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Sarah Morris
Professor Roberts
Health 1050
July 26, 2014
Effects of Alcohol
America is defined as a nation that is free and free to make our own decisions and
once a year on Americas Independence Day, the nations citizens are known to eat hot
dogs, hamburgers and drink beer. The nation is free to drink if they wish but at their
own expense; today more and more individuals are choosing to drink alcohol
irresponsibly and not only doing it on days of celebration but on regular days, like work
days and family days. Alcoholism is sweeping the nation and becoming a serious
pandemic issue for the United States; nearly every 1 in 13 adults have abused alcohol or
suffer from alcoholism. What is the history of alcohol and alcoholism, what are the
statistics of people that drink alcohol today, what are some of the factors that make
alcohol so sought out, what are the health effects of alcohol use, and what affect does
alcohol use have on the people around you?
Throughout time man has used alcohol to celebrate and to worship but where
exactly did alcohol originate? Although no one really knows exactly who invented
alcohol for reasons being it was too far back in history and there was no record kept but
according to David J Hansen and author on Potsdam.edu, alcohol originated as far back
as 10000 BC. However, some record we do have though is that wine was painted on
Egyptian paintings in 4000 BC, so we know that these Egyptians had to have drank it

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that long ago. Also Egyptians were the first to brew beer and they did it for religious
reasons and they would offer it up to the gods as tribute. Beer then went on through
history and different ethnic groups. In 1167 BC alcohol in China was seen a medicine
from the heavens, as long as it was drunk in moderation but for a lot of people drinking
in moderation is a tough subject. How much people are struggling with alcohol use
today?
In the United States alone there are 14 million people that struggle with
alcoholism or have abused alcohol. When reviewing men and women though, the
number of men verses the number of women with alcohol dependency, mens numbers
are far higher than those of women but according to the New York Times, the rate for
women with alcoholism has been increasing. Men are believed to not be as susceptible
to some of the health risks that alcohol entails as women are though. The New York
Times also states that about have of all adolescent Americans have drank alcohol before
and from ages of early maturity to about the age of twenty two million are considered
heavy drinkers and about 4.4 million are binge drinkers. Starting drinking young can
make a person highly susceptible for dependency but what makes alcohol so desirable to
people?
Alcoholism is most of the time not thought as the same decease as a drug
addiction but alcohol is a drug, although it is legal. Alcohol is being sold and bought all
over the world everyday by millions but the actual taste of alcohol is not every great, so
why do people drink it? A lot of people drink in social environments such as parties,
family gatherings, and concerts but there are some that do so to forget their problems,
some do so to relax, some do so to loosen up, and some do so because they have grown a

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dependency for it. To justify these dependencies people are making excuses that make it
okay to drink such as I am only a weekend drinker or I have to drink to take my mind
off of my depression these are the things that they tell themselves to justify their
reasoning for drinking. Drinking has the effect of making the brain be more prone to
make choices that they normally wouldnt make, some feel more courageous and daring,
some feel extremely talkative. Typically when someone first starts drinking theyre met
with a rush of energy and this often puts the person in a good mood but if the drinking
however that is only temporary, people still crave drinking and that is because alcohol is
very addictive. After feeling that different sensations most want to partake in it again.
Today, more than half of all Americans drink and most people know that alcohol
is not very good for your healthy but most do not know the extreme risks theyre taking
when drinking too much alcohol. When people are under the influence of alcohol they
usually know that if theyre drinking too many drinks there is a chance that they might
lose control and black out and not be able to remember their actions from the night
before. One can feel more inclined to pursue sexual innuendos and not be protected
while doing so and that could transpire into some very serious illnesses and do not
realize that if someone is to drink too much at one time, there are severe cardiovascular
attacks that can occur and be fatal but not a lot of people realize the long term affects
that could happen.
In a study done by Harvard Medical University, they analyzed moderate drinking
and breast cancer and on this study about 100,000 women showed signs of breast
cancer because of moderate drinking. According to Centers of Decease Control
Prevention Alcohol can also be a cause for cancer of the mouth, liver, esophagus, and

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throat. Cancer is a growing epidemic and does currently not have a cure and is looked
upon as one of the deadliest deceases and there is high chance of death if youre
diagnosed. Some other long term affects are dementia, anxiety disorders, and
depression. With alcohol being a depressant this causes the chances of suicide to
significantly increase. If all of this doesnt seem so bad, long term alcohol drinking can
have permanent brain damage. Most people these days do not realize the consequence
of their actions but what effect does alcohol have on the people your life.
One of the biggest excuses people use to justify their alcohol problem is that it is
their life or its my choice and it doesnt affect them but in reality it can have big
effects on the people in your life. According to Drugs I.E.com, drinking can have a bad
effect on a relationship; when a partner is abusing alcohol or any drug for that matter
this puts a lot of stress on the partner who is not abusing because they feel that theyre
not good enough to make their partner stop using and they want to hide it at all cost
from their kids or neighbors. When the partner choses to be absent this way it puts all of
the households stressors on to the other and often results in cases of alcohol related
abuse. The effect that this can have on children is far from good, some children are
forced to become a supporter and role model for the other siblings and inside may feel
very insecure and scared, others may just start to escape and not deal with their feelings.
The children sometimes then feel responsible for what is going on with the family
member that drinks and they may think that they are the cause of them wanting to
drink.
In conclusion, I have found that when alcohol is abused it can have a domino
effect negative things happening in your life. From raising your risks to Cancers, to

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causing cardiovascular illness, and to tarring apart families, it is sad to think just how
much damage alcohol can do. If you had the choice to lower the risk for these horrible
dilemmas what would you choose? The great news is that everyone does have that
choice and whether they make the decision to abuse it or not is entirely your own.



Work Cited

A.D.A.M. Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse. The New York Times. 2014 July.
Drugs I.E. How Drink Can Affect your Families. Drug and Alcohol Information and
Support. 2014 July.
Centers For Decease Control and Prevention. Alcohol and Public Health. Web 2014
July.
Hanson, David. History of Alcohol and Drinking Around the World. Potsdam. Web
2014 July.
Project Know. Drug Addiction Statistics- Alcoholism Statistics and Data. Web 2014
July.
What Makes You Reach for The Bottle? Drink Aware.co.uk. Web 2014 July.