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Stigma of Alcohol Abuse

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STIGMA OF ALCOHOL ABUSE
Verdean Rogers
May 08, 2014
“MAT 135/179-360, Spring Semester 2014”.

Stigma Assessment of Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol is a road often traveled yet there is no light at the end. The road only leads to a life of depression, anxiety, anger, stress, and much more. These are all, unwanted personality traits that we experience at one time or another. However, alcoholics exhibit these traits day in and day out as the likelihood that they act in these ways is nearly doubled when alcohol is involved. Alcohol inhibits not only daily bodily functions but our minds as well. Alcoholism leads to times of withdrawal, low self-esteem, and an overall unwillingness to be part of society. It turns the gentlest person into a raving psychopath without them even knowing it or if they do know, they refuse to admit it.
Alcoholism manipulates the way we think and the way we react in common, everyday situations. Minor problems are blown out of proportion while major problems are faced with anger, resentment, and often physical force. Alcoholism does nothing positive for an individual. It has many harmful effects and its effects on personality are the most harmful of all. In this study, we will examine how alcohol is metabolized by the body, affects alcohol has on the brain, and the influence of alcohol and gender on immune response.
In chemistry terms, alcohol is an organic compound where a hydroxyl group (-OH) is bonded to a carbon atom from an alkyl. A hydroxyl group is a group consisting of an oxygen and hydrogen atom, bonded by a covalent bond. A covalent bond is found when two non-metals are bonded together. The type of alcohol suitable for consumption is known as ethanol. Ethanol is a straight-chain alcohol, and its molecules formula is C2H50H. Ethanol is one of the oldest recreational drugs. “Imagine a condition that affects one out of every thirteen adults, alcohol abuse”. Fourteen million Americans alone suffer this disease, caused by a combination of physiological, psychological, social, and genetic factors. It destroys lives, tears apart families, and can defeat even the toughest people. And now, nearly half of all teenage kids use it. I am speaking of course, of alcohol. Alcoholism can only be defeated through proper funding, reform, and cooperation. The effects of alcohol (i.e., ethanol) on various tissues depend on its concentration in the blood (blood alcohol concentration [B A C]) over time. B A C is determined by how quickly alcohol is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted. After alcohol is swallowed it is absorbed primarily from the small intestine into the veins that collects blood from the stomach and bowels and from the portal vein, which leads to the liver. From there it is carried to the liver, where it is exposed to enzymes and metabolized. The rate of the rise of BAC is influenced by how quickly alcohol is emptied from the stomach and the extent of metabolism during this first pass through the stomach and liver (i.e., first-pass metabolism [FPM]).

Alcohol abuse and addiction are major problems in society today. Every segment of society, regardless of race, gender, or age is affected. Years of research have shown women’s and men’s immune system function differently. During the reproduction years women have a stronger immune response than men. This gender difference is believed to be control by differences in the blood level of gonadal steroid hormones-including the female hormone, estrogen, which stimulates immune responses, and the male hormone testosterone, which immunosuppressive. In both males and females, alcohol exposure suppresses immune responses; however, it is unclear whether there are significant gender differences in this suppression. Chronic exposure to alcohol alters the production of this same set of hormones, estrogen and testosterone, and hence alcohols affect’s own immunity could involve an indirect mechanism which levels and, in turn, the hormone regulates immune responses. Overall, there is a wide range of effects alcoholism has on the individual person health and personality. Effects range from physical and behavioral, including anger, anxiety, organ failure, sleep patterns and learning. Changes in personality and the physical functioning are not unimportant. Rather it is something that needs to be noticed, admitted, and solved as soon as possible. The longer these patterns go on the harder it will be to cure them. Changes in one’s personality due to alcoholism can result in the loss of someone’s life, family, loved one, job or self-esteem. Personality defines an individual’s character which is the backbone to who we are. If this personality is taken for granted, misused, or abused in any way because of alcoholism, who someone is will no longer be and the monster they have become will be how they are known.

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