The Effects Of Stress On Alcohol Consumption

2606 Words Sep 15th, 2014 11 Pages
The effects of stress on alcohol consumption since the start of nursing school
Alcohol is chemically described as “a colorless, volatile, flammable liquid that is the intoxicating constituent of wine, beer, spirits and other drinks, and is also used as an industrial solvent and as fuel.” Humans have been making and consuming alcohol for at least 11,000 years (Brice, 2012). Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, thought to enhance the action of GABA in the brain, an inhibitory transmitter (Lilley, Rainforth Collins, Snyder, 2014). As a CNS depressant, alcohol slows down reaction times and thought processes, slurs speech, can depress respirations, causes warm, flushed skin, hypotension, cause nausea, confusion, copious thirst and vomiting (Lilley, et al, 2014). In addition to these physiologic effects, the main recreational use of alcohol is for relaxation.
Though it has no legitimate medical use when ingested, many people use it for its “therapeutic” effects (Lilley et al, 2014). Unfortunately, long term use can cause addiction, which can lead to nutrition and vitamin deficiencies, withdrawal seizures, cardiomyopathy, fetal alcohol syndrome, cirrhosis, and eventually liver failure (Lilley, et al, 2014).
College students are a notable population that use alcohol simultaneously as a social lubricant and tension reliever. Factors such as peer pressure and academic anxiety contribute to alcohol use in young college students.
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