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Alcoholism results in health problems

Essay Topic:

Alcoholism can be described as a psychiatric disorder and nearly fourteen percent of the people suffer from this disorder.Generally this disorder is accompanied by various other psychological disorders such as anxiety, unstable mental condition and a deviant personality.

Alcoholism results in health problems that could result in death and it is usually not identified in the traditional clinics (American Psychiatric Association, 1994).

At present, the availability of screening instruments is of great help in recognizing that problem of drinking, which is known as the pre – alcoholism condition.

The mortality rate due to alcohol is estimated at a hundred thousand deaths per annum.Moreover, alcohol abuse accounts for morbidity and mortality.

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Some of the other disadvantages associated with alcohol abuse are social and legal problems, violence and accidents (American Psychiatric Association, 1994).

Dependence on alcohol is on the increase and it leads to the abuse of alcohol. The problem of alcohol abuse is not restricted only to men but is also present in women. Therefore it can be concluded that the incidence of alcoholism is increasing in society irrespective of the sex of the person concerned. Alcoholism starts as a habit in adolescence and forty percent of alcoholics develop it between the ages of fifteen years and nineteen years (Helzer JE, 1991).

Alcoholism has been recognized to be more prevalent in males since the number of male alcoholics is more than that of females. However, the research conducted by Oregon Health & Science University and Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center reveals that female alcoholics are more susceptible to undergo damage of the cells in the brain due to alcohol abuse than male alcoholics (Alcohol Abuse More Likely To Cause Brain Damage In Females, 2007 ).

Alcohol controls the central nervous system and acts as a depressant, consequently, the consumption of large amounts of alcohol would result in the inhibition of excitatory centers in the brain. Some of the indications of alcohol abuse are impairment of rational thinking, deprivation of motor coordination in the body, cirrhosis of the liver, presence of peptic ulcers, gastritis, pancreatitis and carcinoma. A few examples of the cardiovascular effects of the abuse of alcohol are hypertension and cardiomyopathy (Amy Cohagan, 2005 ).

Alcohol inhibits neurological activities and results in peripheral neuropathy which could lead to ataxia, wernicke encephalopathy, Korsakoff psychosis and brain damage and dementia. Male alcoholics generally suffer from impotency caused by the deficit of the testosterone hormone, which is inhibited by alcohol.

This hormonal deficiency results in testicular atrophy and gynecomastia. In females, fetal alcohol syndrome could occur, which damages the fetus and thus the new born would be at risk of suffering from mental retardation, facial deformity and other neurologic problems (Amy Cohagan, 2005 ).

Society can prevent alcoholism to a major extent by prohibiting advertisements pertaining to alcoholic beverages and by severely restricting their availability. In addition, physicians can appraise their patients about the pitfalls of consuming alcohol (Goodwin).

The modern day world is beset with the scourge of alcohol abuse, especially in the developed world. The worst fallout of alcoholism is the increasing addiction in adolescents and young adults, because it engenders an increase in the loss of life. Moreover, traffic accidents increase exponentially due to drunken driving.

Doctors, employers, society and a person’s family constitute a number of important social groups that can contribute to a major extent in preventing a person from becoming an alcoholic. This is due to the fact that family members have a greater influence and are therefore eminently suited to highlight the dangers inherent in becoming an alcoholic. Moreover, it is possible for employers to employ economic and compassionate strategies to discourage this malaise.

References

Alcohol Abuse More Likely To Cause Brain Damage In Females. ( 2007 , July 30 ). Retrieved August 14, 2007, from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/77987.php

American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association.

Amy Cohagan, D. ( 2005 , March 16). Alcohol and Substance Abuse Evaluation. Retrieved August 14, 2007, from http://www.emedicine.com/EMERG/topic20.htm

Goodwin, D. W. (n.d.). Attacking the problem. Retrieved August 14, 2007, from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=hxh&AN=7553701&loginpage=Login.asp&site=ehost-live

Helzer JE, B. A. (1991). Alcohol abuse and dependence. Psychiatric disorders in America: the epidemiological catchment area study , New York: Maxwell Macmillan International,81-115.

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