Alcohol Misuse: Health-Related Illnesses

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Course Name: Adult Nurse In Diverse Care Setting

Word Count: 2201
Alcohol Misuse
Cohort February 2011 NA201
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Alcohol misuse is a growing concern for the nation. Statistics have shown an increase in cost expenditure to the NHS and an increase in related illness. According to the department of health the effects of alcohol misuse cost the NHS 2.7billion per year. Alternatively the cause of alcohol misuse can harm an individual’s health, destroy families and disrupt a community. In 2010 Nutt implied that compared to drugs, alcohol has a larger impact on society and is lower in price and easier to purchase. The key areas of alcohol misuse depends on the integration of the demographics; social environment; living conditions, ethnicity; and working conditions. Therefore the lifestyle that an individual chooses will affect their health and well being (Townsend, 1979).

In relation to health issues alcohol misuse if not prevented, can lead to many health related illnesses such as the development of cirrhosis of the liver, this is the scarring of tissue and the cells dying on the liver (Brooker, 2011). Alcohol consumption can also lead to different forms of cancer. Such as cancer of the mouth, throat and breasts, this is due to the damage alcohol can cause to the break down in cells (cancer UK, 2009). In order to help with the prevention of alcohol misuse there needs to be an understanding of the attributes that influences an individual to drink; this will provide the information needed to access and evaluate the requirements for prevention. There are different forms of alcohol misuse; the differences will depend on the way an individual drinks and the amount they consume, which will affect the way an individual can function on a day to day basis. Binge drinking can lead to an individual to become potentially violent and aggressive, which can cause the loss of a job and families (Carlson2001). Binge drinking is associated with consuming large amounts of alcohol over a short period of time (BMA, 2008). There are recommended legal drinking guidelines set in place by the government brought out in 1997, to advise the legal quantity of alcohol which should be consumed by males and females. Currently the Alcohol consumption for males is set at 3-4units per day and for females it is 2-3 units of alcohol per day (BMA, 2009). Since these requirements were set, there are many different alcohol beverages with increased volume strengths, which are now available to purchase. Therefore the amounts should now be reviewed and strongly advertised. As noted by the House of Commons, even though the units were changed from weekly to daily amounts in 1995 by 2008 77% of the population were still unaware of what a unit was. More recently, on 27th May 2012 it was reported in The Telegraph that stricter measures are to be taken and bottles of alcohol will have to carry health warnings along with daily consumption limits for men and women, which the government intend on announcing (Hope, 2012).

There are numerous attempts of tackling the misuse of alcohol and the government; department of health and many organisations are working together to prevent the misuse of alcohol and promote the well beings of individuals. So what can be done or what is being done to make an impact on the nation to prevent the rise of alcohol misuse and who are involved? The department of health work alongside the government departments made up of the department of Transport, who implement the driving laws. Involvement is also provided by the education department, who supports and educate teenagers and parents, along with the home office and department of work and pensions.

The government coalition May 2010 was formed and implemented strategies to reduce alcohol consumption. Strategies the government are looking into will be to increase the amount of taxation on alcohol without penalising the pubs, local traders and sensible drinkers (DH....
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