The sound of alcohol is such a great idea especially when it comes to outings and parties. It is a fabulous social lubricant, making best friends out of acquaintances and bringing together people from different backgrounds and colors (Connet, 2011). Reserved and outgoing people are all sheltered under its wings, into one cheerful and lively crowd. However, the effect is evidently seen within a short time. From a hypothetical situation for example, taking a reserved girl out to party and enticing her to take a sip or two, will eventually change the situation. The few tots will bring her to the ground as she is not used to it. Eventually, she may end up hooking with a stranger and the after results are not as pleasant as was the initial motive.
Why the topic?
Taking us to heights unimaginable in a sober mood, alcohol lifts our spirits and crashes us down. This is usually by way of terrible side effects (Connet, 2011). This research paper is intended on focusing at the effects of alcohol. With the rampant increase in consumption of the drink especially among young people, the research contained here will focus on the changes that must be enacted to help the youth disengage in this quagmire. As everyone can confess, the “what happened last night?. “ has been an inevitable question among many. After the blackout one never seems to recall what the next move was. The issues addressed here tend to answer these questions and an analysis of trying to figure out what need to be done to evade the consequences of alcohol. The paper also tries to relate the application to the psychology of addiction and how drunkenness conflict with Christian moral principles.
Many people, especially the young in mind, enjoy the feeling and the drive of liquor (Hanks, 2012). However, as illustrated in this paper, the most adversely affected by the drink are the young. The effects are adverse as they often lead to addiction. As humans are all habitual creatures, once the habit sets in at a tender age it becomes even hard to reform at an old age (Hanks, 2012). It is therefore advisable to have a proper understanding of what is involved before starting the journey down the drain.
Summary of current research
Current research shows that alcohol is not only the most used drink but also the most abused. With majority of the consumers being teenagers who are eager testing the depth of their thirst, this drink has shown adverse consequences to today’s generation. This summary focuses on the various issues, their causes and provides a way of reducing their occurrence.
One of the famous characteristic of alcohol is causing spins (Broom, 2009). Majority of drinkers both amateurs and professionals are victims of this. It is a condition in which one sees the room and the surrounding to be spinning. The condition is commonly associated with either drinking on an empty stomach or drinking too much in a short period of time. The condition is traumatizing at times. Even after you try sleeping on a bed or on the couch, as soon as you close your eyes you start getting the feeling that everything around is spinning and you feel dizzy (Broom, 2009). Opening the eyes reveals that even though you haven’t moved an inch, everything seems to be out of place. On accelerated situations, this condition may lead to one feeling nauseas’ and even vomiting. At this stage, temporary vertigo sets in. This is a condition that arises when the body loses its ability to transmit and receive information correctly, commonly caused by an overload or a slack response from the brain. That is, the brain does not keep track of body movements. The alcohol has at this time disrupted the sensory organs of the body. Balancing is therefore impossible as the motor input from the inner ear to the eyes and brains which are responsible for interpreting sound are affected (Broom, 2009). The result is someone yelling at you when you are having a conversation. Spins are also caused by the eardrums having an added impulse which results in poor interpretation by the eyes. This interpretation is then sent to the brain which in effect sees the body as being in motion and therefore the spins.
A surprisingly good way to curb the occurrence of spins is ensuring that your stomach is well catered for. Foods with lots of proteins and fats ensure that the alcohol is not absorbed into the blood stream. This slows the process of intoxication. Mixing alcohol with other beverages such as soda or juice slows the process drastically. Diet beverages are commonly preferred, as alcohol mixed with them leaves the stomach more quickly. This is according to the American Journal of Medicine.
Another way to ensure that you are not a victim of experiencing spins is focusing your attention on something that is not moving (Broom, 2009). Consequently, you can try holding on stable equipments such as a pole or a sitting on the ground. This is done to ensure that the brain is not anchored.
Commonly known to many people as “hangovers”, another unpleasant effect of alcohol is the effect it has on an individual the day after. The memories of a night after a drink are always hazy (John, 1996). The vague recollections of last night always seem to be blurred. In between the memory recollections however, if you happen to find a disturbing event that occurred, the agony and remorse usually last long for one to bear. The main cause of anterograde amnesia is intake of too much alcohol within a short period of time (John, 1996). This mostly happens to newbie’s or people who have stayed for long without using liquor. The effect is however more predominant to young people and especially teens and college students. This is according to a survey recently carried out by the medical center of Duke University. The research analyzed the effects and divided them into several grades. The lowest level encompasses people who experience hazy recollections while the extreme far end includes absolute or no memory of last night at all. Conclusions made from the research indicate that approximately 40% of the effects were extreme on teens and young adults (Gately, 2012).
The brain, being one of the vital organs of the human body, works by creating synapses. In order to regain both the short and long term memories, the formulated films must be brought together to create a clear collection of the view (Marshall, 2013). During the early years of human development, the synaptic collections are generated at the speed of lightning. The change however, drastically falls after the age of 21. The formation of these synapses is greatly affected by ones intake of alcohol. If the intake is high at a tender age, the brain will reach its peak before its time is due. To some, the formation of the synapses can be slow or even impossible. The reason why most people experience a hangover the next day is because the brain is always at work (Marshall, 2013). During the night, the brain codes what is to be the next day’s memories. If one had a heavy drink the night before, the brain becomes slow and the process takes long than expected or may not occur at all. When the alcohol takes hold, the brain only gets to process situational context vaguely the next day. When this happens, only bits of the previous night are triggered. Any new information becomes hard to process and update. This is why most people seem to sound surprised when they hear what they were doing the previous night. If you want to remember the night and all its happenings, it is advocated that for every drink you compensate it with a glass of water (Marshall, 2013).. This ensures that you are physically alert and that your memory does not black out.
Continued alcohol intake can lead to frequency and an increased quantity of the substance. This leads to more serious medical symptoms of alcoholism (Jacoby, 2004). People who are caught up with the habit make drinking a central part of their lives. When this happens, healthy relationships are displaced and this leads to negative behavior among the individuals. It is even possible for someone to reach an intoxication level (Jacoby, 2004). At this level, the life of the individual is at risk as the respiratory system becomes depressed and it may lead to death. Since alcohol abuse leads to alcoholism and consequently to addiction, it is therefore important to note the signs of the first stage to avoid being a victim of the other stages.
The first sign of alcohol abuse is the loss of control over the amount of alcohol consumed (Jacoby, 2004). The individual finds it hard to regulate the amount of drink they can hold for a given period of time. This habit is common to young adults who consume alcohol under pressure and to prove to their peers that they are the gurus. Among adults however, this is depicted in failing to honor family and professional obligations. It may include being late for work after a night out. This is clear indication that the liquor consumed interfered with ones schedule. There is also a tendency of indulging in dangerous and reckless behavior that holds the risk of legal, health and financial consequences to the individual and close friends and relatives (Broom, 2009). This may include acts such as driving while drunk or even getting to fights that may physically injure an individual. Other signs may include loss of emotion control especially in inappropriate places. This has been evident in different occasions especially where members of the opposite sex are having a good time together. The last most common sign of alcohol abuse is insomnia and oversleeping (Jacoby, 2004). If this signs are not detected and addressed on the onset, they may lead to alcohol dependence.
Alcoholism is the next phase of an addict. This stage emerges as a result of untreated alcohol abuse. It is the physical dependence on alcohol by an individual. Despite the consequences, one is incapable of saying no to the drink. At this stage, the individual has no control on the amount of their alcohol intake. It becomes clear that one has taken the quest to quench their thirst a central point of focus in their lives. The predominant sign indicates medical illness (Connet, 2011). The individual may depict some of the following characteristics. Increased hangovers and slow recovery time. This is as a result of alcohol content in the blood being high. As a result the individual’s body becomes weak in fighting for recovery. However, there is increased quantity in the amount of alcohol consumed. This is due to the body becoming more tolerant to the substance. The ratio of alcohol consumed to its effect also becomes low at this level. As this happens, the individual seems out of control and there is increased negligence to personal and professional responsibilities (Connet, 2011). This is subject to the goal of the individual “Quenching their thirst”. When alcohol has taken root in the individual’s body, there are physical signs of illness such as significant loss of weight and appetite. One may fight back by trying to disengage from the habit. When unable to consume the alcohol however, there are withdrawal symptoms.
A series of serious medical consequences face long term users of alcohol. What started earlier as a way of enjoying life starts bearing thorns that are unbearable (Hanks, 2012). If one tries to stop the habit without proper medical intervention, they depict signs of alcoholism withdrawal. Most of the effects are traumatizing to the victims. Some experience tremors and convulsions. At an extended state, this may include uncontrolled shaking of the hands, feet or even the entire body. Others may respond with extreme sweating even in cold conditions. There is also persistent insomnia, seizures, hallucinations or even anxiety and agitation (Connet, 2011). These are extreme conditions that occur commonly to long term heavy drinkers. To safely evade the above conditions, an individual needs medical intervention. Research shows that individuals who try to stop drinking on their own commonly fail. However, the few who succeed experience a condition known as delirium tremens (Hanks, 2012). This is a serious condition that can lead to death. It commonly occurs due to sudden stopping to using alcohol.
As seen so far, long term alcohol abuse has adverse consequences to the entire life of an individual. The physical, mental, social, spiritual and emotional health of an individual are affected. This is to top up the negative ramifications the habit has to friends and close family and also to the career life of an individual. Since the paper has given a general view of the effects of alcohol, it should be noted that it has serious damage to other parts of the body other than the brain. The liver for example, nervous system, the heart and the stomach (especially the intestines) are other organs of the body that are affected by alcohol (Connet, 2011).
Other than this, other medical complications are associated with alcohol consumption. Sexual problems, for example, which is a common issue facing modern families are mainly as a result of alcohol consumption. Alcohol causes low libido in men forcing the women to seek attention elsewhere. Men on realization of this, they multiply their intake to drain their sorrows. The infidelity cultivated by alcohol has seen many a families’ fall apart (Hanks, 2012). In women alcohol causes osteoporosis. There are also cases of cancer and high blood pressure all associated with alcohol. The social setup has also fallen victim of alcohol abuse. Many nations are turning from being working nations into drinking nations. Since many organizational setups prohibit working under the influence of alcohol, many people are losing their jobs due to drunkenness. This results in many families having financial problems. Domestic violence and marital conflicts are also on the rise all affiliated to alcohol consumption. The effect of this is legal action which causes disruption to the social setup (Connet, 2011). The modern family is therefore at the risk of falling apart in the name of alcohol. The situation is far much worsened by the presence of anorexia and bulimia.
Application to psychology of addiction
Research shows that a minimum of 100,000 deaths occur in the United States and Canada alone every year all associated with alcohol (Marshall, 2013). The analysis shows that alcohol acts as a depressant to the nervous system and the brain. The drink affects the human body both physically and psychologically. This makes it difficult for the application of detoxification. Long term consumption of alcohol causes irreversible effects to the liver. This is because the liver absorbs the alcohol content in the blood stream. Medically, alcoholism is diagnosed as a disease that caused by excessive consumption and reliance on alcohol (Connet, 2011). Both the mental and physical health of the individual are affected due to excessive drinking and reliance on liquor. However, people depict drinking habits in different ways. While majority result to drinking when under pressure, to others it’s a social habit (David, 2007).
Psychologists attempt to answer the question of what causes the addiction. To date however, it has been difficult to identify the specific causes of excessive drinking. Scientists have pinpointed some of the common traits associated with the habit. According to a recent study, factors such as the environment, mental health and genetic predisposition are leading causes of the addiction (Connet, 2011). The study covered families where addiction to alcohol is prevalent. However, the results indicate that people respond to the addiction in different ways and so are their recovery patterns. The researchers also stated that the addiction is a serious problem that should be addressed by specialists. The victims should undergo counseling while under detoxification. Trying to abruptly stop the drinking can lead to serious health problems and even death. Therefore, the psychologists advocate that the safest way to kick off the habit is being under the direction and the supervision of a qualified medical doctor. This will not only ensure that the victim does not experience alcohol withdrawal systems but also ensures the detoxification is a success ( David, 2007).
Application to Christian principles
Alcoholism, being one of the greatest challenges facing young people in the modern generation, Christians are not an exception. Comparing the biblical teachings and principles regarding the subject, it is evident that the role of stopping the abuse should be communal. It is the duty of every Christian to take part in preserving their bodies. There are famous biblical examples to learn from. The effects of alcohol can be seen in the story of Noah. Despite being a humble, respected and honest man, he lay naked after having too much to drink. This resulted into his youngest son seeing him naked. The result was that the son ended being cursed by his father. Such compromising situations indicate that alcohol results are always unpleasant.
According to the New Testament, the bible teaches Christians to be sober and avoid any form of drug or addiction. The body being the temple of the Holy Spirit Christians are to maintain it and take good care of it (1Corinthians 6:19-20). On the contrary, indulging in alcohol and wine drinking destroys that body. Christians are also taught to guard their influence and avoid leading others astray. Despite the fact that you may have the ability to hold your liquor, other people who picture you as a role model may be influenced by your behavior and start drinking. This will add to the woes already existing in the world. Christians are therefore not to abuse their liberty (1 Corinthians 8:9).
The research and analysis contained in this paper has focused on the causes and effects of alcohol. A broad look has been outlined on the causes of addiction and how to avoid them. The paper takes a closer look on how psychology views alcohol addiction and the remedies it offers. Christian views and their role in alcohol control has been analyzed. From the paper, it is evident that the effect and woes caused by alcohol outdo it benefits. In fact, other than the momentary feeling one get from the drink, no other benefits can be associated with drunkenness. The best way to stay out of addiction is saying no to alcohol. For those caught up in the habit however, it is advisable to seek medical attention before it too late.