Long Term Physiological Effects Of Addiction Essay

Long Term Physiological Effects Of Addiction Essay

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1. Alcohol is the most prevalent drug of abuse worldwide. Discuss the major, long-term physiological effects of addiction to alcohol. Be sure to include a discussion of the dangers of withdrawal.

Long term use of the world’s most prevalent drug, alcohol, causes numerous major, long-term physiological effects. Although chronic alcohol consumption has been associated with various cancers such as rectal, colon, mouth, and large intestine, the more fatalities have come from damage and diseases of the liver. First, the lipids accumulate in the liver causing what is known as alcoholic’s fatty liver. Then, hepatitis is usually contracted. In this disease the liver is inflamed and tender. Continued alcohol consumption can be fatal at this point. The next stage is typically cirrhosis where the functioning liver cells are replaced by scar tissue. Ultimately, this stage of liver deterioration is fatal. One does not necessarily go through each stage, but this is the usual progression.
Chronic alcohol use effects many other parts of the body, also. Persistent vomiting damages the lining of the esophagus while the intestinal lining is negatively affected by the alcohol and diarrhea. Both of these effect the nutritional intake of the alcoholic. Wernicke’s encephalopathy is a central nervous system disorder caused by a deficiency in thiamin from chronic alcohol consumption. Confusion, difficulty walking, eyeball control are a few of the effects. Results of this disorder lead to Korsakoff’s psychosis where a person is apathetic, passive and has severe amnesia. Other effects include an enlarged heart, weakened skeletal muscles and birth defects.
Withdrawal from alcohol can be severe, especially if complete alcohol withdrawal syndrom...


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...ng to be desired. For example, the woman who is complimented on her clothes by a male coworker. She is likely to dress in a similar fashion and be sure to ‘run into’ that coworker when she does. The woman may do this more so at times when she is feeling unattractive and/or needs a confidence booster. The repeated compliments stimulate the dopamine and give her a reward. The more she does it, the more comments, the more rewards are received, the more she needs.
Unfortunately, all creatures enjoy rewards too much and this can lead to negative circumstances. Sex, for example, also stimulates the reward pathway. For some, the reward of sex can become an addiction. If a little is good, then a lot must be better. The action of intercourse may be a sign of intimacy at first. Yet, later it becomes a need as that person constantly seeks that feeling, the reward.

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