In chemistry terms, alcohol is any organic compound where a hydroxyl group (-OH) is bound to a carbon atom from an alkyl. A hydroxyl group is a group consisting of an oxygen and hydrogen atom, bonded by a covalent bond. A covalent bonded is when two non-metals are bonded together. The type of alcohol suitable for consumption is known an Ethanol. Ethanol is a straight-chain alcohol, and its molecular formula is C2H5OH. Ethanol is one of the oldest recreational drugs.
When a person drinks alcohol, it affects the central nervous system as a depressant, which causes a decrease in activity, anxiety, inhibitions and any underlying tension. Alcohol impairs concentration and judgment, even after only a few drinks. The intake of alcohol slows motor skills and clouds thinking. In some instances, when intoxicated, blackouts and memory loss occur because alcohol cuts off the supply of oxygen to the brain. Every time a person becomes intoxicated thousands of brain cells are killed, because of the lack of oxygen. Another harmful occurrence is blood sludging, or when red blood cells clump together. Blood sludging cuts off oxygen from tissues and kills cells. This type of cell loss causes red eyes in the morning, and broken capillaries. Blood sludging is important to recognize because it can lead to hemorrhaging and furthermore, to death.
Alcoholism can be defined as a habitual intoxication or, the prolonged and excessive intake of alcoholic drinks, leading to a breakdown in health and an addiction to alcohol. Symptoms of alcoholism include, but are not limited to: confusion, drinking alone, making excuses to drink, neglecting to eat, not caring for physical appearance, lack of control over drinking and episodes of violence while drinking. Some physical signs of alcoholism are frequent abdominal pain, numbness and tingling, nausea, and shaking upon waking up in the morning. One is considered an alcoholic when he or she develops the following symptoms when they are not able to drink: anxiety, raised temperature, high blood pressure, seizures, nervousness, tremors, and in some cases, death.
Sometimes people can curb their addiction by control practices, and only drinking in moderation. If this method works, then the problem is solved. More often than not, however, people may need to cease drinking altogether cure their addiction. Alcoholism is a drug addiction, and may require controlled detoxification. Detoxification should be practiced in a setting where medicine can be administered, to help with the multitude of symptoms. The process usually takes around a week. After detoxification, it is important that medical tests are performed to check for blood clots and liver problems. Doctors also watch for DT’s (or Delirium tremens) which can appear around 72 hours after the last drink, in the form of hallucinations, sudden mental change, seizures and even death.
Fortunately, there are now medications to help prevent a relapse after such a violent...