The Effects of Alcohol on the Human Body

1420 Words Aug 24th, 2012 6 Pages
The effects of Alcohol on the Human Body
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Introduction
Today, alcohol is one of the most common substances that people abuse. It is an addictive drink that has become a popular way of having a good time or relaxing in social gatherings. It is among the most commonly used psychoactive drugs. Alcohol is a popular social phenomenon, yet most societies forget its effects on their bodies. Research has carried out in the recent years on the effects that alcohol consumption is having on people. The resulting data has been extremely negative. The introduction of Alco pops', led to a substantial increase in the youth population drinking alcoholic beverages. On average, young people start drinking at approximately age thirteen.
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Alcohol abuse is a major contributing factor in cancers, including mouth cancer and liver cancer, which are both on the increase. Alcohol comes second to smoking as risk factors for digestive tract and oral cancers. Research suggests that this happens since alcohol breaks down into a substance called acetaldehyde. This substance then binds to proteins in the mouth triggering an inflammatory response from the body. In severe cases, cancerous cells eventually develop. Alcohol alters the chemistry within the brain and increases depression risk. It is associated with various mental health problems. People suffering from either anxiety or depression are twice likely to be heavy or addicted drinkers. Extreme drinking levels may often cause psychosis. This is a severe mental illness that causes development of hallucinations and delusions of persecution. Psychotic symptoms may also occur when heavy drinkers suddenly decide to stop drinking and as a result develop a condition referred to as ‘delirium tremens’. Moderate drinking does not suppress food intake. It may actually increase appetite. Heavy alcohol consumption has an opposite effect. It causes euphoria, which leads to lack of appetite. As a result, heavy drinkers often eat poorly and get malnourished. Alcohol contains seven calories per gram thus is rich in energy. However, just like fat or pure sugar, these calories lack nutrients. The more calories consumed in
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