens the welfare of families by destroying the relationships between loved ones. Worst of all, children who grow up in such a dysfunctional environment grow up to become like their parents and impose their ways on their children, thus triggering a never-ending cycle of alcohol abuse. Alcoholics who are addicted to alcohol need to abstain from alcohol and seek help before they and their families are destroyed by a seemingly innocuous glass of wine.

Teenage Alcoholism Essay

Teenagers today have no idea what alcoholism really is. They think that they can never become alcoholics. They think that it could never happen to them, but they are wrong. Stress, Family problems and the desire to be popular are wrong the cause of teenage alcoholism. Signs that a teenager has a drinking problem and steps that parents can take to help their child are what I will discuss in this paper. The critical ingredient common to all alcoholic beverages is ethyl alcohol or ethanol. It is a clear, tasteless liquid formed through the fermentation of sugars by yeast spores.

The amount of alcohol produced depends on the type and amount of sugar in the original mixture, the type of yeast used, the temperature maintained during the fermentation process. American beers, which contain about 3% to 6% alcohol, are made from malted barley and hops (he ripened and dried cones of the hop plant). Most wines are made by fermenting grapes or berries, and normally reach a maximum of about 15% alcohol. Though they are sometimes fortifies with additional ethanol alcohol and thus may reach 20% alcohol in cherry or port wines.

Teenage years are filled with unsure time. Intense pressure to perform and succeed are felt by many youths, according to Alliant Health Systems, Louisville, Ky. Perceived failure at home and or school can lead to the need for escape. Teenagers often see their parents react to stress by drinking. This providing and example for them. They also see their favorite movie actors or actresses getting drunk when they go to a movie so they think that it’s OK for them to o it but what they don’t know it really hurts them in the long run.

With their parents, the might being having marital problems and that can usually drive a teenager to drink. The desire to be accepted and popular among their friends encourages many to begin drinking as well. The ability to consume a lot of alcohol is associated with being a “real man or woman” ( Lang 23). When teens see adults drink heavily and movie stars on screen getting drunk, the message that gets through is that “it’s cool to drink” which is the wrong one to be sending. Almost one half (47. 9 %) of seniors drink alcohol at least once a month 19. 8 % drink at least once a week.

Nearly one third (30. 7%) of ninth graders drink some kind of alcohol monthly or more often 12% drink at least once a week. Thirteen (13. 2%) of seventh graders and 6. 6% of sixth graders drink alcohol regularly. Regular use of alcohol has no changed significantly since the first survey in 1989. (Casey 1). Crime is inextricably related to alcohol and other drugs (AOD). More than 1. 1 million annual arrests for illicit drug violations, almost 1. 4 million arrests for driving while intoxicated, 480,000 arrests for liquor law violations and 704,000 arrests for drunkenness come to a total of 4. illion arrests for alcohol and other drug statutory crimes.

That total accounts for over one-third of all arrests in this country. ( Lang 33) The impaired judgment and violence induced by alcohol contribute to alcohol-related crime. Rapes, fights, and assaults leading to injury, manslaughter, and homicide often are linked with alcohol because the perpetrator, the victim, or both were drinking. The economic cost of AOD-related crime is $61. 8 billion annually. Many perpetrators of violent crime were also using illicit drugs. Some of these drugs, such as PCP and steroids, may induce violence.

These drugs can also be a catalyst for aggressive-prone individuals who exhibit violent behavior as a result of taking them. The need for preventing alcohol and other drug problems is clear when the following statistics are examined: Alcohol is a key factor in up to 68 percent of manslaughter, 62 percent of assaults, 54 percent of murders/attempted murders, 48 percent of robberies, and 44 percent of burglaries. Among jail inmates, 42. 2 percent of those convicted of rape reported being under the influence of alcohol or alcohol and other drugs at the time of the offense.

Over 60 percent of men and 50 percent of women arrested for property crimes (burglary, larceny, and robbery) in 1990, who were voluntarily tested, tested positive for illicit drug use. In 1987, 64 percent of all reported child abuse and neglect cases in New York City were associated with parental AOD abuse. In 1992, there were 6,839 deaths due to alcohol. There were 1,154 deaths from direct alcohol related problems and 5,685 deaths indirectly due to alcohol. Alcohol related deaths accounted for 9. 4% of all deaths.

In 1985to 1992, the number of deaths has remained relatively stable. Of all direct alcohol related deaths, 74. 8% are due to chronic liver disease and cirrhosis. The rest are due to alcohol dependence syndrome (18. 2%) toxic effects of alcohol (2. 2%) alcoholics psychoses (2. 0%) alcoholics cardiomypathy (2. 0%) and alcoholic gastritis (0. 8%). Most alcoholics’ deaths occur among men (72. 4%) this is why most men become alcoholics. When students want to talk to or with someone about their problem, 50. 4 percent report that they would choose a peer 62. ercent a parent 39. 1 percent an adult friend and 30. 4 percent a relative other that a parent.

At school, 27. 2 percent of sixth graders and an average of 12. 1 percent of seventh graders, ninth and seniors would trust a teacher and an average of 13. 2 percent would trust a coach. In general, he percentage of students expressing trust of any kind has decreased over the past four years the only exception being an increase from 1991 to 1993 among sixth and seventh graders who indicate they would take a drug concern to a parent.

Alcoholic’s Anonymous does not engage in the fields of alcoholism research, medical or psychiatric treatment, education, or advocacy in any form, although members may participate in such activities as individuals. The Fellowship has adopted a policy of “cooperation but not affiliation” with other organizations concerned with the problem of alcoholism. Traditionally, Alcoholics Anonymous does not accept or seek financial support from outside sources, and members preserve personal anonymity in print and broadcast media and otherwise at the public level.

A. A. perience has always been made available freely to all who sought it – business people, spiritual leaders, civic groups, law enforcement officers, health and welfare personnel, educators, representatives of military establishments, institutional authorities, representatives of organized labor, and many others. But A. A. never endorses, supports, becomes affiliated with, or expresses an opinion on the programs of others in the field of alcoholism, since such actions would be beyond the scope of the Fellowship’s primary purpose.

In the United States and Canada A. A. relations with professional groups, agencies, facilities, and individuals involved with the problems of alcoholism are handled by the trustees’ Committee on Cooperation with the Professional Community. Mutual understanding and cooperation between AA members and others who work with alcoholics are the concerns of this standing committee of the General Service Board. Student Life Alcohol and Drug Education Programs offers alcohol and other drug prevention and education courses for adjudication purposes. The goal of required alcohol education is to promote healthy choices a! nd responsible decision making about alcohol and other drug use.

Required alcohol education is intended as both an intervention and educational tool. The participants are students who have been involved in alcohol related incidents and who have opted to attend the classes. Students in the Alcohol Education Workshop classes undergo formal assessment by a licensed chemical dependency counselor. Students in other classes are assessed informally some are then referred for professional assessment. An examination of American public policy on problem drinking reveals that it is until still another area where our ambivalence about alcohol is evident.

There is no clear and single- minded plan to deal with the drinking issue. Instead policymakers have accepted the simplest disease concept of alcoholism. The result has been a heavy investment of resources in just one area for only one group that represents but a small part of the drinking problems of this country. Coming to grips with our ambivalence about the social meaning of drinking is essential. Though this is clearly not just a problem for teenagers, they may represent one of the best groups with which to start. After all, they will shape the alcohol policy for the next generation to come.

Causes and effects of Binge Drinking

In many of the colleges and universities today, there are a tremendous amount of students who Drink. The students who consume at least five drinks in a row at one point during a two week period are considered Binge Drinkers. Binge Drinking by college students is the cause to some of the students deaths, causes some students grades to fall, and is very dangerous and unhealthy. The overwhelming amount of college students deaths caused by binge drinking has increased greatly by about 44 percent. To go along with the amount of deaths is the amount of life long injuries one may obtain from binge drinking.

As David L. Marcus states, in recent newspapers, headlines are troubling. A 20-year-old student at Georgetown University dies in a fight after drinking. A fraternity member at the University of Michigan shoots a 19-year-old pledge with a pellet gun at a keg party. A party at Washington State University turns into a 500-student brawl. (David L. Marcus) These incidents that occurred were only at three universities out of hundreds. Another incident that occurred at a party at Duke was of a 20-year-old student who got drunk and died after inhaling his own vomit.

All these deaths and injuries can all have been avoided if only the students had not been involved in the stupid acts of binging. In a magazine article written by Jack Hitt, he tells a story of his nephew who knew two college students that died after binging. One died after falling off a cliff and the other was from blood poisoning. Along with these two deaths came 5 other students who had been paralyzed and seriously injured in car accidents after their acts of binging. As for students not believing anything they read, I have a friend who had an encounter with binge drinking.

My friend ,who will remain unnamed, was in college for only a week and decided to go out and drink with his friends that he just met. He ended up drinking so much that he passed out in the gutter. His new friends left him there for dead. He awoke in the hospital with alcohol poisoning, and he had his stomach pumped twice. Some teenagers believe that these stories are just made up to set examples of what binge drinking could do to a person. When it actually happens to someone they know, or themselves some either learn a lesson or decide to drink anyway well aware of the consequences that will come.

Binge Drinking may not effect some students with the seriousness of injury or death; However, binge drinking also leads to students missing up to 10 times the classes and to the decline in their grades. The Harvard researchers have found that even light binge drinkers are seven times as likely to miss classes and eight times as likely to have their grades fall. (David L. Marcus) According to researchers, any student who has been binge drinking, even if he or she only happens to binge drink twice a month; will show in their attendance and their grades.

Students who go to parties and drink light or heavy end up getting to enjoy getting drunk. This leads to students binge drinking more often, thus leading to missing classes and the decline of their grades. Binge Drinking is highly dangerous and unhealthy for students and others who are around them. Not only can binge drinking lead to death, their are unhealthy side effects that arise from binging. Drinking damages the brain, heart, and kidneys. Other effects of binge drinking are blackouts, vomiting, unwanted sex, and driving accidents.

Estimates show that underage drinking costs $58 billion a year in traffic accidents, crimes, and treatment. (Anitra Gordon) When a student is intoxicated it leads to them doing things they would never do when they are sober. Like unplanned sex for example. In some cases when a girl has been binge drinking and guys are around, its in a guys nature to try to get the girl to do something with them. Especially when the girl has been drinking it is easier to get something from her. With the inability to make the right decision, the girl ends up doing something very regretful.

Sometimes with this unplanned sex the girl might end up pregnant, or with a sexually transmitted disease, like AIDS, or Herpes. These transmitted diseases go for guys also. To try and help the decrease of college students binge drinking, colleges have courses on the healths and risks of binging. Some colleges offer free videos every night showing true stories of students at parties who have been drinking and the effects of binge drinking. These videos are shown in hopes to set an example to the other students on what could happen to you if you decide to binge drink.

Some colleges dont allow drinking in dorms, fraternities or on campus at all. There are also therapists on campus for students who admit to having a problem and want to get over it. If someone doesnt think they have a problem, they are unlikely to listen to the messages directed at people who have the problem. (Henry Wechsler) The students who dont admit to having a problem consider themselves to be moderate drinkers. Therefore dont go to a therapist or any classes about binge drinking.

Students who do go to a therapist blame their binge drinking on academic pressures and peer pressures. Still schools are finding that there is no quick way to curb binge drinking. Florida education officials decided to crack down on drinking, but just two weeks later a drunk, unconscious fraternity member was taken to the hospital, and another was found partially clothed, tied to a tree. Though the attempts to decrease the amount of binge drinking does work in some colleges, the amount of binge drinkers increase or remain the same in other colleges.

A survey of 14,000 students at 119 colleges found that the number of students abstaining from alcohol increased from 15 percent in 1993 to 19 percent last year. The causes and effects of Binge drinking by college students involve death, serious injury, accidents, crimes, blackouts, vomiting, unwanted sex, and alcohol poisoning. Though the colleges have reduced drinking by 19 percent, the prevention of binge drinking will take a few hundred years before binge drinking by college students is down to at least 10 percent. Therefore, college students will still continue to be binge drinkers for quite along time.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) refers to a group of physical and mental birth defects resulting from a womens drinking alcohol heavily or at crucial stages during pregnancy. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome was first named and treated in the late 1960’s. This condition results from the toxic effect of alcohol and its chemical factors on the developing fetus. FAS is the leading cause of mental retardation occurring in 1 out of every 750 births. The frequency of FAS occurs about 1. 9 times out of every 1000 births according to the latest figures, and minor effects can be seen in up to 20% of pregnancies per year.

This number changes drastically for women who are clearly alcoholics. As high as 29 children out of every 1000 births will suffer from FAS if the mother is an alcoholic. The overwhelming consistency of this disease is that it is 100% preventable if a mother would drink no alcohol while pregnant. There are three major effects or hallmarks of drinking while pregnant. First, alcohol will cause pre- and postnatal growth retardation for the baby. Second, alcohol can cause central nervous system dysfunction and neurodevelopmental defects for the child. The third consequence of drinking while pregnant causes facial disformaties.

Studies comparing children of women who drank continually throughout their pregnancy with women who abstained from drinking that alcohol exposed offspring were smaller in weight, length, and head circumference. The greatest effect of FAS appears to be the overall size of an alcohol-exposed child. Children exposed prenatally to alcohol continue to be smaller than their non-exposed peers. A study has shown that there is a relationship between alcohol exposure during the second and third trimesters and growth at 8 months, 18 months, and 3years of age.

Children exposed to an average of one drink per day or more during the second or third trimester were significantly smaller in weight, length, and head circumference when compared with children who had not been exposed to alcohol. Children that were exposed to less than one drink a day were smaller than the non-exposed children but larger than the more heavily exposed children. The attempt to understand FAS has lead to new areas of research attempting to discover the mechanism that causes defects. As of now the exact mechanism is not known.

One theory suggest that alcohol increases placental contractility and thereby decreases oxygen supply to the growing embryo. A lack of necessary oxygen to a growing brain is no doubt the result of alcohols work but exactly how it happens is still under investigation. In the United States, epidemiological data suggest that the rates of FAS tend to higher in African American and Native Americans than whites of similar socioeconomic status. A survey complied by the centers for disease control and prevention reviewed more than 4. illion births in approximately 1,200 hospitals and showed considerable differences in occurrence of FAS among racial groups.

The reason for variance among these groups remains unclear. Among Native Americans, rates of FAS even varied between the different tribes. This may be attributed to nutrition, fertility, or metabolic differences in the genetic makeup of each tribe. Also Native American family culture can influence drinking patterns often leading to a higher rate of alcohol consumption. Among factors to consider, alcohol consumption is frequently associated with drug abuse, smoking, and malnutrition.

All of these factors can cause serious harm to the developing embryo of a child. It is difficult for researchers to decide which effects are caused by alcohol alone. To clearly distinguish a child as having FAS poses a difficult thing for researchers. They soon began to realize that they were encountering children with some, but not all the classical signs of FAS. Because a diagnosis of FAS demands the presence of all three hallmarks, (growth deficiency, central nervous system dysfunction, and physical abnormalities) a term was developed to refer to children with what seemed to suspected fetal alcohol exposure.

The name to these occurrences is Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE). This is not intended to be a diagnosis but rather a bookmark suggesting that the abnormalities seen in children were comparable with FAS. To date, there is no universal accepted evidence that FAE is definable and it would be unwise to use it as a diagnosis, but it does help explain apparent effects of alcohol that are not included in the FAS diagnostic criteria. To correctly identify FAS, a documented history of the mothers ingestion of alcohol during pregnancy is necessary.

This is difficult for most women to provide accurately because the recognition of pregnancy usually occurs several weeks to even months after conception. When women are asked to report drinking from the beginning of pregnancy, many women think back to the point of pregnancy recognition instead of the time of conception. For most women alcohol abuse decrease over the length of a pregnancy and changes with each different stage of the pregnancy. Therefore, the amount that a woman consumed at the time in the beginning is often underestimated.

In addition to learning the exact stage at which alcohol exposure occurs, researchers must also learn the exact dose of exposure to be able to correctly identify FAS. Women usually have a normal pattern of drinking which reflects the amount they usually consume. This pattern will then begin to vary when a woman finds out she is pregnant. A study concluded that this pattern could only account for 73% of the total alcohol consumed. This means to correctly diagnosis FAS, researchers must accurately identify when, how often, dose of exposure, and variability in pattern. This makes for a difficult task.

There are specifics that doctors look for after a child is born that helps diagnose FAS. First of all the eyes are the most common and consistent sign of FAS, the eyelids especially. Children often appear to have widely spaced eyes but measurements reveal that they are spaced apart normally. This disparity in sight is caused by short fissures or eye openings. The distance between the inner and outer corners of each eye is shortened making the eyes appear smaller and farther apart than normal. The next common facial defect in children is slow growth in the center of the face.

This produces an underdeveloped midface and the zone between the eye and the mouth may seem to be flattened or depressed. Also, the bridge of the nose is often very low. As a result of slow nose growth, the nose tends to point forward and downward in that same respect FAS has crippling consequences throughout the life of a child affected with the disease. Adolescents and adults assigned a diagnosis of FAS during childhood often appear alert and verbal, but they can not live independently, hold down jobs, or succeed at school.

FAS patents show poor concentration skills, social withdrawal, failure to consider consequences of their actions and related problems. During development, both physical and mental, FAS children have very fine and poor motor coordination skills and it becomes very apparent at the preschool age. They also are very affectionate but at the same time very hyperactive, which makes it a problem for the teachers who have them in class to deal with.

This is why they are, during the first few years of school, given the diagnosis of having attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); this diagnosis is given because of their high activity level, short attention span, and poor short-term memory. Many of these children require special education help regardless of the fact that their IQ falls between the normal range. Their hyperactivity calls for them to receive special attention that normal teachers cannot and at most time will not give them. Severe mental retardation also persists among a majority of those with FAS.

Researchers studied 38 males and 23 females ranging from 12 to 40. A total of 43 received a diagnosis of FAS before the age of 12. The other 18 had diagnosiss of FAE. Study participants displayed little evidence of facial abnormalities, such as malformed lips and misaligned teeth, and low body weight typical of children with FAS. Many of the participants remained very short for their age with unusually small heads. One 29-year-old woman stood only 4 feet tall. IQs for the group ranged from 20 (severely retarded) to 105 (normal). Academic achievement fluctuated from second to fourth grade levels with deficits in math.

Nearly the entire sample lived under some type of supervision, usually with parents, relatives, or foster parents. According to the caretaker reports, every participant exhibited significant behavioral problems such as consistently poor judgment and low concentration. Problems with lying cheating and stealing turned up frequently. One of the most debilitating characteristics of FAS is the poor ability to adapt to the demands of their surroundings and live independently. To be independent, many FAS patients are required to learn to ride buses, prepare meals, and use money appropriately.

Also, performing a job and obtaining the social skills necessary to keep the job are necessary. Educational goals for these students should go beyond classroom boundaries and target skills that will essentially make the patient independent, productive citizens. There continues to be ongoing research on the nutritional, hormonal, and cellular events regulating fetal development to help guide early interventions in children with FAS. There will always exist a continual risk because of the lack of education in mothers-to-be.

The one thing most importantly stressed is that mother who knows or even thinks that she is pregnant should not drink anything that is made of alcohol. The educating of these mothers to the harm that they can cause themselves and their unborn children is what needs to be done. They should know that with the imbalance of their meals and alcohol consumption that their children are suffering and cannot at times be given that chance to live and survive in society as normal children should. Because of the lack of education that they have they do not understand that what they do to themselves is also what they do to their children.

Alcoholism Symptoms, Effects, and Treatments

When the words substance abuse are heard, most frequently the thought of using marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or some other illegal drug pops into mind. Alcohol, however, can be abused in the same manner as the above mentioned illegal drugs. Abnormal craving for alcohol can be averted using many techniques, even including drug therapy. Alcoholism is defined as a disorder characterized by the excessive consumption of and dependence on alcoholic beverages, leading to physical and psychological harm and impaired social and vocational functioning (www. ctionary. com).

Alcoholism has no prejudice; it can affect anyone, of any age. Though it is thought to arise from a combination of physiological, psychological, social, and genetic factors, no hard proof is yet available to back up this theory. An unmistakable fact, however, is that in 1998 the number of driving and driving related deaths was 41,501 in the United States alone. Also in 1998 in the United States 397,607 potential years of life were lost due to drunken driving (http://www. niaaa. nih. gov/databases).

The projected number of alcohol abusers and dependents aged 18 or older for the United States in the year 2000 is 15,416, with the highest percentage of these people being between the ages of 18-29 (http://www. niaaa. nih. gov/databases). Although the loss of life due to alcohol related incidents is a pressing issue, there are also many other risks that are related to alcohol abuse and dependency. One of the most frequently known risks is cirrhosis of the liver. The affects of this disease include the hardening of the liver.

Scar tissue often develops, and liver failure is often the end result of this condition. Ulcers in the lining of the stomach or intestines are also common side effects of alcohol abuse. These ulcers are small holes which develop from the level of acidity being too high in the stomach or intestines (Bier). The use of alcohol during pregnancy is also an extremely dangerous situation. When a pregnant mother consumes alcohol regularly during pregnancy, she risks not only her own safety, but the safety of her unborn child.

The reason alcohol effects the unborn child is it hinders the ability of the fetus to receive enough oxygen and nourishment from the mothers blood. Symptoms of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) are far ranging, from facial deformities such as poorly formed ears and small openings to the more severe such as missing fingers or toes, low birth weight, mental retardation, learning disabilities, and even death. Prevention of FAS is quite easy, pregnant mothers should always abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages (http://www. well. com/user/woa/fsfas. htm). There are many warning signs to alcoholism that are commonly overlooked.

The signs are: frequent drinking to escape problems, constant promises to drink less, and denial of a drinking problem. Other, more commonly recognized signs are: drinking alone, drinking more than other people, blaming others for causing the drinking problem, and letting alcohol interfere with school or work (http://www. health. org/govpubs/rpo884/). The abuse and dependence of alcohol is viewed as an illness, just like any other. It only gets worse with time, and it has no true cure. Even after the alcoholism is treated it is thought to be impossible for an alcoholic to drink normally again.

A few sips of wine will turn into only drinking with meals, and then only drinking with meals will eventually lead back into the habits of heavy drinking that the alcohol had thought to have conquered. Another way that light drinking can lead back into alcohol abuse is when an alcoholic decides to drink only one or two beers. This may be continued for a few weeks, and then slowly the alcoholic begins to think that as long as he or she is drinking, he or she might as well do a good job. He or she will then binge drink, or switch to hard liquor to sate the hunger for alcohol (http://www. coholics-anonymous. org/).

If an extreme dependency on alcohol is diagnosed, sometimes the only way to become alcohol free is to use the aid of drug therapy. One of the common medicines used to defer the drinking of alcohol is Antabuse (disulfiram). When this drug is taken, usually via pill form, any consumption of alcohol will lead to extreme nausea and vomiting. This helps to maintain sobriety during the frequent cravings a newly recovering alcoholic may experience. A downfall to this drug is that an alcoholic may stop taking it and resume drinking after a period of time.

It is only a permanent fix if the willpower is maintained. Two other medications, Revia (naltrexone) and acamprosate, can also be used in the battle against alcohol abuse and dependency. These two drugs relieve the cravings and pleasant feelings that an alcoholic receives from alcohol consumption. These drugs, combined with a therapy program such as Alcoholics Anonymous, can help a great deal in dissolving alcohol abuse and dependency (http://bma-wellness. com/). When the use of drug therapy does not seem appealing for a person with an alcohol dependency group therapy is an option.

There are many groups available which will provide support and let the alcoholic know that he or she is not alone in the difficult struggle between sobriety and alcohol use that he or she is now facing. There are now more than 97,000 alcoholics anonymous fellowships, including hundreds in hospitals and prisons (http://www. alcoholics-anonymous. org). Another option for an alcoholic looking for a help is the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. This service is a 1-800 number which can provide assistance to those who need help finding a local group to join for assistance in maintaining or achieving sobriety.

Options are also available for those who are affected by the alcoholism of others. For those who have alcoholic parents Adult Children of Alcoholics, National Association For Children of Alcoholics, and Children of Alcoholics Foundation, Inc are available. For those who know an alcoholic or have lost a friend or relative to alcoholism Ala-non/Alateen, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), and Women For Sobriety are available to help sort through feelings and prevent the situation from reoccurring among others (http://www. alth. org/govpubs/rpo884/).

Though alcoholism is a definite threat to our society, it is not something that is impossible to tackle. Through the help of counselors, group therapy, and even drug therapy, treatment is available. The number of deaths relating to alcohol has started to go down, and with the attention and awareness of the public it may continue to do so. Should the public decide to use the resources available, alcoholism should no longer be a prevalent problem in our society.

Social change in the United States

The 1920’s were a time of major social change in the United States. The social changes during this period were reflected in the laws and regulations that were brought into play at this time. One of the most prominent examples of this was prohibition. The 18th Amendment to the Constitution, also known as the Volsted Act, which got it’s name from it’s sponsor, Representative Andrew Volsted of Minnesota, was created to eliminate the use of alcohol in the United States. In doing this, the followers of prohibition hoped to end the social problems associated with alcohol such as domestic abuse.

It was an attempt to promote Protestant middle-class culture as a means of imposing order on a disorderly world”(Dumenil 226). However, this goal of keeping peace by not consuming alcohol, was not reached during the years of prohibition, or even the years following it. Alcohol consumed among Americans did decline, but it was not totally eliminated as hoped to be, and some of the social problems seemed to be even greater then before prohibition was in effect. Therefore prohibition was not successful in its original purpose.

To better understand the reasons behind the failure of prohibition, one must have to look at the years before, during, and after prohibition. This will give a better understanding to the implementation of the 18th Amendment, as well as show the trends of Americans’ alcohol use and the effects of alcohol on American society. The early 1900’s were a time of great prosperity in the United States. America was thriving economically, and big cities were booming. However, some Americans thought that this was not a good thing, because of the social problems that came with the urban culture.

The “Dry’s”, as Prohibitionists were referred to, saw large cities as providing people with readily available alcohol. This in turn led to an increase in crime, poverty and immorality. During the period of 1911-1915 the average per-capita consumption of alcohol of each American was 2. 56 gallons (Kyvig 24). The only solution that was proposed was a national prohibition of alcohol. The goal of this was to eliminate drinking in America, which would result in reducing all of the problems associated with it.

The Prohibitionists thought that the sale of liquor was a social crime, that the drinking of liquor was a racial crime, and that the results of liquor were criminal actions”(Sinclair 220). By making alcohol illegal nationally, such as it would be with prohibition, the social problems of America would be fixed. On January 16, 1920 alcohol became illegal with the passing of the 18th Amendment. Under the Volsted Act, named after its author, the importing, exporting, transporting, and manufacturing of all intoxicating substances was outlawed.

The government defined intoxicating liquor as anything having an alcoholic content of more then . . However this excluded alcohol used in religious or medical purposes. With the passing of this Amendment, the temperance movement in the United States had won a major victory. They saw the implementation of prohibition as the key to freeing America from the fiery vices of alcohol. So began the prohibition era. At the onset of prohibition, alcohol use in the United States did decline. “It did cut alcohol consumption, perhaps by as much as thirty percent, and was more effective in the early years (1919-1922)” (Dumenil 233). However, this reduction in consumption was not permanent or even long lasting.

Seldom has a law been more flagrantly violated. Not only did Americans continue to manufacture, barter, and possess alcohol; they drank more of it”(Bowen 154). One of the reasons for this was because prohibition was so hard to enforce. This was partly due to the poor wording of the Amendment. The 18th Amendment prohibited the sale, import, export, manufacture, and transport of alcohol, but it failed to specifically make purchasing alcohol or its use a crime. According to David E. Kyvig, “This allowed continued possession of intoxicants obtained prior to prohibition, provided that such beverages were only for personal use in one’s own home”.

This loophole in the Amendment was not on the side of the Prohibitionists, and ultimately led to a decline in prohibition’s effectiveness. Another reason that the decline in alcohol sale and usage was not permanent was its increased profitability. After the implementation of prohibition, the price of alcohol went up dramatically. During prohibition, the price of beer went up 600%, and the price of gin went up 520%. (Kyvig . 25). This made the sale of illegal spirits more profitable to bootleggers. The alcohol trade was a very lucrative practice. Bootleggers smuggled alcohol in to the country and sold it at tremendous profits.

Therefore, because alcohol was more profitable to sell during prohibition, it was more widely consumed. The levels of consumption never reached those of pre-prohibition times, but alcohol use in the United States was not totally eliminated. “National prohibition substantially reduced, but did not altogether eliminate, the use of alcoholic beverages”(Kyvig 22). The huge public demand for alcohol led to a soaring business for bootleggers. When prohibition began, people immediately wanted a way to drink. Hence, the extremely profitable bootlegging business was born.

Before Prohibition gangs existed, but had little influence. Now, they had gained tremendous power almost overnight. Bootlegging was easy – New York City gangs paid hundreds of poor immigrants to maintain stills in their apartments. Common citizens, once law abiding, now became criminals by making their own alcohol. However, this posed risks for those who made their own. The rich managed to continue drinking good liquor while less-affluent Americans often consumed homemade alcoholic beverages, which were sometimes made with poisonous wood alcohol. Do to this, many died due to alcohol poisoning.

There was very little enforcement to the law, since the government employed few prohibition agents, most of whom could be bribed by the bootleggers. Those in favor of prohibition “became increasingly dismayed with the efforts of the government to enforce the law. ” (Fisher 133) In 1920, the government had fewer than 1,600 low-paid, ill-trained Prohibition agents for the entire country. Speakeasies, who got their name because a password had to be spoken through the door to get in, popped up all over the country. The number of speakeasies in New York was somewhere in the hundreds or even thousands.

It was easy enough for police to close and padlock individual speakeasies, but there were so many it was impossible to keep them shut down. Even with prohibition in effect, the demand for alcohol never gave it a chance to work. One of the biggest gangsters of all time got his name achieved his fame during the times of prohibition. Al Capone used prohibition to build one of the biggest crime empires in United States history. He started as a member of John Torrio’s gang in Chicago. Torrio was a notorious gangster and bootlegger, and after he was shot in 1922 Capone became the leader of his gang.

He quickly expanded the business, and by 1930 controlled speakeasies, bookie joints, gambling houses, brothels, horse and race tracks, nightclubs, distilleries and breweries at a reported income of $100,000,000 a year. By bribing police and prohibition agents, he was able to get away with almost anything he did. Capone was the first and last gangster to openly flaunt his crimes. He was somewhat of a celebrity in Chicago and admitted what he did with quotes such as: “All I’ve ever done is to supply a public demand – you can’t cure a thirst by a law.

It’s bootleg when it’s on the trucks, but when your host hands it to you on a silver tray, it’s hospitality. They say I violate Prohibition. Who doesn’t? ” Capone also believed in killing anyone who got in his way. Throughout his career, Capone was said to have killed over 200 people, but he was never convicted of any related charge. In addition to bootlegging and his other establishments, Capone began the widespread use of racketeering. Racketeering is when Capone would force businesses to pay him money in exchange for protection by his gang.

Really, though, they were paying for protection from Capone’s gang. However, what goes up must come down. Capone became too famous for his own good. The American public began to hate him for being able to defy the law, and the government hated him for continuously breaking their laws and embarrassing them. After the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929, in which gunmen executed seven rival gang members dressed as police, the public saw Capone as a truly evil and bad man. In 1931, Capone was indicted for tax evasion and sentenced to ten years in prison along with substantial fines.

At first he went to Atlanta prison, but after being able to buy better treatment there he was transferred to Alcatraz, where his money meant nothing. He was soon diagnosed with syphilis and spent the rest of his term in a hospital. After he was released, Capone returned to his Florida estate and slowly succumbed to his disease until his death on January 25, 1947. During prohibition, the social ills of America that the prohibitionists had hoped to cure with the implementation of the Volsted act were not eradicated. Before prohibition, the temperance movement blamed an increase in crime on alcohol.

This was one of the main arguments for prohibition. However, after the beginning of prohibition the homicide rate actually increased for America. This was mainly due to the fact that the selling of liquor was becoming increasingly more profitable for criminals. Because each separate criminal group was fighting for the same thing, to sell the most illegal alcohol, there were increasing tensions between these groups. The crime rate in major cities went up, as did the homicide rate. Serious crimes such as homicide and assault and battery increased 13% during prohibition.

Even though proponents of Prohibition saw the 18th Amendment as a law that would reduce criminal activities in America, this was not the reality. Another social problem that prohibition was supposed to address was the loss of morals in America. “The emerging middle class used the temperance and evangelical movements to establish a culture of sobriety, restraint, and industry to strengthen the family, promote individual and community prosperity” (Dumenil 226). Many Americans thought that society was morally and ethically decaying. There was prostitution, gambling, and open sexuality, more prevalent in the cities than in rural areas.

Prohibition would cure this. With prohibition in place the Temperance Movement claimed that, “The abolition of the saloon and of drinking in clubs and at public dinners are an unequivocal sign that the new ideal of social responsibility has progressed”(Fisher 186). Prohibitionists thought that this was the path America should be headed in. But prohibition failed its desired outcome. In the times of prohibition America did not move toward the new ideal of social responsibility, but, in fact, backed off to being less ethical then it was before prohibition.

During the years of prohibition, the number of illegal clubs for drinking or speakeasies increased dramatically. “Just in New York, as early as 1923, the estimate was 5,000 which later upped to 32,000 (more than double the 15,000 places where a man could have gotten a drink legally in pre-Volstead days)”(Lee 58). And this was not the only place where this was happening. All over America speakeasies were popping up. In Illinois there were an estimated 40,000, and Pennsylvania 20,000, and California 15,000 (Lee 68). This shows that even though it was illegal to drink, frequenting saloons was still a common habit among Americans.

With this increase in speakeasies, there was also an increase in moral decay. These establishments brought with them crime, gambling, and prostitution, all things that the Temperance movement thought would be eradicated with prohibition. The year 1933 marked the conclusion of a thirteen-year prohibition of alcohol in the United States, with the 21st Amendment to the Constitution. This marked the end to a lengthy period of the great experiment, which was prohibition. Looking at the era following prohibition will complete the picture of how prohibition did not meet its goals.

The amount of per capita consumption of Americans did in fact decrease to . 97 gallons of alcohol in 1933 from 2. 56 gallons in 1915, but alcohol consumption was not eliminated. In addition, the homicide rate for America actually decreased in the years after prohibition was repealed. Even though this fact would seem to be a positive effect of prohibition, in favor of the prohibitionists, that is not the case. One reason for the decline in the homicide rate could be the fact that after prohibition, there was not as much violent crime between gangsters.

During prohibition, there was more cause for violence because alcohol was such a precious commodity. This would explain the decrease in the homicide rate after prohibition. Prohibition also did not accomplish its goal of stopping the decay of America’s morals and values. After prohibition was repealed, the cultural change had already taken place. There were new acceptable ethics. Progress in the 1920’s had changed the ways American life, inevitably, as it does in every generation. After looking at prohibition in the context of the time period before, during and after, we can better paint a picture of the failure of prohibition.

Prohibition did not achieve its goals. Instead, it added to the problems it was intended to solve”(Thornton). We can see that prohibition did reduce the amount of alcohol consumed in the United States, but alcohol use was not altogether eliminated. The social problems that were hoped to be addressed were not solved either. The great experiment that was prohibition did not accomplish its goals of solving the social problems of America and eliminating alcohol consumption. But it will always be remembered for causing Americans to reflect on the effects of alcohol on society.

Excessive Alcohol Consumption – Its Effects and Social Acceptance

Rumors and old wives’ tales such as stress makes women heavier drinkers, divorce prompts heavy alcohol use, people drive better when they are drinking, and teenagers are the main group of drunk drivers, are being thrown at today’s society left and right in an effort to blame the other guy. With all the talk about alcohol use and abuse these days, people are lost between fact and fiction. All of this tossed in with the truth leads to confusion where most of society is torn between tradition and personal beliefs.

Alcohol is a destructive drug that can lead to addiction, arrest, illness, and even death; all of these consequences, however, have not caused much of a dramatic change in alcohol’s social acceptance or usage. Most people know what alcohol is, but not everyone knows its history, where it comes from, or how it is produced. Alcohol is a word derived from the Arabic al-kohl, which was a term used to describe eyeliner that Middle Eastern women wore. Later, the definition broadened to mean an exotic substance (Monroe 5-6).

It was primarily used among ancient people for special ceremonies, magic, and medicine, and “by about 1500 BC, Egyptian doctors included beer or wine in about 15 percent of their medicines”(Monroe 8-9). Alcoholic beverages are produced through a process called fermentation using plants such as corn, rye, barley, potatoes, and grapes, and are classified by their types and proofs. Some types of alcohol are beer, ale, stout, porter, malt liquor, wine, whiskey, bourbon, gin, rum, brandy, and liqueur. The term proof refers to the percentage of pure alcohol contained in a drink.

While there is no international standard, in the United States, each degree of proof is equal to 0. 5 percent alcohol (Fettner 275). Beer, wine, and whiskey tend to be the three major categories used when comparing alcohol. Most beers contain about two to eight percent alcohol, which is one to four proof. Wine, depending on whether it is natural or fortified, can have anywhere from eight to twenty-one percent alcohol—eight to fourteen percent for natural and eighteen to twenty-one percent for fortified. Whiskeys usually range from about twenty to twenty-five proof, or forty to fifty percent alcohol.

The strongest type of alcohol, however, is brandy used to fortify dessert wines, which can be up to ninety-five percent alcohol (Fettner 275-276). Although studies show that alcohol consumed in small amounts can actually help the body remain healthy by stimulating cell functions, heavy or chronic use produces an opposite, suppressive effect on cell production (Wolfgan 3-4). Excessive usage can cause damage to many areas of the body, including the liver, the heart, and the brain. The liver is the primary target because it deals directly with the metabolism of alcohol.

And even though light use of alcohol has been shown to help prevent coronary artery disease, prolonged use causes many problems for the heart and brain, which are the next two hardest hit organs. Heart disease, heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure, and neuropsychological disorders are among the worst consequences (Wolfgan 5). Also, taking depressants or tranquilizers while drinking can cause death (Fettner 276). Alcohol does not only affect its immediate users, either; it may also affect the offspring of chronic users.

Exposure in prenatal and early postnatal development shows an increased risk of disrupt in development or damage to the immune system. The most severe defect resulting from prenatal alcohol consumption, however, is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), characterized by many behavioral problems (Wolfgan 7). Several types of violence, including homicides, suicides, and spousal abuse, suggest a strong relationship with alcohol. In more than sixty percent of homicides, violators were drinking at the time of the offense, and thirty-six percent of suicide victims had a positive blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

Researchers have several suggestions about the link between alcohol and violence. One theory is that aggression is triggered by sensitivity to pain and frustration. Furthermore, the frustration may be caused by lack of problem-solving skills through effects on the brain’s frontal lobe (Wolfgan 8-9). In alcohol metabolism, the first sip of alcohol usually only takes a few minutes to move to the brain. The alcohol briefly irritates the mouth and esophagus lining, and then flows into the stomach. Food in the stomach slows alcohol progression to the rest of the body while the stomach absorbs about twenty percent itself.

However, once the alcohol gets past the stomach, it quickly moves into the small intestine, bloodstream, and heart. The bloodstream carries alcohol to the brain where it begins to slow down brain cells and increase heart rate. The only two ways that the body can remove alcohol is through excretion and metabolism. But, only ten percent of consumed alcohol is released through excretion—urine, breath, saliva, and sweat—leaving the other ninety percent to be broken down in the liver. A typical liver can handle about a half an ounce of pure alcohol in about one and a half-hours.

And, for example, a twelve ounce can of beer, a twelve ounce wine cooler, a five ounce glass of wine, and a drink with 1. 25 ounces of liquor each contain about one-half ounce of pure alcohol (Monroe 21-24). The effects of alcohol depend on several factors including weight, age, gender, type of alcohol, and history of use. Alcohol generally effects women and teens faster than men because women and teens have smaller bodies. Teens and children are still developing physically, mentally, and emotionally, and likewise are more easily affected.

Females are affected faster than men also because they have a higher percentage of body fat. Fat absorbs alcohol poorly; therefore alcohol tends to concentrate more in a woman’s bloodstream. Tolerance to alcohol builds up in chronic, heavy drinkers (Monroe 24). According to the 1998 edition of The World Almanac and Book of Facts “regular alcohol use by seniors from 1975 to 1997 has declined from 90. 4% to 81. 7%” (878). And, Lori Wolfgan found that “average annual alcohol consumption per person began to decline in the early 1980s and continued to drop through 1993, when it reached 2. gallons of alcohol—the lowest level recorded since 1964” (1).

However, “heavy alcohol use by 8th graders between 1991 and 1997 has risen from 12. 9% to 14. 5%” (Famighetti 878). Heavy alcohol use is generally defined as five or more drinks consecutively at least once a week (Famighetti 878, Wolfgan 5, Peradotto 63). Also, the above statistics do not include school dropouts and absentees, which normally have higher usage. Arrests in 1996 that were related to alcohol use were divided into three general categories—driving under the influence, drunkenness, and liquor laws.

The World Almanac and Book of Facts lists the total estimated arrests as “1,467,300 for D. U. I. s, 718,700 for drunkenness, and 677,400 for liquor laws” (892). With the drop of alcohol use also came the fall in alcohol-related crashes. Recent alcohol research has shown that “from 1983 to 1993, the proportion of fatal crashes that involved alcohol decreased by 26 percent” (Wolfgan 8). And while “the number of male drivers of all ages who were involved in crashes between 1977 and 1993 decreased by 22 percent…the number of female drivers involved in such crashes increased by 18 percent” (Wolfgan 8).

Despite the steady rise for women, Wolfgan shows that “the total number of fatal traffic accidents involving women drivers who were legally intoxicated has remained far below that of men” (8). Many alcohol-related rumors are repeated so often that society begins to accept them as truth. For instance, Marilyn Elias tells us that “the more roles women play—wife, mother, worker—the less likely they are to have drinking problems,” which is the opposite of the commonly accepted idea that stress makes women heavier drinkers (61).

Elias also discredits the theory that divorce prompts more alcohol use by saying that “leaving an unhappy marriage marred by problem drinking…improves women’s chances of ending an alcohol habit” (61). Sylvain Tremblay and Anna Kemeny note that “although public opinion often associates teenagers with impaired driving, the latest statistics indicate that it is people aged 20 to 44 who are substantially over-represented among those charged: while they make up 57% of all licensed drivers, they account for 74% of all impaired charges” (64).

Health problems are not the only negative side effects; addiction can also result from chronic drinking. There is, however, a difference between dependence and abuse. The most recent edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders defines alcohol dependence as “a cluster of symptoms that includes continued drinking despite significant alcohol-related problems,” while alcohol abuse is listed as “repeated drinking in harmful situations with negative consequences” (Wolfgan 2).

According to the above definitions, a large national survey conducted in 1994 shows that 7. 4 percent of those sampled could be classified as engaging in alcohol abuse, experiencing alcohol dependence, or both (Wolfgan 2). Many research projects have been conducted in an attempt to find treatment and prevention for alcohol dependence, which “is the most widespread form of drug abuse, affecting at least 5 million persons” (Fettner 276). Through this research, several factors have been determined as predictors of treatment success or failure.

They are subjective well being, drinking-related beliefs, patient readiness to change, alcohol-related expectancies, social functioning, and social support for drinking or abstinence. There are many reasons why society should be concerned with alcohol abuse and addiction—about one-third of the nation’s high school students are thought to be problem drinkers (Fettner 276). Alcohol consumption among youths can produce far worse effects than on adults. For example, youths that start drinking before their fifteenth birthday are four times more likely to become alcoholics than people who begin drinking at age twenty-one.

Furthermore, the risk of alcohol dependence decreases by fourteen percent for every year that a teenager waits to start drinking (Patrick 62). Excessive alcohol consumption has some negative side effects that do not deal with health; consider the fact that drinking is a leading cause of social and personal problems and loss of income (Fettner 276). Individual factors, environmental factors, and genetic influences all impact drinking behavior and alcoholism risk.

Two broad dimensions of personality—deviance proneness and negative emotionality—have been associated with the risk of alcoholism through research. Deviance proneness, also termed behavioral undercontrol and behavioral disinhibition, is marked by unconventionality, over-activity, aggression, and impulsivity, while negative emotionality is characterized by depression and anxiety. There are three main environmental factors that can influence or significantly impact a person’s decision about alcohol use.

First, are the cultural norms, which can affect a person’s views on the propriety of drinking, how much is acceptable, and what timing is appropriate. Another major influence is friends’ and family members’ habits. Exposure to and parental standards regarding alcohol consumption greatly affect a person’s views. Thirdly is the psychological stress that the person is experiencing at a given period of time (Wolfgan 3). Many people—parents, students, and even some educators—continue to see under-age drinking as a simple rite of passage.

Patrick says that “society has focused so much attention on the anti-drug message that alcohol, which many people don’t consider a drug, has gotten lost” (62). Of course there are some teachers, administrators, and law officials who dedicate their time to programs like D. A. R. E. in an attempt to educate children (Patrick 62). Although these programs are not perfect, they do seem to help in preventing abuse and misuse at a young age. But, alcohol misuse will not be stopped until society changes its views and beliefs about alcohol.