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What is Alcohol?

What is Alcohol?

The production of alcohol takes place by means of sugar cane, cereals and fruits. Distillation or fermentation produces alcohol from these substances. Already small amounts can lead to an uninhibited effect on the affected person. Sensory perceptions change depending on the amount of alcohol consumption. If alcohol is consumed continuously for a longer period of time, this leads to a dependency. The consequences of this are difficulty concentrating, the personality changes and there are weaknesses in performance. This can even lead to the point that some people without alcohol are no longer able to do their job. Already in the early morning they need their certain dose.

Alcohol is one of the so-called social drugs, and is classified as a legal stimulant in most parts of the world. The term actually designates the chemical substance class, but is colloquially used as a general synonym. Ethanol is an organic-based solvent used in both the food industry (potable alcohol) and in chemistry (as the basic chemical). In addition, it finds its use as fuel and fuel, as well as in medicine. Alcohol is one of the oldest intoxicants in the world, and should probably have long been used before the consumption of psychotropic plants, which is due to its natural occurrence back. Due to the so-called alcoholic fermentation of sugar (fructose), alcohols are found in almost all fruits, and in many vegetables as soon as they ferment. The fermentation is a completely natural process, initiated by flying yeast (spontaneous fermentation). Alcohol was and is socially recognized, although it is an intoxicant. He usually has a mood-enhancing, but also anesthetic. The sensitivity is increased, lighter overdoses have a negative effect on sense of balance and our perception. The state of "drunkenness" denotes a first, early form of alcohol intoxication. Persistent alcohol consumption leads to resistance, which inevitably leads to a steadily increasing dosage. The dependence - often resulting from consumption - is both mental and physical. Consequential damage is noticeable in the nerve center, as well as in limited organic functions (liver damage, brain damage). Forms of psychosis were also clinically proven. Due to its social recognition, alcohol, even before Nicotine, is considered the most dangerous drug.

Alcohol is not a modern invention, the natural intoxicating effect of fermented fruit has been known to man for many thousands of years. And not only humans understand themselves in this kind of consciousness extension, also in the animal kingdom are found again and again examples for accordingly pleasurable enjoyment. The per capita consumption in Germany is 10 liters of pure alcohol per year. A beer, which is to be considered, contains only 10 to 12 g of pure alcohol.

The inebriation caused by the consumption of alcohol is an integral part of our everyday culture. Alcohol is not recognized as a drug and hardly as an addictive risk. On festive occasions, but also just so, for dinner or during the disco visit, the consumption of alcoholic drinks is obligatory. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as certain limits are not exceeded. A habitual or excessive consumption, however, leads to physical and mental impairments to the no longer controllable addiction.

The abuse of alcohol causes enormous economic costs. 20 million euros are invested annually in the treatment and care of those affected and in prevention. The countervailing alcohol-related tax revenues of the state only amount to about 4 billion euros.

It is particularly risky to estimate alcohol consumption for adolescents. They are more likely to be physically damaged because the organs of young people are not yet fully developed. Especially for this target group, however, the so-called Alcopops aligned, the sweet taste obscures the alcohol content, although a proportionately hide about two booze in a bottle. The high sugar content and the content of carbon dioxide accelerate the intoxicating effect.

Mental Effect of Alcohol

Via the mucous membranes in the mouth, stomach and small intestine, the alcohol enters the bloodstream and is transported to the tissues and brain. After half an hour to one hour he has reached his full concentration. The nerve cells are now impaired in their information transfer, so that it changes the consciousness and behavior of the drinker.

As a rule, the alcohol has a relaxing and stimulating effect, so that anxiety and inhibitions are less pronounced than usual; so even shy people suddenly seem outgoing. However, other people also react with irritability, aggression or violence to drinking alcohol. The individual reaction depends, among other things, on the physical condition, the amount of alcohol and the habituation to drinking.

While a low alcohol level usually causes relaxation and relaxation, this mood increases from about 0.8 per thousand in inhibition and self-overestimation. Critique and judgment decreases as well as responsiveness.

Starting at 1.0 per thousand, this is called intoxicating, which can be accompanied by serene or depressive moods. Responsiveness is then very limited, while the tendency to overconfidence continues to increase.

The drinker slowly loses control of himself, which is clear from balance disorders and the impairment of the senses. A real warning sign are memory lapses after nights spent drinking. They can be first indications of a dependency.

Physical Effect of Âlcohol

Alcohol consumption is a real challenge for the body. In particular, the liver is engaged in the breakdown of ingested alcohol. It takes one to one and a half hours to break down a drink with 10 to 12 grams of pure alcohol. The time required for dismantling increases with the amount consumed. So if you drink seven times the amount, it takes seven times to break down the alcohol.

In addition, numerous physical impairments occur, which increase with increased blood alcohol content. This includes the simple dilation of the blood vessels, which is evident in a reddened face as well as in lower sensitivity to cold. Also the sense of taste and the vision are impaired. Particularly clear signs that are visible to the outside are disturbances of the language and the sense of balance. As the coordination of the muscles worsens, a controlled running is much more difficult, the locomotion takes place only staggering and staggering.

Excessive consumption of alcohol carries the risk of permanent damage to body cells. At the same time, the intake of vitamins and minerals is limited so that the risk of developing infections increases significantly. The most affected organ is the liver, which may be affected by alcohol abuse. Strokes and dementia are other diseases that can be exacerbated and challenged by alcohol use and ultimately lead to death.

Various studies have shown that children with alcoholics have a significantly higher risk of becoming addicted to alcohol. (The proof of a genetic marker is still pending.) Also, one should be aware of the grip on the glass - drinking alcohol affects not only the drinker, this drug has also on the social environment large impact.

In pregnancy, the consumption of alcohol is absolutely taboo. The placenta also gets into the child's body, but this is unable to break down the alcohol, as his liver has not yet developed properly. Even during breastfeeding, no alcohol should be drunk, as the alcohol content in breast milk adapts to that in the blood.

Alcoholism - Alcohol as a Dependency

Anyone who consumes excessively over a long period of time exposes themselves to the danger of dependence. The carries both physical and mental characteristics.

The physical dependence is mainly due to an increased tolerance to the alcohol. After prolonged and regular consumption, the addict must consume an ever increasing amount of the drug in order to achieve the same effect. If the alcohol supply fails, mild to severe withdrawal symptoms, such as sweating or shaking, occur.

Hard to recognize is the psychological dependence. It can be denied much longer, while the physical dependence is difficult to hide due to the clearly emerging withdrawal symptoms.

Emotional dependence refers to an excessive desire for alcohol that can hardly be overcome without help. The addict is in a cycle of denial and deliberately hiding parts of his experience that he alone can not break. Instead, he adapts his habits, behavior and personality to drug use, increasing dependence.

As for all addictions, alcohol dependence is also a moral issue that can be defeated with good will. Alcohol dependence is a serious condition characterized by various physical, mental and social symptoms. It does not emerge overnight, but evolves slowly. Your treatment is a tedious process.

In Germany, about 1.7 million people are alcohol dependent. An estimated 10 million people consume alcohol in a risky amount, so they are more likely to suffer health damage. Men are affected by this condition twice as often as women.

Prevention of Alcohol Dependence

The risk of alcohol dependence basically exists for anyone who consumes alcohol. Alcohol consumption is so strongly integrated into social life that the onset of dependency is often difficult to detect. To permanently avoid contact with alcohol or to preach abstinence is hardly possible in our society.

Once suspected of dependency, you should seek qualified advice from a counseling center or from a doctor. If one is addressed by acquaintances on their own alcohol consumption, one should question this fact self-critically.

It is particularly important to clarify the effects of alcohol at an early stage and to sensitize students to the cultural and social connections and consequences of alcohol abuse. The purchase and use of alcohol is not prohibited in Germany, it is therefore a legal drug whose consumption is limited only in relation to children.

No one should be forced to drink alcohol, a clear no must always be pronounceable and accepted. Not everyone likes this drug and nobody should be seduced by the pressure of a group to consume.

Many volunteers, dry alcoholics and in particular the health insurance companies operate primary prevention, thus warn against the abuse of alcohol and its harmful consequences. Secondary prevention offers people concrete help that is in danger of becoming dependent or already dependent. Tertiary prevention, on the other hand, is the area of follow-up that aims to prevent a relapse of alcohol-dependent people.

Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcoholism is not a curable disease. Anyone who is an alcoholic, that remains his life with all the consequences. In everyday life, he is exposed to the temptation every day anew and must resist it. Various therapy offers help to control the addiction and help the addict to return to a non-alcoholic everyday life.

The basic requirement for every therapy is the participation of the addict. This includes the recognition and acceptance of one's own addiction, as well as the will to overcome it.

Depending on the severity of the illness, detoxification, or physical deprivation, can take place on an inpatient or outpatient basis and is designed to reduce the level of alcohol in the body to zero while relieving withdrawal symptoms. Such symptoms are often restlessness, mood swings, tremors or nausea. The detoxification of a strong dependence is often accompanied by vomiting, convulsions, blurred vision and even hallucinations.

The basic physical withdrawal is followed by a treatment of mental dependency, which will enable a life without the "substance" in the future. Depending on the severity of the addiction, both outpatient and inpatient therapy may be considered. An everyday life without alcohol must first be re-learned, social ties must be re-established and the professional environment stabilized.

Which therapeutic measures are necessary and useful, is determined individually by the therapist. Suitable methods are, for example, behavioral or conversation therapies.

Inpatient treatment is inevitably necessary in people who are severely addicted to and in need of relapse. By contrast, outpatient therapy is based on the assumption that a stable social environment exists that provides the necessary support and support.