[Solution] ALCOHOL AWARENESS

UNIT 5: RESPONSIBLE LIVING

ALCOHOL AWARENESS

VOCABULARY

compulsive Driven, forced.
consume To eat or drink.
delirium tremens Shaking, convulsions, and hallucinations caused by withdrawal from alcohol addiction.
intoxication Chemically impaired; drunkenness.
ulcers Open sores.

Vocab Arcade

 

Alcohol. Alcohol is the most widely used legal drug. It can be found in beer, wine, and liquor. It is also known as ethanol or ethyl alcohol. From ancient times, this colorless liquid has been created by the fermentation of sugars. Fermentation occurs when yeast is combined with starches found in any vegetable source. The yeast converts the sugar in the starch into ethanol and carbon dioxide. A similar type of conversion happens to the milk in your refrigerator. If milk is allowed to sit on the counter, it will eventually sour by fermentation.

Effects. Alcohol is a depressant that will alter your mood and behavior. Your sense of smell, taste, touch, sight and hearing will be affected also. The effects of alcohol on the body and mind are determined by the amount that is consumed. Drinking small amounts can reduce anxiety, relieve tension and remove inhibitions. Often it makes the drinker more confident and willing to do things he or she normally would not do, especially stupid things. Alcohol slows reflexes so that driving becomes dangerous.

Because alcohol opens small blood vessels, the drinker will feel warm and become flushed. However, body temperature will not rise; it will actually drop as the warm blood in the skin is cooled by the air. Blood circulated to the skin acts like a radiator. That’s why it is not good to give alcohol to a person suffering from the effects of extreme cold, as so many movies mistakenly demonstrate. Alcohol will worsen the condition.

Alcohol in small amounts is not harmful and is socially acceptable almost everywhere in the world. It is one of the freedoms we have to use wisely. Small amounts of alcohol increase the flow of gastric juices in the stomach. This causes an increase in appetite and aids in digestion. Small amounts of alcohol may also lower the risk of heart disease. However, drinking slightly more alcohol can be damaging to the body. Alcohol can cause stomach ulcers and bleeding. It is generally believed that an adult can safely consume one to two “drinks” a day, unless operating a vehicle. A “drink” is a glass of wine, a can of beer or one mixed cocktail. Alcohol is legally prohibited under the age of 21 in the United States because of the damage it can do.

Consuming large amounts of alcohol can cause dehydration, increased thirst, headaches, and a dry mouth. Because alcohol blocks the production of the hormone that helps the body retain a healthy amount of fluids, more urine is produced than normal. Water levels in the body can become dangerously low. A hangover, an unpleasant condition experienced by those that drink too much, is caused by a decrease in the liquids surrounding the brain. Headaches, pain behind the eyes, and nausea are some of the side affects of alcohol abuse.

Intoxication.Intoxication is the formal term used for drunkenness. It takes very little alcohol to produce intoxication. Mental and physical activity is slowed. Depending on the amount of alcohol consumed, a person who is drunk may display a wide range of behavior and mood changes. For example, he or she may act confused or disoriented, may feel sleepy or suddenly become violent. Drunkenness can be treated only by waiting for the alcohol to disappear from the body. Drinking coffee or some other caffeine-containing drink will not rid the body of alcohol.

Alcoholism. Alcoholism is also known as alcohol dependence or addiction. It is a condition characterized by compulsive excessive drinking habits that leads to liver, heart and brain damage and death. Alcohol contributes to half of all motor vehicle accidents. Studies show that there are approximately 5 million people in America that are alcohol dependent. Doctors and scientists believe there are three factors that contribute to the development of alcohol dependency: personality, environment, and the addictive nature of alcohol.

Alcoholism or alcohol dependency is developed over a period of months or years. The first stage of development begins with the ability to drink increasing amounts of alcohol without experiencing bad side effects. As the dependency develops, the drinker begins to lose control over his drinking. He drinks again, knowing it is harmful. The alcoholic is unable to stop drinking. The final and most serious stage is when the drinker becomes drunk and maintains his drunkenness for a long period of time. Because the drinker is physically and psychologically addicted at this point, he will experience withdrawal symptoms if he stops. Withdrawal symptoms are characterized by uncontrollable shaking, hallucinations and convulsions, a condition known as delirium tremens or “the D.T.s.” Alcohol withdrawal can be fatal.

Many health and mental disorders are related to alcohol abuse. Alcohol is a chemical that can have a toxic or poisoning effect on the body. Its repeated and excessive use damages vital organs. Because alcohol has almost no nutritional value but lots of calories, many alcoholics do not get the nutrients their bodies need, which makes them susceptible to sickness and disease. Liver damage, nervous system disorders, heart and circulatory problems, stomach ulcers, deformity of unborn babies and auto accidents are health problems which result from alcohol abuse. Alcohol can kill you quickly or slowly

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