Alcohol and its Effects

Better Essays
Alcohol and its Effects
Rachael Wade
Ivy Tech Community College

Alcohol and its Effects Alcohol can be a very harmful substance. Alcohol can be abused, and people can get addicted to it like any other drug. It can impair coordination and judgment as well as a lot of other things. Alcohol can also have long term effects on the organs in the body. It can affect people psychologically as well as behaviorally. Many deaths that occur each day are caused by alcohol. Consuming alcohol affects a lot of things that people do not realize. Psychoactive drugs affect the nervous system (Seymour & Smith, 2013). These types of drugs affect consciousness and moods. Types of psychoactive drugs include depressants, stimulants, and hallucinogens (King, 2013). Alcohol is a depressant that affects the central nervous system causing decreased blood pressure and heart rate (Grunberg, Berger, & Hamilton, 2011). Depressants mainly slow down, or depress, the activity in the brain. Alcohol stimulates dopamine neurons in the VTA or the ventral tegmental area of the midbrain (Olsen, 2011). The VTA and the NAc (nucleus accumbens-olfactory tubercle complex) make up the dopamine reward circuit, which reinforces the effects of drugs (Olsen, 2011). This reinforcement makes the user feel good, and they associate alcohol with this pleasurable feeling. Other areas of the body besides the brain are affected by alcohol consumption. Some major organs it can affect include the heart, stomach, and the liver. Frequent use of alcohol is a major cause of cardiomyopathy, which is a chronic disease of the heart (Manzo-Avalos & Saavedra-Molina, 2010). The muscles of the heart become flaccid and can even degenerate. If the heart muscles are weakened, this means the heart isn’t working correctly, and the heart cannot pump blood through the body as efficiently as it should. When alcohol is consumed, it is absorbed fairly quickly in the stomach and gastrointestinal tract. Alcohol can



References: Chey, W. Y. (2009). Alcohol and gastric mucosa. Digestion, 7(3-4), 239-251. Grunberg, N. E., Berger, S. S., & Hamilton, K. R. (2011). Stress and drug use.The handbook of stress science: Biology, psychology, and health, 287-300. Johnson, B. A. (2010). Medication treatment of different types of alcoholism.The American journal of psychiatry, 167(6), 630. King, Laura A. (2013). Experience psychology. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Kumada, T., Komuro, Y., Li, Y., Littner, Y., & Komuro, H. (2011). Neuronal Cell Migration in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. In Handbook of Behavior, Food and Nutrition (pp. 2915-2930). Springer New York. Manzo-Avalos, S., & Saavedra-Molina, A. (2010). Cellular and mitochondrial effects of alcohol consumption. International journal of environmental research and public health, 7(12), 4281-4304. Modig, F., Fransson, P Olsen, R. W. (2011). Extrasynaptic GABAA receptors in the nucleus accumbens are necessary for alcohol drinking. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(12), 4699- 4700. Rehm, J., Shield, K. D., Joharchi, N., & Shuper, P. A. (2012). Alcohol consumption and the intention to engage in unprotected sex: systematic review and meta‐analysis of experimental studies. Addiction, 107(1), 51-59. Seymour, R. B., & Smith, D. E. (2013). Guide to Psychoactive Drugs. Routledge. Spanagel, R. (2009). Alcoholism: a systems approach from molecular physiology to addictive behavior. Physiological reviews, 89(2), 649-705. Verrill, C., Markham, H., Templeton, A., Carr, N. J., & Sheron, N. (2009). Alcohol‐related cirrhosis—early abstinence is a key factor in prognosis, even in the most severe cases. Addiction, 104(5), 768-774.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Effects of Alcohol

    • 308 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Alcohol and Driving Alcohol is a depressant that affects your vision, coordination, reaction time, multitasking ability, judgment, and decision-making. How can you drive safely if you can’t see, think, and move around well and react quickly? Alcohol affects your ability to identify dangerous situations and make good decisions when you know danger is ahead, and it slows your reaction time even if you do make a good decision. In addition, having alcohol in the body while you’re driving messes up your…

    • 308 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Effects of Alcohol

    • 646 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Effects of alcohol Cause and Effect Paper, Final Draft Causes and Effects of Alcoholism The causes and effects of alcoholism on society are far-reaching, tragic, and hard to deny. One of the many definitions of alcoholism is a primary, chronic disease with genetic and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. Harmful consequences from this dangerous addiction include the eventual inability of the addicted to be a productive member of society; liver and brain…

    • 646 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Effects of Alcohol

    • 965 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Effects of Alcohol Alcohol can have some good benefits and then some bad ones, for example when you drink you can encounter yourself having a good time laughing and joking around with your friends, or you can find yourself angry wanting to argue and start fights with everybody. If you’re a “happy drunk” you probably don’t have bad alcoholism in your family, and you can control your drinking with the attitudes it may drag along. While on the other hand if you’re an “angry drunk” you may not be…

    • 965 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Effects of Alcohol

    • 834 Words
    • 4 Pages

    There are many opinions that have been put across regarding alcohol consumption. Some are biased while others are based on either prejudice or beliefs. However the truth is that alcohol has its own merits and demerits. Every drinker has already at least some of the short term alcohol effects like a hangover or a bad night’s sleep. Long term effects are usually experienced when it is quite late. Heavy drinking results to a staggering walk, indistinct words and memory lapses. Upon drinking, one…

    • 834 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The Effects of Alcohol

    • 352 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Renata Martin 09/02/2014 PSYC 108 Writing for the Behavioral Sciences Instructor: Amy Parmenter Barber, Psy. D. The Effects that Alcohol Plays on the Brain Alcoholism is still one of the major health problems in the Western Society. Most of us have witnessed the outward signs of heavy drinking and intoxication: the staggering walk, slurred speech and memory lapses. People who have been drinking tend to have trouble finding their balance, judgment…

    • 352 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Better Essays

    Effects of alcohol

    • 1520 Words
    • 5 Pages

    U.S. Corporate Taxes and Reform The current U.S. corporate income tax system has many flaws and with the correct changes the United States budget deficit could transform into a surplus. There are two clear flaws in the current corporate income tax policy. The first is the high tax rate corporations pay in the U.S.; taxes on corporate income are currently at 35%. This burden causes businesses to avoid operating here and the cost is thousands of domestic employment opportunities. The next…

    • 1520 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Alcohol Introduction Alcohol as a drug is consumed in many societies across the globe by people of many ages. As such, it is important to cover this drug because it has a huge impact in the society. Alcohol abuse is very common especially among teenagers. It is sad that most people do not know the dangers that are associated with binge drinking. This paper aims to discuss different aspects of alcohol ranging from its classification, it side effects, and the psychological effects it has on the brain…

    • 995 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Negative Effects of Alcohol Team Two University of Phoenix Negative Effects of Alcohol Many alcohol consumers only think about the positive effects of consuming alcohol, the pleasurable time they will have with their friends. Little do they know, about the negative effects alcohol carries with it. This research will discus the negative effects alcohol has regarding: addiction, genetics, health, family, and advertisement. “Alcohol addiction is a physiological dependence on alcohol” (National…

    • 2220 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Drinking alcohol is like taking a drug. It is a form of drug abuse, and drug addiction. This is a worldwide problem that many people are involved in. There are good effects of alcohol if it is in small amounts, and in moderation. On the other hand there are bad short and long term effects. The effects that a person will get are all based on certain factors like, how much and how often alcohol is consumed, the age of the person, when the person started and how long they have been drinking for, gender…

    • 976 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    BIO103 Environmental Biology – Effects of Alcohol on Human Coordination Introduction: Alcohol is known to produce many chronic abnormalities that are attributable to parietal lobe dysfunction. The self becomes aware of the body being a distant object but it feels a strange attachment feeling (Miller et al, 1991). Considerable laboratory research indicates that different levels of alcohol consumption contributes to overall behavioural and cognitive functions and therefore the reason for carrying…

    • 1275 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays