Essay, Research Paper: Alcoholism

Alcohol and Drugs

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Alcoholism, Alcohol is liquid distilled product of fermented fruits, grains and
vegetables used as solvent, antiseptic and sedative for potential abuse.
Possible effects are intoxication, sensory alteration, and anxiety reduction.
Symptoms of overdose staggering, odor of alcohol on breath, loss of
coordination, slurred speech, dilated pupils, fetal alcohol syndrome in babies,
and nerve and liver damage. Withdrawal Syndrome is first sweating, tremors then
altered perception, followed by psychosis, fear, and finally auditory
hallucinations. Indications of possible miss-use are confusion, disorientation,
and loss of motor nerve control, convulsions, shock, shallow respiration,
involuntary defecation, drowsiness, respiratory depression and possible death.
Alcohol is also known as Booze, Juice, Brew, Vino, and Sauce. Most people know
why alcohol is abused some reasons are relaxation, sociability, and cheap high.
Alcohol is a depressant that decreases the responses of the central nervous
system. Alcoholism is a disease that has been destroying people’s lives
mentally, physically and emotionally throughout the entire world since the early
18th century. Sometimes people get the idea that alcohol abuse and alcoholism
are the same thing. The National Council on Alcoholism says "Alcohol
Abuse” a problem to solve. Alcoholism a disease to conquer. Alcohol Abuse is
the misuse of the substance, alcohol. You know you are abusing an alcoholic
substance when you continue to use it, even though you're having social or
personal problems because of your use. You still use it even though it's causing
you physical problems. Using it the way you do is causing you legal problems.
You don't live up to major responsibilities on the job or in your family.
Alcoholism is being addicted, or dependent on alcohol. You may be dependent on
alcohol if any three of the following are true. You have to use larger and
larger amounts of it to get drunk. You have withdrawal when you try to stop or
cut down. You use it much more and for longer times than you really want to. You
can't seem to cut back and feel a strong need or craving for it. You spend a lot
of your time just getting the substance. You'd rather use than work or be with
friends and family. You keep using, no matter what. The National Council on
Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates based on research, that a Blood Alcohol
Concentration between .02 and .04 makes your chances of being in a
single-vehicle fatal crash 1.4 times higher than for someone who has not had a
drink. If your BAC is between .05 and .09, you are 11.1 times more likely to be
in a fatal single vehicle crash, and 48 times more likely at a BAC between .10
and .14. If you've got a BAC of .15, your risk of being in a single-vehicle
fatal crash is estimated to be 380 times higher than a non-drinker's. Recent
research is showing that true substance dependence may be caused, in part, by
brain chemistry deficiencies. That is one reason that substance dependence is
considered a disease. Excessive drinking can cause liver damage and psychotic
behavior. As little as two beers or drinks can impair coordination and thinking.
Alcohol is often used by substance abusers to enhance the effects of other
drugs. Alcohol continues to be the most frequently abused substance among young
adults. Alcohol abuse is a pattern of problem drinking that results in health
consequences, social, problems, or both. However, alcoholism refers to a disease
that is characterized by alcohol-seeking behavior that leads to the loss of
control while drinking. Short-term effects of alcohol use include distorted
vision, hearing, and coordination. Long-term effects of heavy alcohol use
include: loss of appetite, vitamin deficiencies, stomach ailments, skin
problems, sexual impotence, liver damage, heart and central nervous system
damage. Using alcohol to escape problems, a change in personality, turning from
Dr. Jekyl to Mr. Hyde, a high tolerance level blackouts, sometimes not
remembering what happened while drinking, problems at work or in school as a
result of drinking, concern shown by family and friends about drinking. As with
other diseases, there is the possibility of taking medicine to get better. There
is now promising evidence that taking medicine can correct some of the
deficiencies that may cause drug dependence. It is beginning to look like a
combination of the right medicine along with talking therapy and behavior
therapy, will help us treat this disease, as we have never before been able to.
One drug is Naltrexone, sometimes known as ReVia. Fluoxetine (Prozac) and
Desipramine (Norpramin) have also shown promise. Alcohol abuse is also a serious
medical and social problem, but is not the same as alcoholism. Alcohol abuse is
the intentional overuse of alcohol. This includes occasional and celebratory
over-drinking. Not all people who abuse alcohol become alcoholics, but alcohol
abuse by itself can have serious medical effects. Overuse of alcohol is
considered to be more than 3-4 drinks per occasion for women -more than 4-5
drinks per occasion for men. One drink equals one 12 ounce bottle of beer or
winecooler, one 5 ounce glass of wine, or one and a half ounces of liquor.
Alcohol is probably the oldest drug known and has been used since the early
1700’s societies. There are numerous types of alcohol; ethyl alcohol is the
type consumed in drinking. In its pure form it is a clear substance with little
odor. People drink alcohol in three main kinds of beverages, beers, which are
made from grain through brewing and fermentation and contain from 3% to 8%
alcohol; wines, which are fermented from fruits such as grapes and contain from
8% to 12% alcohol naturally, and up to 21% when fortified by adding alcohol; and
distilled beverages, spirits such as whiskey, gin, and vodka, which on the
average contain from 40% to 50% alcohol. Drinkers may become addicted to any of
these beverages. The effects of alcohol on the body depend on the amount of
alcohol in the blood, blood-alcohol concentration. This changes with the rate of
consumption and with the rate at which the drinker's physical system absorbs
alcohol. The higher the alcohol content of the beverage consumed, the more
alcohol will enter the bloodstream. The amount and type of food in the stomach
can also affect the absorption rate. Drinking when the stomach is filled is less
intoxicating than when it is empty. Foods in the stomach, which contain fat and
protein, delay alcohol absorption. Body weight is also a factor, the heavier the
person the slower the absorption of alcohol. After alcohol passes through the
stomach, it is quickly absorbed through the walls of the intestines into the
bloodstream and carried to various organ systems of the body. Although small
amounts of alcohol are processed by the kidneys and secreted in the urine, and
other small amounts are processed through the lungs and exhaled in the breath,
most of the alcohol is metabolized by the liver. As the alcohol is metabolized,
it gives off heat. It is possible to drink at the same rate as the alcohol is
being oxidized out of the body. Most people, however, drink faster than this,
and so the concentration of alcohol in the bloodstream keeps rising. Alcohol
begins to impair the brain's ability to function when the blood-alcohol
concentration (BAC) reaches 0.05%, that is, 0.05 grams of alcohol per 100 cubic
centimeters of blood. Most state traffic laws in the United States presume that
a driver with a BAC of 0.10% is intoxicated. The person will experience a great
deal of difficulty in attempting to walk and will want to lie down. When the
blood-alcohol content reaches about 0.30%, which can be attained when a person
rapidly drinks about a pint of whiskey, the drinker will have trouble
comprehending and could become unconscious. At 0.35% to 0.50%, the brain centers
that control breathing and heart action are affected, concentrations above 0.50%
may cause death, although a person generally becomes unconscious before
absorbing a lethal dosage. Moderate use of alcohol is not harmful, but heavy
drinking is associated with alcoholism and many other health problems. The
effects of excessive drinking on major organ systems of the human body become
clear after heavy, continuous drinking or after intermittent drinking over a
period of time that may range from 5 to 30 years. The parts of the body most
affected by heavy drinking are the digestive and nervous systems.
Digestive-system disorders that may be related to heavy drinking include cancer
of the mouth, throat, and esophagus, gastritis, ulcers, cirrhosis of the liver,
and inflammation of the pancreas. Disorders to the nervous system are neuritis,
lapse of memory blackouts, hallucinations, and extreme tremor as found in
delirium tremens. Delirium tremens may occur when a person stops drinking after
a period of heavy, continuous imbibing. Permanent damage to the brain and
central nervous system may also result Recent evidence shows that pregnant women
who drink heavily may give birth to infants with the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome,
which could be face and body abnormalities and, in some cases, brain damage.
Plus, the combination of alcohol and drugs, sleeping pills, tranquilizers,
antibiotics, and aspirin, can be fatal, even when both are taken in nonlethal
doses. If you have a drinking problem, or if you suspect you have a drinking
problem, there are many other people like you, and there is help available. You
could talk to school counselor, a friend, or a parent. Excessive alcohol
consumption causes more than 100,000 deaths annually in the United States, and
although the number shows little sign of declining, the rate per 100,000
population has decreased since the early 1980s. Accidents, mostly due to drunken
driving, accounted for 24 percent of these deaths in 1992. Alcohol-related
homicide and suicide accounted for 11 and 8 percent. Certain types of cancer
that are partly attributable to alcohol, such as those of the esophagus, larynx,
and oral cavity, contributed another 17 percent. About 9 percent due to
alcohol-related stroke. Many studies have been made about attitudes toward
drinking in different societies. Various surveys show that subgroups within a
society or culture do not all have the same attitudes toward alcoholic beverages
or the same drinking habits. Drinking behavior differs noticeably among groups
of different age, sex, social class, racial status, ethnic background,
occupational status, religious affiliation, and regional location. ADAPCP 1
Alcohol and Drug Prevention and Control Program ADAPCP The Alcohol and Drug
Abuse Prevention and Control Program (ADAPCP) is a substance abuse treatment
program used in the Armed Forces. The DA's policy on alcohol is that "abuse
or excessive use of alcohol will not be condoned or accepted as part of any
military tradition, ceremony, or event." This program is mandated by the
public law 92-129, which is a law that mandated a program ADAPCP for the
identification and treatment of drug and alcohol dependent person in the Armed
Forces. The program is decentralized, and alcohol and other drug abuse and
related activities are addressed in this single program. Any individual that is
parts of the armed forces whether on active duty or retired, as well as, their
prospective family members are available for this service. This program is
necessary to protect Army and unit combat readiness and personnel's health and
welfare. There are seven functional areas of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Prevention and Control Program. They are as follows prevention, education,
identification, rehabilitation, treatment, program evaluation, and research.
There are nine objectives of ADAPCP. Reduce the abuse of alcohol and the
availability and abuse of other drugs within the Armed Forces. Prevent alcohol
and other drug abuse. Identify alcohol and other drug abusers as early as
possible. ADAPCP 2, Restore both military and civilian employee alcohol and
other drug abusers to effective duty. Provide for program evaluation and
research. Ensure that effective alcohol and drug abuse prevention education is
provided at all levels. Ensure that adequate resources and facilities are
provided to successfully and effectively accomplish the ADAPCP mission. Ensure
that all military and civilian personnel assigned to ADAPCP staffs are
appropriately trained and experienced to effectively accomplish their mission.
Achieve maximum productivity, reduced absenteeism and among DA civilian
employees by preventing and controlling abuse of alcohol and other drugs. The
rehabilitation program of the Alcohol Drug Abuse Prevention and Control program
consists of two phases; the active phase and the follow-up phase. The active
phase usually lasts for sixty days while the length of the follow-up phase
usually lasts for three hundred days or ten months. The person responsible for
the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Program is the Commander. The
Commander is also responsible for making sure that information on alcohol and
other drug abuse and prevention aspects are provided to all members to include
civilian employees and their dependents. There are four important items that the
Commander must do to make the program beneficial to the clients, they are as
follows ADAPCP 3. Ensure that the prevention program ADAPCP is aimed
specifically at individual target groups. Ensure that the prevention program is
coordinated with local civilian community efforts in drug and alcohol
prevention. Encourage a high degree of involvement of military community members
in local civilian community prevention efforts. Coordinate quality of life
initiative with prevention activities by providing alternatives. The Commander
must conduct a briefing or an evaluation of the soldier within seven days of his
or her arrival into the program. The evaluation is a vital part of the
assessment process in planning, decision making, and management of the client
soldier. The Commander identifies the soldier as a possible drug or alcohol
abuser by five objectives, they are as follows, self referral or self
identification, command identification, biochemical identification, medical
identification, and investigation and apprehension. Self-referral,
self-identification is considered the most beneficial method due to the
soldiers' realization that he or she has a drug or alcohol problem and seeks
assistance. Command identification is where the commander becomes aware of a
soldier whose performance, conduct, interpersonal relations, physical fitness,
or health appears to be affected by alcohol or drug abuse. Biochemical
identification is where the soldier is demanded to take a urine test and is
identified as a drug or alcohol user by the positive urine test. Medical
identification is where a physician gathers ADAPCP 4 clinical information about
the client and confirms that the soldier has a drug or alcohol addiction. After
a soldier is clinically confirmed as an alcohol or other drug abuser he/she can
be afforded treatment in the rehabilitation program for thirty days. Lastly,
investigation and apprehension is where the soldier is referred to the CCC
(Community Counseling Center), followed by enrollment into the ADAPCP for
education and rehabilitation. When the Commander refers a soldier, he or she
must participate in one or more of the three ADAPCP tracks. Track I involves
awareness education and group counseling, as required. Enrollment will not
exceed thirty days. Track II includes nonresidential rehabilitation, which is an
intensive individual, or group counseling which may include awareness education.
Enrollment is for a minimum of thirty days. Track III involves residential
rehabilitation where there is medical treatment with nonresidential follow-up.
Enrollment in this track is limited to those clients who have been evaluated by
a physician as requiring residential treatment. Generally, residential care will
be reserved for those individuals with long-standing problems of abuse, but for
whom prognosis for recovery is favorable with proper treatment. Enrollment is
for three hundred and sixty days. The Commander has four initiatives they must
implement for the ADAPCP, they are Make and keep appointments with an Alcohol
and Drug Coordinator. Identify personnel needing referral . ADAPCP 5 Monitoring
of ADAPCP clients. Urinalysis testing. Counseling is not the only option in the
Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and control program. There is also drug abuse
education and detoxification that are available. The drug abuse education
program is conducted throughout the Army Training System. There are five
objectives of this program, they are as follows. Inform all Army members of
policy, operations and the extent of alcohol and drug abuse problems and
programs. Inform all installation members about ADAPCP services to prevent and
control alcohol and drug abusers. Provide commanders and supervisors with the
information and skills they need to conduct affective alcohol and other drug
abuse prevention, control, and rehabilitation activities within their unit.
Inform military members of services available to individuals desiring to
overcome their own problems with alcohol and other drug abuse. Provide military
members of the community with the information that is needed to make responsible
decisions about their personal use of alcohol and to avoid the misuse or abuse
of other drugs. This program helps the clients soldiers gradually deal with
their substance or alcohol abuse. Detoxification involves withdrawing an
individual from drugs of abuse including alcohol, and treating the physical
symptoms of that withdrawal, and initiating rehabilitation. However, there are
consequences that arise when the client ADAPCP 6 continues to use, abuse, or
misuse. This is called the exemption policy. Exemption as defined in the ADAPCP
program, is an immunity from disciplinary action or from administrative
separation with less than an honorable discharge as a result of a certain
occurrence of alcohol abuse or drug misuse, or possession of drug incidental to
personal use. The main objective of this policy is to effectively identify,
treat, and rehabilitate the client by eliminating the barriers of successful
communications between alcohol or other drug abusers on the one hand, and ADAPCP
counselors or physicians supporting the program on the other hand. The exemption
policy has five circumstances in which the policy does not apply, they are as
follows. If the soldier is the subject of an alcohol or abuse investigation
concerning that offense. If the soldier is apprehended for the offense. If the
soldier has been officially warned that he/she is suspected of the offense. If
the soldier has been charged under or offered Article 15 punishment for the
offense. If the soldier receives emergency medical treatment for an actual or
suspected overdose and such treatment resulted from apprehension by law
enforcement officials. However, the program does not grant immunity under the
exemption policy for present or future use or illegal possession of drug or for
other illegal acts, past, present, or future.

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