Alcoholism Issues and Short Stories

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The following represents various issues, problems, and short stories about people who have faced drinking problems.

Alcohol Poisoning and Binge Drinking

Some people who drink very infrequently engage in binge drinking. Binge drinking is usually defined as having 4 or more drinks at one sitting for females and having 5 or more drinks per sitting for males.

If an individual engages in binge drinking just once or twice per year, "what's the big deal" some may ask? Here's the danger in binge drinking--even if it is only a few times per year.

Depending on how quickly a person consumes the drinks, if he or she is drinking on an empty stomach, how much alcohol content the drinks contain, the weight of the person, and how quickly the individual metabolizes alcohol, binge drinking can result in alcohol poisoning.

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When this happens, the individual usually experiences some or all of the following symptoms of alcohol poisoning: slurred speech, pale skin, absent reflexes, vomiting, passing out, confusion, or irregular breathing. Sadly, alcohol poisoning can result in death.

Damaging Alcohol Abuse Effects

Isn't it kind of ironic to know that as the nations of the world become more technologically advanced, more and more people within these countries are experiencing some of the more life-threatening alcohol abuse effects?

What, you may ask, are some of these diseases? Examples include cancer, cirrhosis, strokes, and heart disease. And this is just a short list of alcohol abuse effects that are health-related. What about other aspects of an individual's life that are also important if not critical?

What about alcohol-related unemployment? How about alcohol-related financial ruin? What about going through needless legal problems such as an arrest for drunk driving? And finally, what about the devastation of going through an alcohol-related divorce?

Clearly, alcohol abuse, because it affects the totality of what a person is, affects people in numerous ways, not of which can be considered as positive.

Is It Alcohol Abuse When You Only Drink On the Weekends?

Judy and Connie were neighbors who were in the 12th grade in high school. While walking home from school one day, Connie decided to bring up the topic of drinking. "Judy, you have to admit that we drink our share of alcohol.

Do you ever think about alcohol abuse and wonder if we are alcohol abusers?" Judy thought about this for a minute or two and then told Connie that she didn't see what they were doing as alcohol abuse.

After all, they only drank heavily on the weekends. How could drinking so infrequently be considered alcohol abuse? Since neither girl knew that much about alcohol abuse, they decided they would raise these questions in their health class.

The School System and Alcohol Abuse Facts

With the overwhelming number of people in our society who can be classified as problem drinkers, it is fairly obvious that millions Americans lack knowledge regarding alcohol abuse facts.

Does this lack of knowledge mean that Americans are not learning about alcohol facts and statistics in school? Is it possible that our students are getting taught about the negative consequences of excessive drinking but simply ignoring this information?

If so, then the message about the dangers of abusive drinking need to be taught in a manner that is more easily received and understood by our students.

After all, the more students who "hear" the message and avoid engaging in alcohol abuse, the fewer problem drinkers our society will have when these students become adults.

Common Sense and the Effects of Alcohol

Let's be realistic. The effects of alcohol produce such a neat feeling that people naturally gravitate toward this feeling. In fact, some rather introverted individuals have a difficult time in social situations unless they get a mellow "buzz" from drinking a few alcoholic beverages. True to our human nature, when we experience something that is enjoyable, we want more of the same thing.

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And also true to our human nature, when we overdo something that is pleasurable, we either get tired or bored of the same thing or, in the case of substances that can become addictive, we build up a tolerance for the item in question. What this means is that we need more and more of the substance or activity in order to experience the same "high."

Yes, the initial good feelings of drinking alcohol are a strong attraction. But we must practice good judgment and common sense because we know that if we "go to the well" of alcohol too often, then we run the risk of developing a host of damaging and unhealthy outcomes.

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