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Causes and Effects of Alcohol

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Gustavo Lopez
March23, 2013
Cause and Effect Essay

Drinking Alcohol

Many cultures use alcohol as a social drink and a way to relax. People also drink alcohol for different causes. For example: loneliness caused by life changes, to face with depression, influence of older friends or parents. The ethyl alcohol or ethanol, in alcoholic drinks such as beer, wine and liquor is a central nervous depressant, which has short-term and long-term effects on the body.

First of all, Loneliness caused by life changes, such as failing health, the death of loved ones or moving to a different home a family history of drinking or alcohol abuse or who spend time with others who drink may be more likely to drink alcohol.
Alcohol and the Body * When you drink alcohol, your bloodstream absorbs the alcohol from your stomach and small intestine. Your liver only metabolizes a small amount of alcohol at a time; the rest continues to flow through your bloodstream. Excess alcohol traveling through the bloodstream depresses the central nervous system, causing symptoms such as drowsiness and slowed reaction time.

Intoxication * If you drink more alcohol than your body can metabolize, you will become intoxicated. Symptoms of intoxication, also called "getting drunk," include poor judgment, slurred speech, loss of balance, feeling of warmth and an increased risk of injury. If you drink too much alcohol at once, you could go into a coma or die. However, these symptoms and their severity differ from person to person; how alcohol affects your body depends upon your age, gender, ethnicity, heredity, physical condition, how quickly you drink alcohol, whether you've eaten food while drinking and whether you've taken prescription drugs or other drugs.
Long-Term Effects * The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that women not exceed one drink per day and men not exceed two drinks per day. Drinking too much alcohol has negative health effects over time. For example, drinking too much increases your risks of some types of cancer, brain damage, and liver damage and immune system problems. It also makes some health problems worse, such as osteoporosis, ulcers, diabetes and high blood pressure. People who abuse alcohol may also have problems at school, work or home, have a higher risk of driving drunk or become physically dependent on alcohol.
* Even moderate drinking isn't safe for everyone. Children, adolescents, pregnant women, people who plan to drive or operate machinery, people who cannot limit their drinking and people taking certain medications should not drink any alcohol. Impairment of motor functions begins at a lower level than the legal limit for intoxication, so it's safest to avoid drinking completely before driving.

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