Wine was sanctified by Jesus in the New Testament, and many Roman Catholics still drink wine today as part of their worship. Some religions, like Judaism and Christianity, wanted to keep alcohol sacred, so they made drinking too much alcohol into a sinful act. Soon, home breweries were showing up, and they became taverns and other public places where people could gather to drink.
The making of alcohol, specifically beer, was not modernized until the time of the Renaissance. Science played an important role in forming breweries that could produce high-quality and large amounts of alcohol.
The industrial revolution also brought along steam power and refrigeration, and technology soon allowed for much purer and stronger alcohol, likes gin, brandy and rum. Soon, other countries throughout Europe, like Germany and Britain, created their own unique alcohol. Russian vodka, Scottish whiskey, Mexican tequila and Italian sambuca are a few examples. Today there is even a wider selection to choose from.
These new drinks helped to develop trade between Western Europe and the Far East. Also, as colonies developed in America, European nations produced alcoholic drinks to ship over to the new colonies. This became a very lucrative business. From this, we can trace the origins of alcohol and how our culture became familiar with it.
People continue to use alcohol in rituals and traditions, just like hundreds of years ago. But it has turned into a disease that punishes those who enjoy it too much. The development of alcohol from religious rituals to today, where there are a wide variety of alcoholic drinks, shows how alcohol abuse has increased as well.
Alcoholism has been a continuous problem for centuries due to its harmful effects. In moderation, alcohol is used by some to relax and considered safe. However, misusing alcohol can cause harm not only to the drinker, but also to anyone close to the drinker, and society in general. There are three stages of ingestion that happen once a drink is downed. First, it is quickly absorbed into the blood stream through the cell membranes of the digestive tract. As it passes through the digestive tract, some of is absorbed by the mouth and stomach, and most of it is absorbed by the small intestine.
The amount of food in the stomach affects the rate of absorption. If a drinker has a pint of beer without having dinner first, the absorption rate of the beer will be much faster. The drinker will get drunk much faster, and maybe even vomit. Most of the alcohol is absorbed by the bloodstream within an hour of ingestion. The second stage is distribution.
Once the circulatory system absorbs the alcohol, it is sent out to all parts of the body. Some parts, like the brain, liver and kidney receive larger amounts of alcohol than other parts of the body because they receive more blood.
And the third stage is metabolism. As the alcohol travels throughout the body, enzymes released by the liver metabolize the alcohol. This breaks down the alcohol and turns it into a food source for the body. Most of the alcohol ingested is released through the liver. The effects of alcohol on the liver can be deadly. In large amounts, alcohol can damage major organs, particularly the liver. There are three different alcohol-related liver diseases: Fatty liver disease is one of the first signs that alcohol is being abused.
Fat builds up due to alcohol metabolism. Fatty liver disease can lead to cirrhosis of the liver. When the liver is too damaged from alcohol abuse, scar tissue forms, causing cirrhosis, and eventually causing the liver to shut down.
Symptoms include loss of energy, loss of appetite, upset stomach, weight loss and weakness. Cirrhosis is one of the ten leading causes of death by disease in the United States. The third liver disease, alcoholic hepatitis, is the inflammation of the liver, the stage right before cirrhosis.
Jaundice, mental confusion and swelling of the abdomen are common symptoms. Alcohol is known as a depressant, and its effects on the brain and central nervous system are serious. Alcohol impairs regions of the brain controlling behavior, judgment, memory, concentration and coordination.
On the central nervous system, alcohol acts as a sedative. Large amounts of alcohol can cause respiratory failure, coma and death. Impaired vision, hearing, and motor skills also occur.
The drinker may also experience numbness and tingling in the arms and legs caused by nerve damage. This results in the staggering walk often seen coming out of bars. Heavy drinking also has damaging effects on the stomach and intestinal system. Irritation of the stomach lining can cause peptic ulcers, bleeding lesions and cancer.
Blood loss causes loss of iron, which can cause irritability, lack of energy, headaches and dizziness. Risk of pancreatitis is also increased. Other effects of alcohol abuse include irritation of the intestinal tract lining and the colon; nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, sweating and loss of appetite; and increase in blood pressure, risk of heart attack and stroke. These symptoms develop over time. Alcoholism, however, can begin to develop after the first drink.
There are many reasons why people start drinking, such as to increase self-confidence, relieve stress, escape from personal problems, overcome shyness, or to overcome a poor self-image. Abuse of alcohol is defined as the use of alcohol interfering with physical, social, academic, or economic functioning.
The first stage of alcoholism involves the use of alcoholism as a way to deal with other problems. The abuser will drink more than the average amount and is usually preoccupied with partying or going out socially to drink. The drinker will usually deny that a problem exists. The second stage of alcohol abuse begins to interfere with daily activities like work. The drinker finds it typically hard to get through the day without a drink. It also becomes difficult to get the same good feelings from drinking, so more alcohol is consumed.
A social drinker can basically take or leave it. There is no preoccupation with drinking. A social drinker is able to control the amount of alcohol consumed and rarely drinks to the point of intoxication. For these individuals, drinking is a secondary activity.
It is the party, the meal, the wedding that interests the social drinker, not the opportunity to drink. An individual who is experiencing the early stages of alcoholism will begin to have an assortment of problems associated with drinking. In early stage alcoholism, a person may start to sneak drinks, begin to feel guilty about his or her drinking, and become preoccupied with alcohol.
Blackouts, drinking to the point of drunkenness, and increased tolerance needing more alcohol to achieve the same effect are all signs of early alcoholism. An individual who is entering the early stage of alcoholism will seek out companions who are heavy drinkers and lose interest in activities not associated with drinking.
Work problems, such as missing work or tardiness, may also take place. People rely on alcohol to relieve stressors of life such as work, school, relationships, money and other things. Depending on alcohol to numb your problems can lead to alcoholism.
People want to fit in society and groups. Peer pressure is one of the reasons why people drink. If you go somewhere people are drinking, you could end up drinking to avoid feeling out of place. To feel good and for fun: People who feel nervous in social settings tend to drink to loosen up.
Others do it just for fun. It is a good way to pass the time and enjoy yourself with friends. People who abuse alcohol have higher chances of getting into an unnecessary fight. They have relationship issues, arguments, and sexual problems which lead to a lack of trust in a relationship.
For other people, the alcohol could affect their careers.
Alcoholism is defined as a continuous illness that consists of not being able to control drinking, being constantly consumed by alcohol, using alcohol though it may cause problems, physical dependence of alcohol, and having withdrawals when there is an absence of alcohol (Mayo Clinic Staff).
An alcoholic has problems admitting that alcoholism is a disease, and that they are addicted to this substance. Alcoholism has been called the most serious drug problem in terms of the number of victims and costs to society. /5(9).
Like smoking, alcoholism has become a major health concern in many societies. The percentage of alcoholics has increasing significantly in a number of. Effects of Drinking Alcohol 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 .
Alcohol essays Alcohol Alcohol is one of the most used and misused drugs known to man. One reason alcohol is misused is because it is accepted in society. People drink to be sociable. Many restaurants offer some form of alcohol on their menus. The term alcoholism has been used over the years as a vague, poorly understood, and sometimes morally flavored term. Alcoholism is described as a primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations (Silverstein, 32).