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The Effects of Alcohol Essay

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Alcohol
Ethanol more commonly referred to as alcohol, is produced by a process called fermentation or distillation. This class of substance known as alcohol is comprised of hundred of organic compounds. Alcohol is classified into two categories: Undistilled/Fermented or Distilled. Examples of Undistilled alcohol includes: beer and wine. Some examples of Distilled alcohol include: vodka, rum, gin and whiskey. Just as there are different types of alcoholic beverages, there are different types of consumers of alcohol. Alcohol users are classified based on their consumption of alcohol as current users, binge drinkers and heavy users. Alcohol is one of the most commonly used drugs, it is considered a psychoactive drug and is only second to caffeine in consumption. (Pociluyko 2003) Alcohol falls under the category of a depressant.
Chemistry of alcohol
Alcohols are characterized by a hydroxyl group (OH) bounded to a carbon atom. (Lexicon Universal Encyclopaedia). O is for one part oxygen and H is for one part hydrogen atom. There are many types of alcohol, but one common factor that binds them is the fact that they all have the same psychoactive agents in them. Alcohol may be classified as either primary, secondary or tertiary based on which carbon of the alkyl group is bonded to the hydroxyl group. Most alcohols are colourless liquids or solids at room temperature.
Root of administration
The most common method by which alcohol is consumed into the body is by oral ingestion as a liquid. However, there are other ways in which a person can ingest alcohol, they can ingest alcohol intravenously, or inhaled as a vapour.
Stages of substance abuse
It is important to understand that there is no set time frame for how long it takes to go throu...


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...Walkup, Bilder, Crystal, 2009; Agabio, Marras, Gessa, & Carpiniello, 2007)
The use of alcohol does not only impact the user, but also the community. In some parts of the world heavy use of alcohol has played in major role in increased incidents of violence and crime. “Family units are often affected if one member of the family is a heavy alcohol user (Butcher, Mineka & Hooley, 2005). Family issues such as marital breakup, domestic violence and spouse abuse are strongly tied to high use of alcohol.” (Skrtic, Karlovic, Kruljac, 2008; Ogborne, 2000). Similarly, risky practices such as drunk driving and unacceptable sexual encounters are kinked with the use of alcohol. “Alcohol is also considered to be a causal factor in most motor vehicle accidents. Financial problems and job loss are also associated with high risk alcohol use.” (Shand, Gates, Fawcett & Mattick, 2003)



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