Alcohol’s Effects on Society and Its People

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Adam White
U.S. Lit
11/8/12
Alcohol’s Effects on Society and Its People
Everyone is faced with the decision of drinking alcohol at some point in their lives. It’s the decision to become educated about alcohol that makes the difference. Alcohol has very few positive sides, while the list of negatives is extensive and covers both physical and mental health. Risk factors of alcohol can affect some more than others. Everyone that drinks will experience alcohol’s negative effects and both short term and long term health risks. Alcohol is a drug that is dangerous to the individual and society around them; If people become educated about alcohol, risk factors will likely decrease. Everyone should understand just exactly what alcohol is, as well as how the body reacts to consumption.

Alcohol is another name for the chemical compound ethanol, which is produced by the fermentation of yeast, sugars, and starches (NIDA). Ethanol is a depressant, meaning that shortly after it is consumed, it will begin to slow down the central nervous system (NIDA). The central nervous system controls functions such as reaction time, balance, and coordination (NHMRC). About one to two minutes after being swallowed, the alcohol is absorbed by the stomach and small intestine and is released throughout the bloodstream (NIDA). Alcohol must pass through the digestive system in order to be filtered. The constant filtration of alcohol in one’s body is the reason why heavy drinkers and binge drinkers increase their risk of alcohol related health issues (NHMRC).

According to The National Health and Medical Research Center, Alcohol’s effects on the brain are felt within about five minutes (NHMRC). Other immediate, or short term side effects of alcohol include drowsiness, loss of balance, poor decision making, poor coordination, slowed reaction time, and slurred speech (NHMRC). With every drink consumed, Blood Alcohol Content, (or BAC) rises depending on the amount of alcohol in...
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