Legal Drugs? The Problems Of Alcohol

2023 words - 8 pages

Heroin, Cocaine, and Marijuana are all recognizable variations of drugs. “A drug is a chemical substance that affects the central nervous system, causing changes in behavior and often addition” (“American” 431). The affects a drug can have on the central nervous system as well as other parts of the body can be very devastating, but bodily damage is just one result of drug use. When a person abuses a drug it can cause them to act in a way that hurts themselves or others often resulting in problems at work, marital issues, child abuse, or even murder. Most drugs are illegal because of the harmful effects that can result from using and abusing them; however, one very powerful, extremely addictive drug has slipped through the cracks. This drug is alcohol. “Alcohols ability to alter body function, as well as, its potential to cause addiction, has led to its classification as a drug”. (Mitchell 9). Although it is legal in most countries, like all drugs it can do serious damage if it is not used properly. The key phrase here is “used properly”, which most people do not. With all the problems associated with alcohol, there should be stricter laws and harsher punishments for people who abuse alcohol.
There are two types of dependency related to drug abuse: physical and psychological. Alcohol is no different. When a person is physically dependent on alcohol, also known as an alcoholic, the person’s body needs the alcohol and can not function normally without it. Alcholism is characterized by cravings, loss of control, and tolerance (the need for more and more alcohol). Alcoholics may show symptoms of withdrawal as well. This includes nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety. “An alcoholic will continue to drink despite serious family, health, or legal problems” (Nakaya 117). It is a chronic disease, meaning that it lasts a person’s lifetime. Although alcoholism is a very serious disease, someone who is psychologically dependent, also known as a problem drinker, can be even worse. “A person can abuse alcohol without actually being an alcoholic- that is, he or she may drink too much and too often but still not be dependent on alcohol”(Nakaya 120). “Problem drinkers are four times more numerous than alcoholics, are more active in society, and usually reject abstinence as a solution” (Wilson 70-71). Even though a problem drinker is not necessarily physically addicted to alcohol they still create problems for themselves by abusing alcohol such as DWI arrests, being late for work, or marriage problems. “Approximately 53 percent of men and women in the United States report that one or more of their close relatives has a drinking problem” (Mitchell 22). Alcohol abuse and alcoholism cut across gender, race, and nationality. In the United States, 17.6 million people – about 1 in every 12 adults – abuse alcohol or are alcohol dependent” (Nakaya 120). Regardless if someone is physically or psychologically dependent, he or she will do almost...

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