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Program on Health Promotion and Prevention THE EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL What alcohol does to the body? It affects in different ways. Drug is a central n ervous system depressant, is not encouraging. The initial feeling of comfort or euphoria due to the depressant effect on the central nervous system, resulting i n the reduction of controls and inhibitions. slows brain activity and circulator y: alter the state of alert, trial, physical coordination and reaction time. Her e are some of the most important effects: Sensation and Perception All feelings are affected by alcohol. - Auditory and visual capabilities are impaired - Sensi tivity to pain is diminished - Time seems to pass more quickly - The observation of moving objects is impaired, affecting the ability to drive the emotional sta te is unstable. - Decrease fear and anxiety - Increase risk behaviors - motor sk ills have diminished inhibitions - Any movement is upset - Decreases the balance - Reduces coordination - reaction time is slower - can produce bodily organs tr ouble walking - some examples - decrease the heart rate and blood pressure - The eyes respond more slowly to stimuli - Increases diuresis (urinating more) - Mus cles relax the path of alcohol in the body when you drink alcohol, 20% is absorb ed immediately into the bloodstream through the stomach and the rest is processe d rapidly in the small intestine (in 5-10 '). In a few minutes longer reaches th e brain. Alcohol is metabolized (degraded) in the liver (95%). The young and the elderly have less tolerance. The ethyl alcohol content of a can of beer is appr oximately the same as that of a glass of wine or a measure of whiskey. This mean s that a person who drinks beer and not drink "white" is just as likely to devel op an alcohol problem. The effects of alcohol depend largely on the amount inges ted and the speed of ingestion. According to the blood alcohol concentration fro m 20 mg / dl to 500 mg / dl, the effects progress: from a sense of wellbeing, mi ld disinhibition, slight alteration of the trial, decreased physical coordinatio n, impaired social control physical, observable intoxication, stupor, coma and d eath. When a person is obviously intoxicated, he realizes how close to the shock is? Alcohol and the liver one of the many organs affected by alcohol is the liver. P ermanent liver damage by prolonged alcohol abuse is a fact known for a long time and is indisputable. What most people do not know is that there are three stages of liver disease and the former are virtually undetectable. This means that a person can suffer seri ous liver damage although laboratory tests do not reveal anything unusual. The t hree stages of the disease: fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis and finally alcohol ic cirrhosis. These stages are progressively increasing severity and duration. T his means that a person will develop cirrhosis must have suffered before fatty l iver and alcoholic hepatitis. However, not all people can see the progression of the three phases. Some never develop cirrhosis and even hepatitis. Everything d epends on the frequency of consumption of alcohol, the amount ingested and the c haracteristics of vulnerability of each agency. 90% of people who drink heavily develop fatty liver. 10% to 35% of them developed hepatitis and 10% of these cir rhosis. In fatty liver disease (the most common of these phases) occur deposits of fat in the liver, replacing the normal cells of that organ. The density of th ese deposits can not be detected by common tests. Therefore, until they develop new methods of research, more people will die unexpectedly severe fatty liver. O ther physical problems related to alcohol abusers of alcohol are more prone to o ther physical problems besides liver disease: • Stomach: Gastritis (with burning in the "pit of the stomach, vomiting and nausea), and peptic ulcer; • Nerve dam age, muscle weakness and loss of sensation in hands and feet for nerve degenerat ion; • myocardial diseases, hypertension, (with increased heart size) and arteri osclerosis, with the known complications of these diseases (stroke, heart attack s, among other .).€• Increased frequency of anemia, red blood cell deficiency (c hronic blood loss, cirrhosis, or nutritional deficiencies). Hoarseness occurs (f or swelling of the vocal cords), chronic bronchitis and pneumonia decreased immu

ne response and lung cancer. There is also a strong relationship between alcohol and cancers of the mouth, tongue, mouth, stomach and liver. Psychiatric complic ations include depressive illness, anxiety, amnesia, hallucinations and delusion s. Sex differences: Chronic consumption in men reduces levels of testosterone (m ale sex hormone) circulating in the body, which can alter their sexual behavior. Decrease libido and cause impotence. The liver is stimulated and, in turn, prod uces a substance that increases the destruction of the male sex hormone. One of the known damage resulting from excessive and prolonged alcohol intake is the at rophy of the testicles and enlarged breasts in men. These sexual problems in alc oholics are not only a reaction produced by chronic alcoholism. It is an effect of alcohol and can happen to anyone who drinks continuously. What counts is the total amount of alcohol. In general women are more affected by alcohol immediate ly before menstruation. Women in general have peaks of higher blood alcohol that men consumed the same amount of alcohol and in proportion to body weight, becau se they have less body fluids to dilute the alcohol and higher fat content. . Wo men taking contraceptives or medicines that contain estrogen can remain intoxica ted longer than those not taking these medications because the liver metabolizes . Women drinkers can give birth to children with low birth weight by intrauterin e growth retardation, slow intellectual development, heart disease, urinary abno rmalities, and hernias. The consumption of alcohol may facilitate an increase in desire for sexual activity for men and women, but decreases performance levels after eating a certain amount of alcohol. Continuous consumption of alcohol Several factors determine how individuals react differently to the same amount o f alcohol in different situations. These may include: • intake rate: the faster an alcoholic beverage is ingested greater the • • • • • • peak blood alcohol. The liver can metabolize about 14 g of alcohol per hour. Pre sence of food in the stomach: eating while drinking slows the absorption. When i ngested alcoholic beverages along with a substantial meal, the peak blood alcoho l can be reduced to 50%. Other chemicals in the drink: the greater the amount of substances in the beverage alcohol is absorbed more slowly than alcohol (eg., V odka is absorbed more rapidly than beer or wine). History / tolerance for drinki ng: it requires increasing amounts of alcohol to produce physical and behavioral reactions that were previously produced in lower concentrations when there is a prolonged history of alcohol intake. Environment: there may be differences in t he effects of alcohol depending on where you drink (in a bar, with family, in a hostile environment, among others.) Drinker's expectations: many people are pois oned by low amounts of alcohol simply because they have such an expectation befo re you start drinking. General state of emotional and physical health: Many peop le seem more susceptible to the influence of alcohol when they are more fatigued , have been sick recently or are under stress or emotional stress. The amount of alcohol consumed regularly can have undesirable effects. Other drugs: Several nonprescription drugs, prescription or illicit reactions ca n occur with alcohol. For example, alcohol can slow down even more dangerously c ertain activities (driving, walking, among others.) Disrupt the trial and reduce alertness when taken with other drugs like minor tranquilizers (Valium, trapax, Lexotanil, etc.). and older, barbiturates, analgesics, antihistamines (benadryl , content in influenza medications as nastizol, refrianex, among others.). In ad dition, consumption of alcohol can cause other drugs are metabolized more rapidl y, producing exaggerated or unexpected responses. In the latter group includes a nticonvulsants, anticoagulants, hypoglycemic agents, among others. In some peopl e, aspirin causes stomach and intestinal bleeding.€Alcohol also irritates the st omach and can aggravate the box when taken together with aspirin. "Hangover" Alc ohol disrupts the normal rhythm of sleep and causes a feeling of tiredness the n ext day. After drinking heavily for a short period, usually within a few hours t here is a state known as "hangover" characterized by headache, nausea, chills an

d malaise. This reaction is partly due to alcohol intoxication and partly to the body's reaction to the absence of alcohol. Youth consumption of alcohol problem use of alcohol by young people not just about the effect of alcohol on the body , which is certainly important. Join a way of life that stops the growth and mat uration. • It affects the personality development: • It encourages the easy, the effects produced by an external agent, chemical, • The immediate pleasure is va lued over other satisfactions; • Contact with others is mediated by a substance, it refers more to the sensory and • Facilitates caring what goes beyond the per sonal and immediate. Drinking alcohol does not convey a sense of responsibility or maturity. Quite the contrary. Alcohol consumption is associated with irrespon sibility for its disinhibiting effect. Feel great to take something without pers onal effort, is like take responsibility by way of images and not by a commitmen t to responsible behavior. The beer and wine are the most commonly create proble ms for young drinkers. Boys tend to take more of these drinks end up lighter and supposedly ingesting quantities of alcohol that affect their bodies and their m ental states. Children can become dependent. The basic issue revolves around the idea that alcoholic beverages are drugs, as they are consumed and the effect they have on many young people. How do children drink alcohol? Because alcohol can be ingested in quantities, times and varied environments, one must consider several variables. When alcohol becomes the occa sion of the meeting (meet to take), as happens so often, something is wrong in t he social life of young people. Adolescents tend to consume alcohol outside thei r homes quickly, without worrying about the effect, even looking intoxicated and losing clarity about how they become intoxicated. Young people experience the t oxic effects of alcohol, such as headaches, dizziness and nausea. Those who have not taken for a long enough time to develop a true physical dependence in gener al do not suffer from organic symptoms related to withdrawal. Those who take a l ot in the weekend may have disturbed sleep in the next two or three nights of so briety. The tolerance or habituation (need more to produce the same effect) deve lops rapidly, contributing to increased consumption and carries the danger of a lifestyle that gives more importance to the consumer and can lead to dependence. Another problem related to alcohol consumption is the tendency to use other dru gs, either by peer pressure, the less control or inhibitions, or search for new sensations. In combination with other drugs, potentialized effects occur (one in creases the depressant effect of the other) or contradictory (their effects are opposite and produce a shock to the body), more dangerous than each drug alone. Bibliography: Milman, D.H. et al: Alcohol and Drug Abuse Curriculum Guides for P ediatrics Faculty, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Instit ute on Drug Abuse, Maryland, USA, 1985. Wilmes, DJ: Parenting for Prevention, Jo hnson Institute, Minnesota, USA, 1995.

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