Cause and Effect: Alcoholism

Alcoholism is the excessive and usually uncontrollable use of alcoholic drinks. There are many symptoms, complications, treatments and ways of prevention for alcoholism. Certain groups of people may be at a greater risk than others for several differing reasons. There are numerous factors in why people may become addicted.

Research has been done to explore the reason behind why people drink. However, “Exactly how alcohol affects the brain and the likelihood of reversing the impact of heavy drinking on the brain remain hot topics in alcohol research today.” (NIAAA)

Usually, a variety of factors contribute to the development of alcoholism. Social factors such as the influence of peers, family, society, the availability of alcohol, mental illness, stress, and not knowing how to cope with certain situations can contribute to alcoholism. It’s a common thing for an alcoholic to think drinking is the answer to all their problems, but in retrospect drinking is only adding to the multiple complications caused by being a compulsive drinker.

Some physical effects of excessively drinking alcohol can be extremely serious, or even fatal. One of the leading factors to Cirrhosis of the liver is alcohol. Alcohol related Cirrhosis usually develops after more then almost a decade of heavy drinking, but for some it may develop quicker; all depending on how your body reacts to alcohol.
“In cirrhosis of the liver, scar tissue replaces normal, healthy tissue, blocking the flow of blood through the organ and preventing it from working as it should. Cirrhosis is the twelfth leading cause of death by disease, killing about 26,000 people each year.”

(NDDIC). Since drinking to much alcohol can raise some fats in the blood, that means it can also lead to high blood pressure, heart failure, and increased calorie intake where there is a higher risk of developing diabetes.

Liver diseases and illnesses aren’t the only complications of long term alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse can also lead to birth defects. The most sever cases of birth defects are Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopment Disorder. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is what can happen when a woman drinks an excessive amount of alcohol during the pregnancy. It’s been estimated that one in every seven hundred and fifty infants is born with a patterns of physical, developmental, and functional problems referring to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Some symptoms of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome may include premature birth weight, developmental delay, learning difficulties, and behavioral problems.

Alcoholism is commonly referred to as “the family disease” because it is just as damaging to family members as it is to the alcoholic. Adult Children of Alcoholics often are in denial that their problems come from there parents or parent being an alcoholic. Many of them have severe problems with depression, aggression, or impulsive behavior. Most children of alcoholics make poor career choices and aren’t capable of being responsible parents, because they weren’t raised correctly themselves. Due to the large amount of money spent on alcohol and also possible joblessness the family may have to give up certain privileges that a non-alcoholic family wouldn’t. Being an alcoholic can totally disrupt family life and cause harmful effects that can last a lifetime.

Alcohol abuse is involved in many other health, safety and social problems. Alarming amounts of accidents, crimes, suicides, are the result of alcohol abuse by one or more family members. It is said that In the United States, every 30 minutes someone is killed in an alcohol related traffic accident. “Drunk driving is proving to be even deadlier then what we previously know. The latest death statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), using a new method of calculation show that 17,488 people where killed in alcohol related traffic accidents last year. This report represents nearly 800 more people where killed than the previous year” (Narconon).

Thousands of alcoholics are helped to stop drinking every year. The chances of recovery are good if alcohol abuse or alcoholism is treated in its early or middle stages. Unfortunately, most alcoholics do not receive treatment therefore; over 90 percent of them will die as a result of their alcoholism. On the more positive side about 700,000 Americans receive alcoholism treatment on any given day. However, the techniques of alcoholism therapy only work if the patient is ready to seek help. One of the most traditional ways for an alcoholic to seek treatment is through the Alcoholic Anonymous 12 step program. Other then AA, there are many different programs and available to help a person trying to seek recovery. Alcoholism is a disease that could consume ones life, but with support and treatment, many individuals are able to stop drinking and rebuild their lives.

Work Cited Page

“National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism”.2007.NIAAA.July.2007