Essay: Alcohol abuse
Alcohol abuse is a health condition categorized under psychiatric disorders and includes the use of drinks including alcohol in amounts that have an adverse effect on the body leading to negative consequences. Since tolerance and withdrawal are not present, this condition excludes the scenario of dependence, which is characterized by physical and psychological dependence and adaptation to increasing amounts of alcohol. It has been found that most ‘binge drinkers’ are not alcohol dependent. Alcohol abuse is a major health concern, especially in societies where alcohol consumption is a societal norm. According to the FDA, alcohol is the number one drug of abuse and also the top health problem and can contribute to more deaths through an overdose than any other drug that is abused in the USA.
Annually it contributes to 30% of accidents, suicides and homicides, 40% of violence (including domestic) and rape, and 45% of adult deaths due to road traffic accidents. Other than these, binge drinking results in harm to one’s health, interpersonal relationships and functioning ability. According to statistics from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, men average about 12.5 binge drinking episode per person per year. This statistic is 2.7 for women. The gravity of this finding is compounded by the fact that men are more likely than women to take risks such as driving fast or without a seat belt on. Other side-effects which would be highly undesirable are reduces male hormone production resulting in impotence, infertility and reduction of secondary male sexual characteristics. The effects of over-consumption in women are equally undesirable, especially in the child-bearing age, as it results in unprotected sex and unintended pregnancies, coupled with the risk of STDs. Any pregnancies have more chances of still birth and premature deliveries.
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