Alcohol: A Double Edge Sword

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Alcohol is historically one of the oldest known drugs to mankind. It is ingested orally and comes in many varieties. It is attractively packaged in alluring bottles and cans; which can seduce the unsuspecting individual and lead to a life of unrelenting misery, imbued with a potentially ruinous outcome. Taken in moderation; however, alcohol can also be used to prevent disease processes and promote health. This particular drug is both legal and is promoted widely throughout the planet. I chose this drug because I have personally been privy to all of its insidious effects. Alcohol comes in many forms, but primarily it is beer, wine and distilled spirits. Maisto, Galizio & Conners (2011) point out that, “the first non-distilled (sic) alcoholic beverages were made inadvertently by natural fermentation” (p. 192). These drinks were primarily wine and beer, with beer being the oldest fermented beverage (Maisto et al., 2011). Boozah, as the Egyptians called beer, was fermented using dehydrated dough that was soaked in water until the fermentation process was complete (Maisto et al., 2011). Wine is similarly produced; however, the fermentation is developed using a variety of fruit, chiefly grapes, and yeast (Maisto et al., 2011). Distillation came much later and fortified the beverage with a much higher concentration of alcohol. This method uses a fermentation process of sugar dissolved in water and exposed to air, which is then heated to a vapor and condensed through cooling (Maisto et al., 2011). The psychoactive ingredient in all alcoholic beverages is ethanol. Alcohol is mainly consumed orally; however, it can be injected and used topically (Maisto et al., 2011). Oral consumption is the chief method of administration. Potions can be co... ... middle of paper ... ...emergency treatment. The lethal dose of alcohol is .45-.50 and in extreme cases, 1.0 (Maisto et al., 2011). I chose this topic because I was in a relationship with a person who was an alcoholic. She had suffered with alcoholism from her teenage years until the age of 47. I struggled with her for close to a year before she capitulated and agreed to go into an impatient treatment facility for thirty days. She has now been sober for five years and we are now married. In conclusion, alcohol is a double-edged sword. Its allure can be appealing and temporarily intoxicating, but the long-range consequences can be a lifetime of pain, sorrow and regret. The health benefits do not outweigh the long-term concerns that alcohol can potentially bring. For me, it was a life of misery, regret, fear and suffering. In moderation, however, alcohol can be used safely and pleasurably.

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