What are the dangers of alcohol?

Written by darlene zagata
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What are the dangers of alcohol?
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Excessive alcohol consumption can affect a person's life in many ways. Alcohol can be destructive to one's physical, mental and emotional health. Alcohol can even adversely affect a person's relationships. Alcohol is addictive and can lead a person down a dangerous path.

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Features

People tend to look at alcohol in an acceptable fashion but the fact is that alcohol is a drug albeit a legal drug. It is an addictive drug that people use and abuse every day. People consume alcohol for various reasons, such as to relieve stress, escape from problems or to fit in at social situations. Teenagers may start drinking due to peer pressure. Others drink because they are addicted.

Function

Alcohol increases the risk of various health conditions, such as heart and liver disease. Alcohol works directly on the central nervous system, impairing brain function. Over time, excessive alcohol consumption can destroy brain cells, resulting in various degrees of brain damage.

Effects

Alcohol affects the way people behave. For instance, some people become more violent. This can lead to an increase in crime. People experience a decrease in mental alertness when drinking alcohol and may make poor decisions. Alcohol dulls the senses and alters one's perception of situations and surroundings. Alcohol also affects memory.

Considerations

Alcohol often causes people to shed their inhibitions. This can lead to more promiscuous behaviour. People may have multiple sex partners, which can lead to an increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases. Women who become pregnant can transmit diseases to their unborn children. Women who drink alcohol when pregnant may have babies born with birth defects due to fetal alcohol syndrome.

Significance

People who drink alcohol and drive risk their own lives and the lives of other people. People who drive under the influence of alcohol are not capable of driving with their full mental and physical faculties intact. Alcohol impairs coordination, motor skills and judgment. A person who has consumed even a small amount of alcohol will have slower reflexes and reaction time than one who has not consumed any alcohol. Many lives are lost each year due to drunk drivers.

Potential

People often suffer physical injuries after consuming too much alcohol. The decrease in coordination and mental alertness can cause staggering, swaying and double vision, which may lead to falls and other injuries. Loss of consciousness can lead to head injuries and other serious conditions. Loss of consciousness due to excessive alcohol consumption may also occur when a person is driving, which ultimately leads to an accident.

Warning

Alcohol can cause problems in a person's family life and work situation. People who suffer from alcoholism may have difficulty retaining a job. Friendships and romantic relationships can suffer due to excessive drinking. Family relationships can become strained. Children of alcoholic parents often suffer from low self-esteem and emotional disorders such as anxiety.

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