Ethyl Alcohol an Intoxicating Agent
Ethyl alcohol or ethanol is the ingredient that's found in beer, wine, and liquor. These ingredients are responsible for intoxication when consuming these alcoholic beverages. The fermentation of yeast, sugar, and starches are what produces alcohol.
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant or CNS depressant that has an effect on the entire body when consumed. The bloodstream, small intestines and stomach absorbs alcohol very fast when beverages containing alcohol are consumed. There are enzymes in your liver that metabolizes alcohol but can only metabolize and break down alcohol in small quantities at a time. The excess alcohol the liver is unable to metabolize just disperses throughout our body. The effects alcohol has on your body then depends on how much you consumed.
This video talks about how Alcohol effects the body.
Alcohol Consumption Risks
Alcohol intoxication can impair your brain function and motor skills. Heavy consumption of alcohol can increase your risk of certain cancers, strokes, and disease of the liver. Alcohol abuse can lead to dependence and this has been proven time and time again.
Teens and Underage Drinking
The younger the individual is when they start experimenting with alcohol and start drinking the greater their chances are of becoming alcohol dependent. Many young people started out with a few drinks here and there when they were with their friends and in a short amount of time became hooked or alcohol dependent.
There are so many teens that started drinking alcohol before the age of 15 and by the time they were in their early 20s had a drinking problem. Starting out at this young age just increases the likelihood that sometime in their life they will develop an alcohol dependency. If alcoholism runs in their family their chances of forming a dependency toward alcohol is much greater.
Alcohol related deaths due to underage drinking are astounding. Every year around 5 thousand young people under the age of 21 lose their life due to injuries related to alcohol use. Death related injuries due to alcohol abuse in young people are the result of car crashes, drowning's, burns, falls and many other accidental injuries. This is so sad and definitely preventable. Consuming alcohol is a choice and without understanding, information and knowledge these numbers will only increase.
The meaning of Alcohol Dependence and Alcoholism
Alcoholism is a chronic disease that not only affects the user physically but mentally as well. Alcohol dependence is an addictive disorder that not only debilitates the alcoholic emotionally but is followed by the compulsive and uncontrollable need for the substance. Chronic alcoholism destroys your health, relationships with loves one's and friends, and your character. Many alcohol dependent people can't even financially take care of themselves or loved one's because they can't function well enough to keep employed and make a living.
The best way to describe alcohol dependence or alcoholism is through these main effects:
- The individual needs to drink and has a compulsive craving for alcohol.
- The individual can't stop or control their consumption once they start drinking.
- When not drinking and consuming alcohol the individual goes through withdrawal symptoms that include shaking or trembling, nausea and sometimes sweating.
- In order to feel the same affects the individual once had when consuming alcohol, they become tolerant to the substance and need to increase their consumption of alcohol to get 'buzzed, drunk, or high'.
Not everyone who consumes alcohol is an alcoholic or alcohol dependent. Most adults drink in moderation and don't abuse their intake of alcohol. Unfortunately many are though, almost 17.6 million adults have problems with alcohol or are alcoholics in the United States. Not only is alcohol abuse dangerous to the problem drinker but has been proven to be fatal to others that innocently cross their path when they're behind the wheel.
Impaired Driving due to Alcohol Abuse
Life is precious but can be 'gone' in a split second if we're driving careless, irresponsible or operating a motor vehicle while being alcohol impaired. Not only is the impaired driver's life at stake but so is everyone else's. Below are a few statistics from 2008 showing just how true this is.
Every single day in the United States 32 people lose their life in motor vehicle related crashes and an alcohol impaired driver was involved. This breaks down to 1 precious life gone every 45 minutes. The lives lost are pregnant mothers, babies, children, young adults, adult men and women, mothers and fathers, grandparents, relatives, and grandchildren.
There were 11,773 people that lost their lives in 2008 due to alcohol impaired driving. This was about 1/3rd or 32 percent of all the traffic related deaths in the United States. In 2008 of the 1,347 fatalities among children between the ages of 0 and 14 years old, 16 percent or 1 out of every 6 deaths involved an alcohol impaired driver. 216 children who were passengers in 2008 were aged 14 years and younger and lost their lives in crashes involving alcohol impaired driving and about half of them were riding in the vehicle with the impaired driver.
More than 1.4 million drivers were arrested in 2008 because they were driving under the influence of either alcohol or narcotics. Unfortunately there are many people operating motor vehicles daily that not only drive alcohol impaired but have abused drugs as well.
Alcohol Dependence and Treatment
Alcohol dependence is a treatable disease. There are Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers throughout the United States that are designed to help the alcoholic work toward recovery. Alcohol Rehabilitation Programs are very effective in treating alcohol dependence not only for those that abuse the substance but family and loved ones benefit as well.
Medically assisted detoxifications programs are necessary sometimes due to chronic alcohol abuse. Alcohol withdrawals can be very dangerous and sometimes life threatening. Medications can be very important during alcohol detoxification, withdrawal or DTs.
12 step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) are extremely beneficial for the alcoholic and have helped thousands of people work toward recovery and sobriety. Support groups like AA are necessary for many people who are alcohol dependent because they not only help themselves but they help each other. Nothing can be more rewarding than that.
Chronic Alcoholics may need Residential Substance Abuse Treatment while working through their addiction. Alcohol Detox Centers many times are necessary for the alcoholic due to the extent of alcohol abuse and severe withdrawal symptoms.
Christian Treatment Centers for drug and alcohol addiction are also available and successful in treating this disease. Christian based treatment centers take a different approach and have made a difference in many lives.
For the alcohol dependent person that's in need of help but can't seem to do it on their own, there's always alcohol intervention programs available ready to help family and friends of the alcoholic see the extent of their addiction and disease. Because of fear, shame, and denial individuals addicted to alcohol or drugs don't see what it's doing to them, let alone you and their loved ones.
Just remember this, not only is life precious but it's short. Make a difference while you're here and help yourself or someone you love. Drinking alcohol is a choice and so is driving impaired or 'drunk'. When you drive impaired, you make a huge difference in someone else's life and they were innocent. Call 1-800-559-9503 and start working toward Recovery today.