Alcoholism cause and effect essay

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Introduction

There are several terms that have been developed to define alcoholism, including alcohol dependence and alcohol abuse. As Roh (2015) demonstrates, today alcoholism is referred to as alcohol use disorder that occurs when a person consumers so much alcohol that the body becomes addicted and dependent on alcohol. Alcoholism manifests through addition, which makes alcohol the most important thing in the life of the alcoholic. Inasmuch as the negative consequences of alcohol use disorder are well defined, people with the disorder continue to consume alcohol, a factor that leads to negative effects on their overall livelihoods.

This is a research paper whose theme is alcoholism. This paper aims at answering the following research questions: What are the statistical facts related to alcoholism? Which body systems are affected by alcoholism? Based on the statistics on the prevalence and information on the body systems affected by alcoholism, what are the interventions that can be implemented to reduce the effects and prevalence of alcoholism? By answering these questions, this research aims at proving that there is a relationship between multidisciplinary approaches to alcohol abuse prevention and successful interventions to minimize alcoholism.

Discussion

There have been several studies that have been conducted to determine the exact causes of alcoholism. Across these studies, Powers, Berger, Fuhrmann and Fendrich (2017) highlighted that there are no specific emergent causes of alcoholism, though the risk factors of alcoholism continue to be defined. According to Roh (2015), there is a thin line between moderate alcohol consumption and excessive consumption, with the latter being attributed to addiction. In an attempt to ascertain this, Allamani (2012) classified males who consume more than 15 drinks weekly and women who take more than 12 drinks weekly as highly at risk of alcoholism. However, Opačić, Oreb and Radat (2017) explained that alcoholism can purely be linked to social and psychological issues. Peer pressure is among the leading social issues associated with alcoholism, while depression, anxiety and mental abuse are the psychological issues that are attributed to alcoholism.

As of 2015 in the US, alcohol use disorder was prevalent across 6.2% of the population aged above 18 years, based on the report by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). The prevalence of this disorder was higher among men (8.4%) compared to women (5.3%). On the other hand, 2.5% of youths aged between 12 and 17 were reported to have alcohol use disorder (niaaa.nih.gov, 2018). However, the disorder was prevalent among the females in this age group (2.7%) compared to the 2.3% of the males. The NIAAA further reports that approximately 88,000 deaths occur annually due to alcoholism. Men constitute the larger proportion of these deaths. On the global scale, there are 3.3 million deaths annually that accrue from alcoholism, translating to nearly 6% of the total deaths globally.

The effects of alcoholism on the body have been well documented by Bernstein (2012), who writes that inculcated behavior of excessive alcohol consumption leads to disorders of the digestive system, the circulatory system, the central nervous system and the endocrine system. The most common body part affected by alcoholism is the liver. In 2015, nearly 47% of the liver disease deaths in the USA were attributed to alcoholism (niaaa.nih.gov, 2018). Besides, alcohol has been identified as a leading cause of cirrhosis, a chronic disease of the liver that manifests through inflammation and cell degeneration. Alcoholism was identified by the NIAAA as the major cube of the cirrhosis deaths, as it contributed 48% of these deaths in 2015.

The statistics of alcoholism prevalence and the effects of alcoholism on the body paint a picture of the need to develop appropriate interventions to prevent it. According to Opačić, Oreb and Radat (2017), the prevention measures of alcoholism are aimed at reducing the abuse of alcohol as well as its consequences. As such, legislators, healthcare providers, the community and the potential addicts should all be included in the efforts directed towards preventing alcoholism. Legislators play a critical role in reducing alcohol consumption through increasing the taxes levied on alcohol and increasing the minimum age that is legally accepted for drinking. Besides, legislators also create laws that oblige alcohol manufacturers to inform and warn the drinkers of the effects of alcohol abuse.

Health care providers play the role of promoting the recovery efforts of those diagnosed with alcohol use disorder. Doctors and nurses are influential in enabling the addicts overcome the effects of withdrawal, while psychological health experts enable the addicts to develop a positive attitude towards life. The communities are pivotal in developing programs and educational interventions for saving the lives of the addicts. The communities include the citizen advocacy groups, media, business enterprises, the police and schools. In all these interventions, the input of addicts should be embedded, as Roh (2015) demonstrates that such inclusion increases the suitability of the programs among the populations at high risk of alcoholism.

Conclusion

In this discussion, the statistics of alcoholism prevalence have been provided, indicating that alcoholism is highly prevalent among men than women. The study also establishes that the liver is the body organ that is largely affected by alcoholism, an argument that is supported from the data detailing the number of liver disease deaths associated with alcoholism. The solutions to alcoholism listed in this paper include policy interventions, healthcare prevention approach and community based programs. In conclusion, there is a relationship between multidisciplinary approaches to alcohol abuse prevention and successful interventions to minimize alcoholism.

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  1. Allamani, A. (2012). Alcohol Consumption Policies and the Prevention of Alcohol Consumption-Related Problems: Needs, Duties, and Responsibilities*. Substance Use & Misuse47(12), 1252-1259. http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/10826084.2012.716483
  2. Bernstein, D. (2012). Alcoholic Liver Disease. Clinics In Liver Disease16(4), xiii-xiv. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cld.2012.09.009
  3. niaaa.nih.gov. (2018). Alcohol Facts and Statistics | National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)Niaaa.nih.gov. Retrieved 29 January 2018, from https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-facts-and-statistics
  4. Opačić, A., Oreb, T., & Radat, K. (2017). Characteristics and Significance of Professional-Led Support Groups in the Treatment of Alcoholism. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly35(4), 359-371. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07347324.2017.1350541
  5. Powers, G., Berger, L., Fuhrmann, D., & Fendrich, M. (2017). Family history density of substance use problems among undergraduate college students: Associations with heavy alcohol use and alcohol use disorder. Addictive Behaviors71(9), 1-6. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.02.015
  6. Roh, S. (2015). New Directions in Healthcare for Alcohol Use Disorder. Health Care : Current Reviews03(02). http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/2375-4273.1000144
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