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Alcohol Essay

1622 words - 6 pages

alcohol

Substance abuse and addiction are major problems in society today. Every segment of society, regardless of race, gender, or age is affected. Some of the substances that are used grow naturally, where as others are manufactured illicitly or even legitimately in laboratories. They may be smoked, inhaled, ingested, or injected and used for social, religious, or self-medicating purposes. The substance that are abused include caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, steroids, stimulants, depressants, heroin, ANd cocaine.

Substance abuse and dependence were first described as disease process in the 1960s with the introduction of Jellinek’s work on alcoholism. Dependence on alcohol and other drugs is now accepted and is classified as a psychiatric disorder.

Substance abuse ranks high among serious health problems. Since 1979 illicit drug use and alcohol consumption have declined, but the widespread use of and dependence on these substance continue. Nicotine, now classified by the Food and Drug Administration as an addictive substance, is linked to more deaths annually than AIDS, cancer, and other substances combined. Alcohol is also a major social problem today. Use and abuse of alcohol are a factor in contributing to injuries and death.

The cost of substance abuse is increasing in our society. Lives are lost, and loss of work productivity costs millions of dollars each year. Alcohol is a factor in 40% of all motor vehicle accidents, and alcohol and other drugs are often implicated in boating or athletic accidents. Cost include not only lives lost but also medical care, long-term services to the disabled, and increased insurance rates. Health care cost for clients use alcohol, drugs, and nicotine are estimated to be greater than $160 billion annually. It has been confirmed that there is link between violence and alcohol and other drugs. Alcohol and drugs is a factor in vandalism on college campuses, date rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence. Under the influence of alcohol and drugs, young adults are more likely to engage in unsafe sexual practices, and parents are more likely to abuse their children.

Certain factors place some individuals at greater risk than others for the development of abuse and dependence. Biological, psychological, or environmental conditions may predispose a person to the development of a drug or alcohol problem. Risk factors may include some of the following.

Heavy use of alcohol and other drugs or the presence of abuse or dependency by family members Presence of psychological conflicts, which a person may attempt to resolve through drug use Genetic predisposition, which is derived from biological factors Inborn tolerance, which may result in excessive alcohol or other drug intake Other factors that predict that there may be a risk for alcohol and drug abuse include some of the following.

Failure in school
Rebelliousness and alienation
Early antisocial behavior
Need for immediate...

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