Topics: Drug addiction, Addiction, Heroin Pages: 8 (1892 words) Published: April 26, 2014

What is Alcohol and Drug Abuse?

Derek Williams

This paper will discuss what alcoholism and drug abuse is, what the different types of drug abuse are, what the causes of alcoholism and drug abuse are, and how it is determined. It will also explain the history of, and what are the treatments of alcohol and drug abuse. People abuse substances such as drugs, alcohol, and tobacco for varied and complicated reasons, but it is clear that our society pays a significant cost. Use and abuse of substances such as cigarettes, alcohol, and illegal drugs may begin in childhood or the teen years. Certain risk factors may increase someone's likelihood to abuse substances. Drug abuse is related to an individual not being able to cope with everyday social situations and personal relationships, the reinforcing qualities of drugs, peer influences, and expectations of the drugs effect. Many drugs can be rated on a stimulation to depression scale according to their effects on the central nervous system. Addictive drugs increase dopamine activity in the medial forebrain bundle and nucleus accumbens, stimulating the frontal cortex and giving rise to intensified feeling of pleasure.

The number one thing that affects a person with an alcohol or drug problem is denial. The denial is used as an unconscious defense mechanism to control anxiety by denying the existing troublesome behaviors. Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug. Alcoholism is defined as a chronic, progressive behavioral disorder characterized by a strong urge to consume alcohol beverages without limits to the amount being drank ("National Institute on Alcohol Abuse”). Drinking becomes too much when it causes or elevates the risk for alcohol-related problems or complicates the management of other health problems. There are different strokes for different folks for the way some individuals mind and body react to alcohol. Depending on many factors, such as age, drinking experience, gender, the amount of food eaten, coexisting conditions, and weight or body mass some individuals tolerance may be greater causing the mind and body react different to the alcohol ("National Institute on Alcohol Abuse”).

According to epidemiologic research, men who drink more than 4 standard drinks in a day (or more than 14 per week) and women who drink more than 3 in a day (or more than 7 per week) are at increased risk for alcohol-related problems ("National Institute on Alcohol Abuse”). It’s a fact that drinking too much can leads to an overdose. An overdose of alcohol happens when a person has a blood alcohol content (BAC) is high enough to produce impairments that becomes a risk to others and themselves. Overdoses can be shown from problems with balance and slurred speech to coma or even death. As blood alcohol content increases, so does how much the alcohol’s effects the person. This state of being is often referred to being drunk or intoxicated. Being drunk makes a person feels sick, and distracts judgment. This can lead to injury from clumsiness, car crashes, leave one vulnerable to sexual assault or other violent acts ("Welcome to NCADD" ). When people continue to drink when they have clear signs of impairments, it can result in a deadly type of overdose called alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning occurs when there is so much alcohol in the bloodstream that areas of the brain controlling life can’t function correctly. Basic function such as breathing, heart rate, and temperature control start to be affected and eventually shuts down in need of medical attention. Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include confusion, trouble with breathing, vomiting, difficulty remaining conscious, seizures, slow heart rate; clammy skin; dulled to no responses, and extremely low body temperature. If a person has alcohol poisoning you should get medical help immediately ("Welcome to NCADD")....
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