Alcohol Use. Alcohol Use

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1 Lesson 5.2 By Carone Fitness Alcohol is a drug found in many different types of beverages, including beer, wine, and liquor. At first the drinker may experience a buzz, but then the true nature of the drug sets in. 1

2 Alcohol is classified as a depressant, which means it slows the brain s ability to function. Therefore, alcohol severely impairs the drinker s ability to think, memorize, and concentrate, which decreases the drinker s academic achievement. The depressant nature of alcohol also hinders the drinker s decision-making skills. This can cause the drinker to do things that would embarrass the person under normal circumstances. 2

3 The lack of effective decisionmaking skills can lead to: Participating in dangerous behaviors Unintentional injuries Car crashes Physical fights Unplanned sexual relations Long-term Effects The long-term effects of alcohol on the body include: Vitamin deficiencies Stomach and skin problems Loss of appetite Brain damage Chronic liver problems 3

4 People who regularly drink alcohol begin developing a tolerance for the substance. In other words, they need more and more alcohol over time to achieve the same effects. When the drinker decides to stop drinking, they may experience withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms are physical and psychological responses to the absence of a given substance. Withdrawal Symptoms Examples of withdrawal symptoms include: Jumpiness Sleeplessness Sweating Tremors Convulsions 4

5 Alcoholism Withdrawal symptoms can be so unpleasant that the drinker may begin to drink more in order to avoid these symptoms. This can lead to alcoholism. Alcoholism is the physical and psychological dependence on alcohol. Alcoholism Alcoholism does not always mean the person is a fallingdown drunk. Many alcoholics appear as though they have their lives in order. So how can you determine whether or not someone is an alcoholic? An alcoholic possesses at least one of the following characteristics: 5

6 Alcoholism They are preoccupied in one way or another with alcohol. When they pick up a drink, they cannot predict what they will say or do. When they begin drinking, they do not know how much they will drink. They cannot manage stress without drinking. They may have personality changes or memory lapses due to drinking. Alcoholism Alcoholism develops in three phases: abuse, dependency, and addiction. The progression through each stage varies from person to person. One person may slowly move through each phase, whereas another may quickly move from the first phase to the final phase. 6

7 Phase 1: Abuse Many people begin drinking in order to relieve stress, improve depression, and relax. This practice can result in the person drinking regularly, which can then lead to a dependence on alcohol in order to cope with the stresses of life. Using alcohol as a coping strategy is known as substance abuse. Substance abuse is the unnecessary or improper use of a drug for nonmedical purposes. Phase I: Abuse An abuser of alcohol may begin experiencing episodes of short-term memory loss, such as forgetting with whom he was drinking or what happened after drinking. The person may rationalize his drinking behavior although others may consider him to be a problem drinker. 7

8 Phase II: Dependency Someone moves to the second stage of alcoholism when he develops a physical dependency. Physical dependency is when the body acquires a chemical need for a drug such as alcohol. The person now begins to drink alone and is defensive about his drinking behavior. He plans his day around the next time he will be able to drink. This causes decreased performance in school, work, or other obligations. Phase III: Addiction The final stage of alcoholism is addiction. Addiction is a physical and psychological dependency to the drug. Psychological dependency occurs when a person believes that the specific drug is needed in order to be happy or function normally. 8

9 Phase III: Addiction The addict no longer just craves the next drink, but he is willing to sacrifice everything in order to keep drinking. It is apparent that a problem exists, but he is not able to control his behavior. All the other dimensions of wellness are severely impaired by this addiction. Help for Alcoholism People in any of the stages of alcoholism need to seek help. There are several resources for an alcoholic who is seeking treatment. Alcoholics Anonymous is one example of a support group whose goal is to help alcoholics practice abstinence from alcohol. 9

10 Myths Information about alcohol is often unclear, which has led to the creation of several myths. Following are some of the common myths about alcohol and the truth regarding those myths. Myths Myth: Using alcohol on weekends or only once in a while is harmless. Fact: People can get into serious health, legal, and social situations anytime they use alcohol. 10

11 Myths Myth: When a person has a hangover, coffee, a cold shower, or fresh air will sober him or her up. Fact: These practices do not speed up the liver s ability to break down the alcohol, so they don t help sober a person up. Myths Myth: Beer and wine are safer drinks than hard liquor, like whiskey. Fact: One standard serving of beer, wine, or spirits contains the same amount of alcohol. 11

12 Myths Myth: Someone who doesn t seem drunk can t be drunk. Fact: Many people, particularly those with alcohol problems, can drink a lot without showing the obvious signs of drunkenness. Alcoholism is not the only dangerous behavior associated with alcohol use. Binge drinking is also very dangerous. 12

13 Binge Drinking Binge drinking is when a person drinks excessive amounts of alcohol. This type of drinking is popular with high school and collegeaged people. They will drink a lot at a party or participate in contests to see who can drink the most in an allotted amount of time. Binge Drinking Binge drinkers assume that they don t have a problem with alcohol because they aren t drinking every day, but this is a very dangerous pattern. 13

14 Binge Drinking Binge drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning, which results when more alcohol is consumed than the body can tolerate. Alcohol poisoning can disrupt the brain s ability to control breathing, which can be fatal. Presented By Carone Fitness 14

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