The following essay will introduce you to pros and cons of
drinking. It will also give you a clear understanding in why you
shouldn't drink alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant; it impairs your
ability to drive, slows down your reaction time and causes you to
make some risky decisions that you wouldn't normally take. This
essay will also help you comprehend how and why things
happen, because of alcohol.
Alcoholism can kill in many different ways, and in general, people
who drink regularly have a higher rate of deaths from injury,
violence, and some cancers. The earlier a person begins drinking
heavily, the greater their chance of developing serious illnesses
later on. Any protection that occurs with moderate alcohol intake
appears to be confined to adults over 60 who have risks for heart
disease. Adults who drink moderately (about one drink a day)
have a lower mortality rate than their non-drinking peers, their
risk for untimely death increases with heavier drinking.
Alcohol may not cause cancer, but it probably does increase the
carcinogenic effects of other substances, such as cigarette smoke.
Daily drinking increases the risk for lung, gastric, pancreatic,
colorectal, urinary tract, liver, brain cancers, and leukemia. About
75% of cancers of the esophagus and 50% of cancers of the
mouth, and throat are attributed to alcoholism. (Wine appears to
pose less danger for these cancers than beer or hard liquor.)
Smoking combined with drinking enhances risks for most of these
cancers dramatically. When women consume as little as one
drink a day, they may increase their chances of breast cancer by
as much as 30%.
In the liver, alcohol converts to an even more toxic substance,
which can cause substantial damage. Not eating when drinking
and consuming a variety of alcoholic beverages are also factors
that increase the risk for liver damage. People with alcoholism are
also at higher risk for hepatitis B and C, potentially chronic liver
diseases than can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer. People with
alcoholism should be immunized against hepatitis B; they may
need a higher-than-normal dose of the vaccine for it to be
Alcohol has widespread effects on the brain. The use of alcohol,
however, eventually produces depression and confusion. In
chronic cases, alcoholism can lead to mental disturbances.
Alcohol can also cause milder problems, including headaches
(especially after drinking red wine). Except in severe cases, the
damage is not permanent and abstinence nearly always leads to
recovery of normal mental function. Alcohol may increase the risk
for hemorrhage stroke (caused by bleeding in the brain), although
it may protect against stroke caused by narrowed arteries.
Alcohol plays a major role in more than half of all automobile
accidents. Alcohol also increases the risk of accidental injuries
from many other causes. Drinking and driving is dangerous to
yourself and others around you. The penalty for drinking and
driving is Driving Under the Influence (DUI). If your Blood
Alcohol Content (BAC) registers over .08, you are Driving
Under the Influence. After having one drink it takes
approximately one hour for your body to burn off the alcohol.
You can't depend on yourself to be able to drive after an hour,
because everyone processes alcohol differently and you might
even feel the effects long after you've been drinking. Your BAC
is based on your body weight, how much you have had to drink,
the amount of food you may have eaten before drinking, the
length of time over which you have had alcohol, and the speed at
which your own body processes alcohol (once again, everyone is
different). There is no way to make your body burn alcohol
faster; eating, drinking coffee, exercising, or taking a cold shower
may make you feel better, but they have no effect on your rate
that alcohol is processed.
Alcohol can also create hormonal effects. Alcoholism increases
the levels of the female hormone estrogen and reduces the levels
of the male hormone testosterone, factors that contribute to
impotence in men. I placed this statement here, because I
personally believe that men, such as myself, should be aware on
how alcohol effects a "male's ability to perform".
Domestic violence is a common consequence of alcohol abuse.
For women, the most serious risk factor for injury from domestic
violence may be a history of alcohol abuse in her male partner.
Alcoholism in parents also increases the risk for violent behavior
and abuse toward their children. Children of alcoholics tend to do
worse academically than others, have a higher incidence of
depression, anxiety, and stress and lower self-esteem than their
peers. Children who were diagnosed with major depression
between the ages of six and 12 were more likely to have
alcoholic parents or relatives, than those children who do not
have parents who are alcoholics. Alcoholic households are less
cohesive, have more conflicts, and their members are less
independent and expressive than households with non-alcoholics
or recovering alcoholic parents. In addition to their own inherited
risk for later alcoholism, children of alcoholics have serious
coping problems that may be life long. Alcoholic parents are at
higher risk for divorced and for psychiatric symptoms. The only
events with greater psychological impact on children are sexual
and physical abuse.
During pregnancy and infant development, one must take extreme
Even moderate amounts of alcohol may have damaging effects on
the developing fetus, including low birth weight and an increased
risk for miscarriage. High amounts can cause fetal alcohol
syndrome, which can result in mental and growth retardation.
There is also a higher risk for leukemia in infants of women who
drink any type of alcoholic beverages during pregnancy.
From what you have read, you can see that alcohol has a great
influence on the body. Many people drink alcoholic beverages
and believe that it will not have an affect, but they are wrong!
Alcohol plays a very disturbing role and affects you physically,
mentally and spiritually. Personally, drinking alcoholic beverages
is something that doesn't have to be part of your life. Alcohol is a
want, not a need, and if you live a life without alcohol you will
definitely live a life of happiness. Don't take my word for it… try
Word count: 1,030
Word Count: 1034