Problems Caused By Alcohol
Both alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence can cause many different types of problems that can disrupt a person’s life. They include health, emotional, social, work or school, and financial problems
The short-term effects of alcohol on the body include:
lack of coordination and judgment;
Long-term problems because the whole body is affected. Some of these problems can lead to death. These include:
Heart disease: high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, heart damage, heart failure
Cancer (mainly in conjunction with the cancerous effects of other substances, such as cigarette smoke);
Liver problems: liver damage, hepatitis, cirrhosis, cancer;
Problems of the stomach, lungs, kidneys, skin, muscle, and bones;
Infections (alcohol suppresses the immune system.);
Mental disorders: problems with attention, learning, and memory; depression; mood swings; anxiety disorders;
Impotence and infertility in men.
Women who drink while pregnant have an increased chance of miscarriage. Babies of mothers who drink may be born at a low birth weight and with physical, mental, and behavioral problems. Many of these problems last into adulthood.
Consumption of alcohol also effects our environment. Many accidents occur in the world due to Drink Driving.
But how does this effect our environment?
Well on many occasions cars have collided trees and woodlands. Not only is the tree affected but also so is the grass around that area and any other living organism around that area.
Another example of how alcohol damages the environment is when cars collide with each other.
In this instance fluids from the car can be leaked onto the roadway. That road is then soaked with rain. That rain drains into soil and contaminates it or the rain drains into the sewer, which is then recycled into the water supply for people and animals to drink. This is the same water that you water your, fruit, vegetables, and flowers with. It is also the same water that farmer's water their crops with which are then sold to you at the grocery store. This leaves, fruits, vegetables, and most importantly water contaminated.
Figures and Facts
In the United Kingdom on average 3000 people die every year due to drink driving.
Every month 250 people die due to drink driving.
Every week 63 people die due to drink driving.
Every day in the united Kingdom atleast 9 people die due to drink driving.
Alcohol is a general term for a class of chemical compounds. When referring to alcohol as a drink, it means a liquid made by fermenting sugar and plant materials to form an intoxicating drink. It belongs to the group of drugs called 'depressants'. Depressant drugs do not necessarily make you feel 'depressed'. Rather, they slow down the activity of the central nervous system. They slow down the messages going to and from the brain and the body. What is a standard drink?
A standard drink contains 10 grams of alcohol and takes a healthy liver one hour to remove from the body. The following table gives a guideline for drinking alcohol.
more than 6
more than 4
THE HARMFUL AFFECTS OF ALCOHOLON THE BRAIN AND CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM
Alcohol is a depressant, which slows down the central nervous system and can cause drowsiness, relieve pain and induce sleep.
ON THE LUNGS
- Lowered resistance to infection.
ON THE LIVER
- Chronic heavy drinking may cause alcoholic hepatitis (inflammation and destruction of liver cells) and then cirrhosis (irreversible lesions, scarring, and destruction of liver cells). Impairs the liver's ability to remove yellow pigment, and skin appears yellow (jaundice).
REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM – Male and Female
- Sexual functioning can be impaired and deteriorate, resulting in impotence and infertility, sometimes irreversible. Females also have a high risk of developing breast cancer.
- Weakens the heart muscle and ability to pump blood (Cardiomyopathy).
Due to lower phosphate, muscles become weaker and atrophy; pain, spasms and tenderness.
- Irritation and damage of esophagus lining, induces severe vomiting, haemorrhaging, pain and difficulty swallowing. Can contribute to throat cancer.
- Alcohol interferes with the body's ability to absorb calcium, resulting in bones being weak, soft, brittle and thinner (Osteoporosis).
What alcohol does to your mind and body?
The immediate effects of alcohol on the human body are fairly apparent, but have you ever thought about the other side-effects? We don't just mean headaches and nausea - alcohol is thought to be highly calorific and can pose long term threats to our health.
It's just a question of maths! Approximately 3,500 calories will produce one pound of fat. Alcohol is full of calories, so, two or three G&Ts a day for four weeks will fatten you up by about 4lbs.
Number of calories
1 pint of beer or lager
180 - 300
1 vodka and orange
1 gin and tonic
1 whisky and dry ginger
1 rum and coke
1 glass of white wine
Even worse news is that alcohol has no essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
Mind and emotions
Alcohol is a drug that depresses the brain. We all know the cheeriness that can come with the first drink, but alcohol can actually cause severe depression. 'Letting go', another effect which can initially be pleasant, gets some of us into difficulties, because when our petty or angry side gets exaggerated by alcohol, friendships or marriages can be threatened.
Does alcohol improve sex? Alcohol can certainly increase our desire and, by reducing tension, enhance our enjoyment. In men however, large doses of alcohol block the nerves necessary for erection. If this happens once or twice, a man can become worried about his sexual ability - which is a sure way to impair erections from then on - unless confidence is re-established with a sympathetic partner. In addition, the loss of inhibition that accompanies alcohol intake can lead to a failure to consider the need to practice safe sex, by using a condom. Not using a condom has potentially devastating consequences - whether it is an unwanted pregnancy or a sexually transmitted disease such as Chlamydia or HIV.
Hidden physical effects
Some effects of alcohol on the body are obvious - such as a deterioration in complexion, and the nausea and headache that can accompany a hangover. However, if you are a heavy drinker, think about what you are doing to the parts of your body that you can't see. Liver disease is one of the more common diseases linked with a high alcohol intake - it can cause varicose veins in the stomach lining which may have been swelling up due to liver blockage to suddenly burst, and the bleeding can be very difficult to stop. Only a blood test can really reveal when the liver is under strain.
According to some research studies, a moderate alcohol intake (one drink per day) is associated with less risk of heart disease. This applies to all forms of alcohol and not simply to red wine, as is popularly believed. So, should someone start drinking just to reduce the risk of heart disease? This question is commonly posed to doctors. The answer is still no: there are many ways to powerfully reduce the risk of heart disease, and alcohol should probably not be used as a medication. However, this is an important individual issue and you should discuss it with your GP. Researchers also believe that all types of alcohol reduce the risk of coronary heart disease (at least in part) by reducing serum levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Alcohol also raises the HDL (good) cholesterol, which could play some role in protecting against heart disease. And, red wine is thought to have some beneficial antioxidant properties - but again, this is a topic of some debate.
Alcohol affects us in a wide variety of ways, which we’ll try and give you an insight into here. If you want any more detail, be sure to visit our fact sheet page, where we examine individual health issues in more detail.
When you drink alcohol, several things happen. After one or two drinks you may feel more at ease and more talkative – this happens as the alcohol gets into the brain and affects your cognition or thinking.
Physically, your heart rate can speed up and you may feel a warm glow. This is caused by alcohol in the blood making small blood vessels in the skin expand, allowing more blood to flow closer to the surface and lowering blood pressure at the same time.
The short term effects of alcohol
While drinking within the Government’s suggested guidelines has minimal detrimental effect on health, there is several health risks associated with drinking too much alcohol.
These include anxiety, sexual difficulties such as impotence, slowed breathing and heartbeat, impaired judgement leading to accidents and injuries, loss of consciousness, suffocation through choking on your own vomit and potentially fatal alcohol poisoning.
Drinking heavily also increases your calorie intake, and it is frequently associated with obesity. There are 125 calories in a medium-sized (175ml) glass of wine and over 500 in a bottle, the same as in a large hamburger!
Your ability to process alcohol can also decrease with age. The precise mechanism is not known, but it may be because the water content in your body has decreased, so when you drink, there is a higher concentration of alcohol in your blood.
The morning after
If you have drunk heavily the night before, you’ll almost certainly wake up with a hangover. Alcohol irritates the stomach, so heavy drinking can cause sickness and nausea and sometimes diarrhoea. Alcohol also has a dehydrating effect, which is why excessive drinking can lead to a thumping headache the morning after.
Being hungover is not a beauty aid. It dries out your skin, and if you drink heavily you may develop rosacea, a skin disorder that starts with a tendency to blush and flush easily and can progress to facial disfiguration, a condition known as rhinophyma.
Alcohol is a depressant, not a stimulant. You may wonder what you did the night before, feel guilty or low.
The hangover may fade, but if you drink over the Government’s guideline amounts regularly you are putting your health at risk. Either on its own or in conjunction with other factors, alcohol is estimated to be responsible for at least 33,000 deaths in the UK each year.
Rates of liver disease are falling in the rest of Europe, but are rising in the UK. Liver disease has traditionally affected drinkers in middle age, but now sufferers are getting younger. Up to one in three of the adult population is drinking enough alcohol to create a risk of developing alcohol-related liver disease.
Alcohol misuse is also an important cause of oral cancer. Alcohol is second only to smoking as a risk factor for oral and digestive tract cancers. Recent evidence has suggested that this is because alcohol breaks down into a substance called acetaldehyde, which can bind to proteins in the mouth. This can trigger an inflammatory response from the body, the most severe of which is the development of cancerous cells.
Alcohol can lead to infertility for both men and women, in men, booze destroys the sperm-producing cells in the testicles, and drinking regularly can affect sperm count and the quality of the sperm.
Other health risks
Consuming larger amounts of alcohol increases blood pressure. This puts a strain on blood vessels and is a major risk factor for stroke. Cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal heart beating) caused by regular heavy drinking or binge drinking can increase the likelihood of clots forming and lodging in blood vessels in the brain.
Other health risks include osteoporosis (thinning of the bones), pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), stomach ulcers, heart disease, dementia and other brain damage.
Alcohol is frequently associated with mental health problems. A recent British survey found that people suffering from anxiety or depression were twice as likely to be heavy or problem drinkers.
Self-harm and alcohol appear to be linked. In 2006, a survey was carried out among 3,004 self-harm patients at Scottish accident and emergency departments. It found that 62% of males and 50% of females reported consuming alcohol immediately before or while self-harming, and 27% of men and 19% of the women cited alcohol as the reason for self-harming.
Extreme levels of drinking (defined as more than 30 units per day for several weeks) can occasionally cause ‘psychosis’, a severe mental illness where hallucinations and delusions of persecution develop. Psychotic symptoms can also occur when very heavy drinkers suddenly stop drinking and develop a condition known as ‘delirium tremens’.
Heavy drinking can lead to work and family problems, which in turn can lead to isolation and depression. For heavy drinkers who drink daily, there can be withdrawal symptoms (nervousness, tremors, palpitations) which resemble severe anxiety, and may even cause phobias, such as a fear of going out.
With such a raft of problems associated with excessive drinking the need to manage your consumption is vitally important. The good news is that for most people that just requires being more aware, and using simple techniques such as spacers, days off and avoiding buying rounds in pubs. Much better than to reach a point where your body tells you it’s had enough.
Our energy is the result of our foods intake being broken down to bits and pieces through our body digestive system and being subjected to a rather complex biochemical process to produce sugar in the form of glucose that fuels the energy of our body.
This process by which our body produces energy is called metabolism. Our body has different metabolism, depending on the nutrients. We have carbohydrates metabolism, fats metabolism, and protein metabolism.
Drinking alcohol will give a negative effect on the metabolism of the body particularly to the aspect of fats metabolism.
The amount of energy that fats can give to your body through the process of metabolism is limited by the effects of alcohol that you take in your body.
The ability of your body to bring on lipid oxidation or the burning of fats will be greatly hindered by even just a small amount of alcohol. This was the findings of researchers and as published in the American Journal of Clinical Research.
Further research on this matter revealed that when alcohol passes through the liver, acetate is formed. And the body, instead of burning fats for energy will burn the acetate instead of fats.
The other bad effect of alcohol in the body is that it prevents the proper processing of vitamins and minerals which are needed in the natural function of metabolism.
This is because of the process by which the liver converts alcohol to acetate. During this stage, minerals and vitamins that are supposed to be processed by the liver will be over shadowed by the system of detoxification and would be wasted through this process.
When you urinate after several bottles of intoxicating alcoholic drinks, magnesium and calcium will be excreted from your body through your urine because of alcohol.
These two nutrients are needed by your body to function properly. Added to this will be the fact that alcohol will aggressively compete with other food nutrients to get absorbed into the bloodstream, thus preventing these nutrients from being metabolized.
Indeed, drinking alcohol is very bad for the body. So please, do not drink alcoholic drinks – your metabolism will be much better off without alcohol.
Women and alcohol
For women, alcohol consumption can have a detrimental effect upon their chance of conceiving, although the links are not as clearly established as in men. For example, it has not been conclusively proven exactly how much alcohol women can drink before their ability to conceive is reduced. However, there is evidence that increasing levels of alcohol consumption can also disrupt menstrual cycles, and increase the risk of miscarriage.
If alcohol is drunk during pregnancy, it can pass through the placenta and damage the foetus. Children of mothers who drink very heavily in pregnancy can be affected by foetal alcohol spectrum disorders, whose effects may include physical, mental, behavioural, and/or learning disabilities with potential lifelong implications.
Drinking heavily can also lead to an increased risk of a variety of cancers, including breast cancer and cancer of the gullet.
Alcohol During pregnancy
Alcohol is sure to harm the developing baby, though no body knows for sure the extent of damage. It is always advisable for pregnant women to play it safe by keeping away from alcohol during those crucial nine months. Steering clear of alcohol is indeed the wisest option to make, if you are really concerned about your baby’s health.
It is not practical to decide on a safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. This level will vary from one woman to another. The rate in which the body of each pregnant woman metabolizes alcohol is different. The impact of alcohol drinking is found to be more in women who are exposed to cigarette smoke and ‘caffeinated’ drinks. Pregnant women who take in an improperly balanced or poorly nutritional diet are also found to be more prone to the harmful hazards of alcohol.
As a pregnant woman drink alcohol, it reaches the developing baby within no time through the blood stream, across the placenta. Women who are exposed to intensified alcohol consumption, such as more than two units of alcohol per day, are more likely to give birth to kids suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Children with this syndrome are likely to be retarded, both mentally and physically. They are also more vulnerable to behavioural disorders and coronary ailments.
Babies born to women who take in more than two units of alcohol a day during the pregnant months are also likely to face troubles in learning speech and imbibing language. While some kids with the syndrome find it difficult to focus their attention for long, some others are hyperactive.
If you simply cannot avoid the beverage, however hard you try, it is advisable to consult your gynaecologist and try replacing alcohol with an occasional glass of wine or beer. You can also try experimenting other stress-relief measures such as a warm bath, soft music, a massage, exercise etc.
For those who might think drinking during pregnancy is no big deal, here is a list of the potential problems their newborns could be facing as a result, according to Missouri Department of Mental Health, Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse:
· Small body size and weight
· Slower than normal development and failure to "catch up."
· Deformed ribs and sternum
· Curved spine and hip dislocations
· Bent, fused, webbed, or missing fingers or toes
· Limited movement of joints
· Small head
· Facial abnormalities
· Small eye openings
· Skin webbing between eyes and base of nose
· Drooping eyelids
· Failure of eyes to move in same direction
· Short upturned nose
· Sunken nasal bridge
· Flat or absent groove between nose and upper lip
· Thin upper lip
· Opening in roof of mouth
· Small jaw
· Low-set or poorly formed ears
· Organ deformities
· Heart defects or heart murmurs
· Genital malformations
· Kidney and urinary defects
· Central nervous system handicaps
· Small brain
· Faulty arrangement of brain cells and connective tissue
· Mental retardation -- occasionally severe
· Learning disabilities
· Short attention span
· Irritability in infancy
· Hyperactivity in childhood
· Poor body, hand, and finger coordination
No, it's not a pretty picture, but it is not intended to be. It's very serious. These effects are not temporary; they can cause a lifetime of physical and emotional pain --not to mention expense. FAS is a large price to pay for a few drinks during pregnancy.
If you are pregnant, don't take a chance with your baby's future; stop drinking immediately. If you have tried to stop and find that you just cannot seem to give it up, help and support are available.
If you are pregnant and drinking, your unborn child is not the only one at risk. Research shows that women who drink face more health problems than men who drink the same amount.
9 Main reasons why not to take drugs
1. Drugs mess with your mind
Drug use can cause loss of memory, can slow your thinking time. Drug use gives you the impression that you are more alert and aware, but under the influence of drugs you are actually less aware, and less alert.
Drug use can cause people to change their thinking and can bring about a complete change in personality, mostly for the worse. Since drug residues can remain in the body for many years after they were taken, the effect on the mind can last a long time.
2. Drugs mess with your body
Drugs are poisonous and cannot only make you terribly ill but an overdose can easily kill you.there are many diseases you can catch from taking drugs. Here are a few:
Due to your body's supply of vitamins and minerals being used up by the drugs, you become more prone to diseases. Many drug users suffer from malnutrition as a result of their habit.
3. Drugs mess with your wallet
Drugs can reduce your ability to do many things and therefor in most cases loose an individual's job.
The more competent a person is in a job, the more likely that such a person will earn a higher salary. However a person under the influence of drugs is quite likely to make expensive mistakes and be incompetent.
Also, a drug addiction can be extremely expensive (up to hundreds of pounds per day!) and this is why crime is the ideal thing for many addicts. Don't waste your money. Drugs are the ultimate betrayer - you pay big money to destroy yourself.
4. Drugs mess with your travel plans
Countries such as Japan, Canada and USA and many others will not allow anyone convicted of drug offences
With a Criminal record you wont be bale to work or go anywhere abroad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
5. Drugs mess with your life
Drug use can destroy your life for good. Here is what it can do and cause:
a life of crime,
a criminal record,
hurting those you love,
a prison sentence
6. Drugs mess with the planet
Many drugs are grown in Third World countries. The drug barons involved cut down forests for space to grow the drugs, thus destroying the natural habitat for thousands of creatures and upsetting the ecological balance.
It is true that natural forests are cut down for constructive reasons by legitimate companies, but there are laws in place which compel those companies to plant new forest as replacements. Drug criminals, needless to say, ignore these and all other laws. Buying and taking drugs encourages more natural forest to be destroyed.
7. Drugs mess with society
Drugs are sold by criminals who manufacture them as well. Their only interest is the money and they have no regards to the effects that these drugs have on the people taking them. These criminals terrorise ordinary people and society, using violence against anyone who tries to stop them. They establish a social environment where there is no respect for law & order, only respect for violence. This generates fear, suspicion and misery in our communities. This destabilises society and could lead to its dissolution.
Buying and taking drugs supports this criminal structure
8. Drugs mess with your love life and fertility.
There is evidence that the abuse of drugs can lead to impotence in males. In females it can have an effect on unborn children. Babies that are born to mothers who are drug addicts are more likely to be underweight and have serious complications.
Drugs can have an immense effect on a drug takers appearance
9. Drugs mess with your hopes and dreams.
Drug addicts, when craving their next fix, often do not care about anything other than getting the drugs to get their high from it. Nothing else is taken into consideration and every aspect of normal human behaviour is ignored by this compulsion. Everyone has hopes and dreams for the future, but for addicts those hopes and dreams only focus down to where the drug fix is coming from. Hopes and dreams for the future of drug addicts? Only misery and a nightmare for addicts
1) Every year due to smoking hundred and thousands of people die around the world.
2) One in two lifetime smokers will die from their habit. Half of these deaths will occur before the age of 45.
3) Tobacco smoke also contributes to a number of cancers.
4) The mixture of nicotine and carbon monoxide in each cigarette you smoke temporarily increases your heart rate and blood pressure, straining your heart and blood vessels.
5) Which can then cause heart attacks and strokes. It slows your blood flow, cutting off oxygen to your feet and hands. Because of this many smokers end up having their limbs amputated.
6) Tar coats your lungs like soot in a chimney and causes cancer. A 20-a-day smoker breathes in up to a full cup (210 g) of tar in a year.
(On the left a healthy lung and on the right a smokers lung)
7) Changing to low-tar cigarettes does not help because smokers usually take deeper puffs and hold the smoke in for longer, dragging the tar deeper into their lungs.
8) Carbon monoxide robs your muscles, brain and body tissue of oxygen, making your whole body and especially your heart work harder. Over time, your airways swell up and let less air into your lungs.
9) Smoking causes disease and is a slow way to die. The strain of smoking effects on the body often causes years of suffering. Emphysema is an illness that slowly rots your lungs. People with emphysema often get bronchitis again and again, and suffer lung and heart failure.
10) Lung cancer from smoking is caused by the tar in tobacco smoke. Men who smoke are ten times more likely to die from lung cancer than non-smokers.
11) Heart disease and strokes are also more common among smokers than non-smokers.
12) Smoking causes fat deposits to narrow and block blood vessels which leads to heart attack.
13) One in five deaths from heart disease is caused by smoking.
In younger people, three out of four deaths from heart disease are due to smoking.
14) Cigarette smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of low birth weight, prematurity, spontaneous abortion, and perinatal mortality in humans, which has been referred to as the fetal tobacco syndrome.