Alcohol is one of the most widely used drugs in this society. It is
accepted as a part of social life. Its use is widely promoted via sponsorship of
sporting events. Advertising infers that drinking is the path to happiness,
success, romance, etc. There are references to alcohol and its effects from
earliest known writings. Alcohol is consumed in the beverage form and sold
legally in this state to persons over 21.
Alcohol is absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the stomach
and small intestine. It is distributed by the blood throughout the body,
affecting literally every organ it touches in a matter of minutes. Enzymes in
the liver metabolize alcohol at a rate of 10-15 ml (less than one half ounce)
per hour. Hence, only time can sober someone up. Coffee, cold showers, or
exercise do not work.
The warm glow of disinhibition, "letting go" is a major desired effect
of alcohol. People feel more sociable and talkative with small amounts of the
drug. Alcohol is a relaxant, so many people drink to unwind from the demands of
life. Because alcohol has been around for so long, its effects are well-known.
Two key concepts to understand in dealing with alcohol use and abuse are
impairment and tolerance. They are both problems in themselves and signals of
possible additional difficulties.
IMPAIRMENT refers to the deficits in performance, judgment, memory, and
motor skills which occur because of alcohol consumption. Impairment becomes
noticeable at blood levels of 0.05%, which can occur when as few as two drinks
are consumed in an hour by a 160 pound person. The deceptive part about
impairment is that, by definition, impaired judgment cannot recognize its own
impairment. The individual thinks he or she is functioning well, when actually
s/he is not. Later, there is impaired memory of the impaired performance.
TOLERANCE means that a drug loses some of its effect with repeated use,
and that higher... [continues]
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(1999, 10). Psychodelic Drugs. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 1999, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Psychodelic-Drugs-1052.html
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"Psychodelic Drugs." StudyMode.com. 10, 1999. Accessed 10, 1999. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Psychodelic-Drugs-1052.html.