Alcohol is a drinkable form of ethanol, or ethyl alcohol. Upon consumption, the alcohol acts on the nerve cells deep in the brain. Alcohol acts on the central nervous system as a depressant and is powerfully addictive. When an individual drinks, it initially acts as a stimulant, then later it induces feelings of relaxation and lessened anxiety.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that 19.3 million people needed alcohol treatment in a one year period. In addition, 87% of them did not receive treatment.
What is Alcohol?
Alcohol is produced when fruits, grains, or vegetables are fermented; fermentation is a process that uses bacteria or yeast to change the sugars that are in food into alcohol.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that more than 41% of admissions into treatment are for alcohol rehabilitation.
Alcohol comes in many different forms and can be used as an antiseptic or cleaner; however the kind of alcohol that people drink is ethanol, which is a sedative. When alcohol is consumed, it’s absorbed into and through the user’s bloodstream. From that point, it affects the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), which controls virtually all of the users body functions. Alcohol has the ability to actually block some of the messages trying to be sent to the user’s brain. This alters the users hearing, emotions, movement, perceptions and vision.
Alcohol is addictive because the user wants to continue to experience the same ‘high’ off of alcohol and this desire grown he more the individual drinks.
The statistics on alcoholism are staggering. Alcoholism, in today’s society, is a serious problem. If we ever want to see the reduction of statistics involving fatalities, injuries, diseases caused from the use and abuse of alcohol, it is extremely important that the public, including the large groups of users and abusers of alcohol, gain as much knowledge as possible about the symptoms and effects of alcoholism. We can help lower the number of individuals who are addicted to alcohol using tools such as education and realization of the effects alcoholism can have on the different aspects of a person’s life are the best to date.
Recovery from alcohol addiction is a process of change through which an individual achieves abstinence and improved health, wellness and quality of life.
Alcohol in the United States
It is estimated that in the United States, 23.1 million people suffer from addiction to alcohol or drugs. Unfortunately, alcoholism also affects the family and friends of the alcoholic. Once in recovery, the alcoholic’s life becomes manageable, family relations are restored and life returns to a healthy, functioning level. They, in essence, become productive members of their family and society.