In detail

Alcohol: effects of consumption, risk and dependence

Alcohol: effects of consumption, risk and dependence

Between the Drugs classified as central nervous system depressants, alcoholic beverages are found. Alcohol is a substance found in fermented beverages such as wine, beer, cider and others, or in distilled spirits such as brandy, rum, cognac, gin, whiskey, etc. The alcohol content is not the same in all beverages and is indicated by the alcoholic degree, for example, 12º means that in 1000 ml of drink there is 120 ml of 96º ethyl alcohol.

Content

  • 1 Alcoholism
  • 2 Effects of consumption
  • 3 What is risk consumption?
  • 4 Pathologies associated with alcoholism
  • 5 Psychosocial consequences of alcohol
  • 6 How to quit alcohol consumption?

The alcoholism

Alcoholism is a viral-metabolic disease conditioned by the continued exposure of the body to alcohol. It is characterized by the insatiable desire to drink this substance, loss of control to not continue drinking after it begins, physical dependence or appearance of symptoms after withdrawal, and tolerance or need to increase the amount of alcohol ingested.

Many times the activities of the person revolve around the substance; You may spend a lot of time getting it, taking it and recovering from its effects. And although he sees the consequences, both physical and psychological caused by consumption, he continues to consume it.

There is an enzyme in the body responsible for destroying the alcohol called aldehyde dehydrogenase, but not all people have them equally. In man we can find it in two places, first in the mucosa of the stomach and then in the liver, instead the woman only has this enzyme in the liver, does not have it in the stomach or, in any case, is in a percentage 80 times lower.

A man can absorb 25% of the alcohol consumed in the stomach, while the woman does not, so it is less resistant to its effects. Once in the liver alcohol is metabolized, generating other substances also toxic to the body.

All the alcohol that the liver is not able to absorb passes into the blood (breathalyzer) and from there it goes directly to the brain, affecting the central nervous system. There are some strange cases in which the person does not have dehydrogenase in their body, are those individuals whose alcohol feels bad, causing nausea, diarrhea, heat, blushing, etc. So they can't take it.

Alcohol in Spain

It is possible to measure the global consumption of alcohol in the population of a country, specifically in Spain, 20 liters of alcohol are drunk per inhabitant per year, while in Sweden the consumption is 5 liters per inhabitant per year. The rate of cirrhotic disease in Spain is also much higher, of 24 people per one hundred thousand inhabitants, and in Sweden it is in two people of every one hundred thousand.

A person, After a year of drinking alcohol in large quantities, he already has psychic and physical dependence.

Effects of consumption

With a moderate consumption the main effects are the sensation of relaxation, liberation and increased self-confidence, loquacity, decreased attention and euphoria. As the amount increases, all these symptoms are negatively accentuated..

It adopts a incongruous speech, lack of coordination of movements and balance, loss of reflexes and even knowledge, leading to intoxication or drunkenness, with agitation, diplopia (see double) and risk of respiratory arrest. In addition, each gram of alcohol contains 7 Kcal, which accumulate as fat in most people, causing you to be overweight.

What is the risk consumption?

To define whether or not there is risk consumption is measured in Standard Beverage Units (UBE):

Pathologies associated with alcoholism

The initial characteristics of this disease are lack of appetite, sleep disorders, hypertension, anemia, sexual impotence, hand tremor, diarrhea, etc.

In the long term it produces different associated pathologies such as gastritis, gastrointestinal ulcers, liver disorders (hepatitis and cirrhosis), 80% of all chronic pancreatitis and almost all acute. It also causes a deficit of vitamin B1 and affects the mechanism of red blood cell production, especially lymphocytes, so addicts tend to suffer more infectious diseases. This list is thickened with cardiovascular, neurological, alcoholic dementias and psychosis.

Alcohol is a brain depressant, although it produces symptoms of euphoria. When it reaches the brain what is most affected is the area of ​​the cortex, the most characteristic part that humans have and the most developed. The higher the dose of alcohol, the more structural areas of the brain are affected, and that is what produces the final depression, so dangerous for the organism.

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome are a set of symptoms that appear by cessation or reduction of consumption. These occur after a prolonged period of large alcohol intakes and can develop hours or days after the interruption: morning sickness, tremors in limbs, tongue and even face, anxiety, sweating, insomnia, nausea, vomiting and visual hallucinations (usually be related to insects and can last several days), in very extreme cases delirium tremens occurs, which can cause death.

Psychosocial consequences of alcohol

At a family level, psychosocial consequences are characterized by greater irritability on the part of the patient, which encourages the appearance of fights, ill-treatment, abandonment of the family and even separation.

Regarding the social level, we can observe a loss of relationships, the appearance of legal-legal problems, altercations, recklessness and accidents.

At work, absenteeism can occur when alcoholism is already established, decreased performance, accidents at work, casualties and dismissals.

How to quit alcohol consumption?

Medical treatment should begin with detoxification, which can be outpatient or even hospital. After preventing alcohol consumption, tranquilizers are usually given to reduce anxiety caused by withdrawal symptoms, called benzodiazepines during the first few days.

Subsequently, abstinence must be maintained through alcoholic cessation, for this other medications are administered, which prevent re-drinking once it has stopped consuming. Individual and group counseling therapies are also performed, as well as follow-up visits.

Some of the ways to deal with the abandonment of consumption are:

  • Trying different ways to refuse the offer: "No, thank you, I am taking medication ...".
  • Remembering the list of reasons why not drinking is the best option.
  • Practice relaxation techniques such as deep and leisurely breathing.
  • Wait a few minutes for the desire to pass.
  • Distract yourself with activities that take time.
  • To think that alcohol does not solve problems, on the contrary, prevents thinking clearly.

Stop drinking improves the quality of life:

There are many benefits of abandoning alcohol consumption, such as having greater mental agility, an increase in physical well-being, more appetite, enjoying a better mood, driving safer, saving money, greater concentration and work performance, and increased self-esteem

Bibliography

  • Belloch, A., Sandín, B., Ramos, F. (1995): Manual of psychopathology. Spain. Mcgraw-Hill.
  • ICD 10, Mental and behavioral disorders. Clinical descriptions and diagnostic guidelines. (1992) World Health Organization. Madrid. Mediator
  • DSM-V, Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders.
  • Steinglass, P., Bennet, L.A., Wolin, S. J., Reiss, D. (1997): The alcoholic family. Barcelona. Gedisa