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Alcohol: A Drink For Fun Or For Pain

1047 words - 4 pages

A report, which was launched in January by Health Secretary Donna Shalala and published in the Globe magazine, states that 44 % of adults age 18 and over consumed 12 or more drinks in the past year. Of that 44% of adults, 46 % of them report having been drunk during the year while 4% report having been drunk weekly. Nearly 10 % of current drinkers (about 8 million persons) meet diagnostic criteria for alcohol dependence. An additional 7 % (more than 5.6 million persons) meet diagnostic criteria for alcohol abuse (par 2).If 10 % is equal to 8 million, think of how many people are alcohol drinkers in America. Drinking excessively is very hazardous to one's body to the people around him and society.Alcohol drinkers are not limited to those who are trying to have a "good time" like most college students, but also those who drink because they are stressed, depressed or have nothing else to do. No matter the situation, drinking can cause extreme damage to the body. People do not think about all the long-term damage drinking alcohol causes. The effects of alcohol on the body include damage to the brain, heart, liver, stomach, skin, reproductive organs and weight (Goodman par 3).Steady drinking leads to permanent changes in the brain. One of the permanent effects of alcohol on the brain is the reduction of brain tissue and an increase in the size of ventricles of the heart. The heart can be affected because when a person drinks regularly, he begins to lose his appetite and therefore there is a vitamin deficiency. As a result of the deficiency, the pumping action of the heart weakens and heart failure can occur (Goodman par 4).Some of the most serious effects on the body of drinking alcoholic beverages are caused by damage done to the liver. If alcohol is frequently in the blood in large amounts, it causes the liver cells to die and prevents the liver from working efficiently. As for the effects on the stomach, one occasion in which one drinks heavily can irritate the stomach and cause sickness, but the steady drinking of alcohol can lead to a regular incident of an upset stomach The consumption of alcohol causes blood vessels in the skin to widen, resulting in more blood flow close to the surface of the skin. This produces a flushed skin color and a warm feeling (Goodman par 4). This condition is often referred to as the stereotypical term, "drinker's nose.When it comes to the reproductive organs, consuming alcoholic drinks, because alcohol depresses nerve impulses, can harm one's sex life. In men, it can depress those impulses, which cause erections. In women, heavy drinking during pregnancy can harm the fetus. When the baby is born, it may end up having reduced intelligence and also may also have facial deformities. Last but not least, weight is affected by the consumption of alcohol. Drinks containing alcohol have sugar and other carbohydrates causing them to be a good source of energy. Therefore, heavy drinking can cause a serious weight problem due...

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