Alcohol Addiction

Mel Brisendine
Reporter

 

Headaches, migraines and sensitivity to light are some of the effects of a hangover.

Alcohol is an addictive substance that some people get hooked on so badly they will choose it over their own well-being or family.

Psychologists and scientists have delved into the brain as to why alcohol is addictive to most people.

“You’re turning on a pleasurable part of the brain or suppressing a part of the brain when you have a hard time,” Joseph Cates-Carney, biology professor, said.

Rehabilitation centers help addicted clients through their struggles and get on the right pathway. Lakeside-Milam Recovery Center located in Puyallup, Wash. is one of many rehab centers to assist people through alcohol addiction.

This substance comes in forms such as moonshine, beer, wine, liquor, tequila, margaritas and ales, to appeal to more people. Sometimes commercials will appear on TV with advertisements promoting the selling and consumption of alcohol.

Police officers tend to patrol areas at night, often increasing the amount of officers on duty during holidays, to prevent people from drinking and driving.

DUI tickets increase around New Year’s, Fourth of July and Thanksgiving, where alcohol is most abundant.

According to Understanding Nutrition 14th edition textbook by Whitney and Rolfes, .05 alcohol level you start to have impaired judgement, relaxed inhibitions, altered mood and increased heart rate.

Once reaching .10 alcohol level impaired coordination, delayed reaction time, impaired peripheral vision, exaggerated emotions and inability to operate a vehicle occur.

.15 begins with slurred speech, blurred vision, staggered walking, serious impaired coordination and judgement. Then, .20 causes double vision and inability to walk.

Once .30 alcohol level is reached, uninhibited behavior, stupor, confusion and inability to comprehend occur.

As the levels rise from .40 to .60 unconsciousness, shock, coma and death from cardiac or respiratory failure occur. This is known as alcohol poisoning, in which hospitalization is necessary.

Addiction to alcohol can lead to homelessness and isolation from friends and family. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, women tend to be more susceptible to be affected by alcohol than men.

Alcohol acts as a suppressor on the body, leading people to think this is a solution to stressful situations.

There are steps to get away from an alcohol addiction. The first one is not denying that there’s an issue.

Addictions can be difficult to overcome and often times people don’t want to admit they have one in fear of judgement and seclusion from those around them.

It’s difficult to avoid alcohol when it helps anti-social people join in conversation and meet new people, as well as constantly feeling like you have to take a drink because of peer pressure.

Alcoholics Anonymous is a group designed to help people with an alcohol addiction overcome their denial and speak out to those dealing with the same thing as them. Once someone has successfully separated themselves from the addiction, there are groups, called Celebrate Recovery.

Discussion sessions are used to help people talk through their struggles and gain new friendships and bonds. They also assist in preventing relapse and knowing there’s hope for a better future without alcohol.

People who have Central Nervous System Depression often tend to relapse because of how alcohol can be seen as a solution to all the stress.

“People are taking a bad situation and making it worse by putting in a depressant,” Cates-Carney said.

Beneath the addiction, chemical effects occur in the body that eventually cause harm and potentially death. Alcohol has damaging effects to the liver over a long period of time. If resting time is allowed between drinking alcohol, the liver is able to repair itself, if damaged. But with consistent drinking, the liver develops scar tissue which loses it’s ability to regenerate itself and can’t function properly.

“There is a fixed rate at which the alcohol can be metabolized by the liver,” Cates-Carney said. “Alcohol at certain levels start to suppress the central nervous system.”

A higher dosage of alcohol with time does more permanent damage, causing functional tissue within the liver to turn into scar tissue.

Over time, some people develop what they consider an ‘immunity’ to alcohol. This is when alcohol consumption occurs so much that the body adapts to it.

There are enzyme systems in the liver which help the body adapt to alcohol. More alcohol eventually needs to be consumed to get a buzz.

“A person’s genetic makeup has something to do with how susceptible they are to alcohol,” Cates-Carney said.

Once someone quits drinking, the body shuts off the adaptive features, which is why once relapsing, the body no longer is adapted, causing people to be affected quicker than before.

After a night of partying and drinking, often times people experience a hangover. This can be caused by dehydration or hypoglycemia, which in the processing of alcohol causes loss of sugar and can give a symptoms of fatigue.

Abusing the use of alcohol is damaging to not only yourself but others around you, and most of all it damages the liver, an essential organ.

Alcohol consumed in increments with resting period between drinking allows for the body to restore itself and could potentially reduce the possibility of addiction.

 

The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost

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Alcohol Addiction

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