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Alcoholism A Nationís Bad Habit

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Alcoholism is one of the major problems facing the populace in the entire world. The problem of alcoholism affects many countries and cuts across the cultural orientation of the globe. Alcohol consumption and abuse has serious effects and subsequently causes lots of problems to those affected either directly or indirectly. Alcoholism is a serious disease, which affects the physical, mental and economic aspects of the alcoholic’s life and spilling to the persons near or around them. This essay purposes to discuss the serious effects of alcoholism.

To begin with, alcoholism has adverse physical effects. The impacts of continued alcohol consumption and subsequently its abuse can lead to death. Alcoholism is a major contributor to the largest cases of stomach, kidney and liver cancer. In addition, alcoholism alters the digestion of nutrients necessary for fostering the healthy orientation of the body. Alcoholism is also known to cause severe damage to the brain, and alterations in thinking, body movements, appetite, and, physical appearance (Coles et al, 2000). Other effects of alcoholism include liver cirrhosis, anemia, blood clotting abnormalities and increased chances of high blood pressure and osteoporosis. The impacts of alcoholism on the physical body are tremendous and are recipe for death.

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Secondly, alcoholism has mental and emotional effects. Though in the beginning alcohol is a source of relaxation, continued consumption leads to increase in tolerance and resistance by the body, thus creating a bigger need for it. Weiss (2007) observes that alcohol is known to lead to increased anxiety and cause depression. The disease affects sound decision making and emotional instability which leads to family and legal problems, violence, changes of behavior and even endorses suicide (Weiss, 2007). Due to the mental strain associated with alcohol, a person under the influence is discouraged from driving.  Buddy T (2005), in a study done by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, observed that “Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death in the United States for people between the ages of 1 and 34. Thirty percent of Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash in their lifetimes,” he adds.

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Thirdly, alcoholism has far reaching economical effects. A study released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), estimates that the economic cost of alcohol and drug abuse stands at $246 billion dollars. Such amount of money could have been very beneficial if channeled to more meaningful economical activities. Alcohol is not cheap and the price is rising every year. The number of times one drinks in a week translates into hundreds of dollars or more a week spent just on alcohol! People do not think about the money they are spending to buy alcohol. Because of alcoholism; people lose their jobs, homes and property and sometimes all they own is swallowed up in the addictive act of alcohol consumption.

Alcoholism affects not only the alcoholic but the persons around them. Relationships with valuable friends and even family members are broken due to alcoholism. The relationships are broken due to the inability of the alcoholic to meet the demands of the social life or due to failed attempts to leave the drinking arena altogether. Most alcoholics deny their addiction while friends and families disagree and disapprove of their behavior. Such rifts are a recipe for conflicts or at worse permanent separations.

To conclude, alcoholism is a serious disease which affects the physical, mental and economical part of the alcoholic’s life and their relationships with those around them. Alcohol alters the normal functioning of the brain, thinking, digestion process, and all kinds of other disorders that affect your health. It also causes depression, wayward behavior, and even death. Alcoholism precipitates problems with family, friends, and is the perfect avenue to bankruptcy and subsequently pauperism.

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