Can anyone tell me what an alcoholic is? When does a person become an alcoholic? I’m sure you are all aware of the damaging effects of smoking. Why do you think you are aware of these risks? Does any of us really understand the full effects of long-term excessive alcohol consumption? A recent study on the difference between heavy drinking and alcoholism has suggested that alcoholics are more common than we currently believe. The stereotypical image of what an alcoholic looks like, as reflected by common media suggestions could be misleading. Here‘s a test for you. Pick the alcoholic, you have 15 seconds. (test) Believe it or not. any one of these people could be an alcoholic. Alcoholism is a chronic progressive disease that causes a person to lose control over his/her drinking, an alcoholic is commonly believed to be a person who has lost control over their drinking and who is now in personal and social trouble as a result of this.
However. it is now thought to be probable that a person who drinks heavily but who isn‘t in trouble yet. Will ultimately have a drinking problem. How long it takes for it to catch up with them depends upon who they are and what their personal tolerance levels are. No one really knows what causes alcoholism. But experts do agree that the disease’s development is influenced by many aspects such as: hereditary and social, psychological and environmental factors. Today many believe that the most harmful effects of alcohol abuse seen in alcoholics are caused by a build-up of a toxic metabolic by-product of alcohol called acetaldehyde. It is thought that this substance may interact with the brain chemicals to create a physiological need for an alcoholic to continue drinking. It may also cause cell damage to other vital organs which is common in alcoholics. Most Australians are Ill-informed about the long-term damaging effects that excessive alcohol consumption has on the body.
Alcoholics can suffer from sugar diabetes. cirrhosis of the liver, blockage of major arteries, short-term memory loss and other types of brain damage. But in the end it affects the whole body and it is believed that it can shorten life by up to 15 years. Curiously, a strong tolerance for alcohol may predict the development of alcoholism later in life. Young people who are encouraged to “drink their mates under the table“ may have a higher risk of becoming alcoholic than would their peers who cannot and or choose not to drink to excess. One theory is that young people with high early tolerance to alcohol have a neurochemical deficiency, that allows them to drink more alcohol before they begin to feel its intoxicating effects. This way the disease can sneak up on them before they realize what is happening. In fact a high tolerance for alcohol is rewarded by general society and is admired.
If alcohol is taken to relieve stress or anxiety people soon get used to this routine. Gradually their intake of alcohol may have to be increased to produce the desired effect. This will lead to dependence which can then lead to the use of alcohol actually causing the very anxiety or depression it has been used to combat. The exact reason why some people become alcoholics is unknown. Several factors are involved: the individual’s personality; his or her surroundings and the individual’s reaction to alcohol. All societies know and have known how to produce alcohol, Recipes for producing this substance have been dated as far back as the Babylonian times. There is also evidence that some animals even know how to obtain certain types of alcohol by locating and eating fermenting fruits. A recent survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of statistics showed that 13.9% of males and 10.5% of females in Australia have either a moderate or high health risk because of their alcohol intake. Because heavy drinking is socially accepted in Australia and is admired in many circles abuse of the drug can go unnoticed.
We suggest that research be conducted to look more closely at how heavy drinkers lives’ end do they die of alcohol-related problems. If so how frequently? When did the problems begin, and for how long did they drink heavily and function effectively? For how long did they consume large quantities of alcohol? Where is the line between heavy drinking and alcoholism? Whilst guidelines for safe alcohol consumption are now readily available are there guidelines for heavy drinking in place. It is in interesting to note how alcohol is advertised whilst Cigarette advertising is now banned. The smoking lobby really took off when passive smoking evidence became irrefutable. Form the sources that we have looked at we have come to believe that the addictive properties of alcohol are not as widely understood as they could be like those of smoking, This is because so many people appear to be able to drink heavily without it affecting their daily performance. In fact it could be argued that it seems to keep them going. until the physical effects of long-term use on the body stan to take over. This could be because alcohol does effectively relieve the symptoms of anxiety. But as stated earlier this is only temporary, as long-term use and abuse can then inturn cause anxiety and severe depression.