About Alcohol Information

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Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Facts. Due to the fact that people have known about the beneficial as well as the hazardous outcomes of drinking alcohol for hundreds if not thousands of years, how can it be that millions of individuals worldwide suffer from so many drinking problems?

Why is there such a negative association between alcohol and alcoholism for millions of people worldwide?

Stated more precisely, in our more "aware" and "enlightened" world, why do so many people experience the unhealthy, damaging, and in all too many cases, the deadly consequences of excessive alcohol, binge drinking, alcohol poisoning, alcohol abuse, and alcoholism?

image: young male teenager needing alcohol rehab

With all the alcoholism and alcohol abuse facts that have been discovered about alcohol abuse and alcoholism and the debilitating and unhealthy consequences of abusive and irresponsible drinking, why do so many people in the industrialized nations engage in excessive and hazardous drinking?

Could it be that people throughout the world need to know more about alcohol information? Do the people in the industrialized nations needs more relevant "alcohol awareness" about alcohol abuse and alcoholism?

Do the people in the developed countries truly need even more relevant alcoholism and alcohol abuse facts in order to avoid the unhealthy and devastating consequences of excessive and hazardous drinking?

What is Ethyl Alcohol?

The alcohol that is consumed at parties or bars or is called ethyl alcohol or ethanol.

Ethyl alcohol is made by fermentation, a process in which yeast fungus feeds on starches and/or sugars in various grains (such as barley, rice, or hops) or fruits (such as apricots and grapes) and releases alcohol along with carbon dioxide (CO2).

Ethyl alcohol is depressant drug and not a stimulant as perceived by many people. Perhaps this fact helps explain why so many people exhibit alcoholism and depression at the same time.

As a side note, when an individual manifests both alcoholism and depression, it is important for him or her to get medical treatment for both medical conditions. Indeed, treating one medical condition without also treating the other will prove to be quite ineffective in most instances.

The amount of alcohol in drinks differs greatly depending on the type of drink that is ingested.

For instance, whereas wine and beer usually have an alcohol content somewhere between 5% and 15%, hard liquor, conversely, frequently has an alcohol content of 40% and can go as high as 90% or 95%.

From the least expensive beer to the most expensive after dinner wine or liqueur, all alcoholic beverages are made from the same fermentation process.

The different colors, tastes, flavors, and strengths, nonetheless, come from the variety of fruits and vegetables that are utilized as well as from the diluting substances, by-products, and additives used in the fermentation process.

When a person drinks an alcoholic beverage, approximately 80 percent of the alcohol is absorbed in the small intestines as compared to the 20 percent that is absorbed in the stomach.

The amount of alcohol, whether the stomach is empty or full, and the type of drink determine the speed at which the alcohol is absorbed.

After the alcohol is absorbed into the tissues, it affects a person's body and his or her mind. In addition, it commonly takes roughly 20 minutes after having an alcoholic drink for an individual's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level to rise.

After the alcohol is fully absorbed by the stomach and by the small intestines, it leaves the body in three ways: via the kidneys, the liver, and via the lungs.

Alcohol Use From an Historical Perspective

While it is not known precisely when alcohol was first ingested, the discovery of late Stone Age beer jugs, nevertheless, confirm that deliberately fermented alcoholic drinks existed at least as early as 10,000 B.C.

This means that mankind has known about alcohol and some of its positive and negative effects for the better part of 10,000 years!

Alcohol Abuse Facts and Alcohol Abuse Effects

While alcohol has been employed in a variety of ways that have been beneficial, some of the social and personal problems and negative alcohol abuse effects associated with excessive alcohol were recognized thousands of years ago.

For instance, Plato and Aristotle, two of the more famous early Greek philosophers who existed three or four hundred years before Christ, were quite vocal in their criticism of public drunkenness.

Obviously, if the term "alcoholism" would have been known in their time, Aristotle and Plato would have commented on the negative association between alcohol and alcoholism.

In China, moreover, a manuscript from around 650 B.C. was recently found that stated how hard it was for individuals during that time to do without beer and also included words of warning about the "abuse" of beer.

Clearly, then, the negative alcohol abuse effects of excessive alcohol were recognized more than 2,000 years ago!

Fast forwarding to France, in 1667 a medical thesis was written that described some of the beneficial aspects of wine as well as a number of its damaging effects. For instance, references were made to the following health hazards of drinking wine:

  • Ulcerated eyes

  • Trembling hands

  • Erratic gait

  • Sleep disruption

  • Lethargy

  • Memory loss

  • Gawking expression

  • Erratic gait

Even though this scholarly work contained many clinical observations that were validly associated with excessive and abusive drinking, regrettably, this important information about the negative and hazardous consequences of heavy drinking and the evidence that pointed to negative alcohol abuse effects did not become widespread.

Moving on to the United States, the start of prohibition took place in 1920. In fact, it was during this time when the 18th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified and seen as the vehicle that would put an end to the "evils associated with drinking."

Linking Medical Problems to Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Focusing on the consequences of excessive drinking from a medical orientation received a significant shot in the arm from a doctor named E.M. Jellinek. It was Dr. Jellinek who, in 1937, created the first classification system that focused explicitly on the medical and health problems that were recognizable in long-term alcoholics.

Alcoholism Facts Uncovered by the World Heath Organization. Dr. Jellinek's research on alcoholism dovetailed nicely into the alcohol dependency studies that were being conducted by the World Health Organization.

When Dr. Jellinek and the World Health Organization established a working relationship in 1952, the latter adopted Dr. Jellinek's definition for the term "alcoholic" in their own documents: "Alcoholics are those excessive drinkers whose dependence on alcohol has attained such a degree that it shows notable disturbance or an interference with their bodily and mental health, their personal relationships and smooth economic functioning or who show prodromal signs of such a development. They therefore need treatment."

As a consequence of the pioneering efforts of Dr. Jellinek and the later work of the World Health Organization, it can be seen that concepts such as "alcohol treatment" and "alcohol rehabilitation" originated and were discussed in the alcoholism literature at least 70 years ago!

In fact, a lot of Dr. Jellinek's work and the efforts of others have been instrumental in the creation of current policies, procedures, programs, and laws concerning chronic drug and alcohol abuse.

It is also obvious that Dr. Jellinek's work has influenced some fairly recent alcoholism terms and concepts such as "blood alcohol content," "blood alcohol level," and alcohol testing in American workplaces and by legal entities.

In a word, it is clear that Dr. Jellinek added some significant facts and insights about alcohol information.

The Need For Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Facts and Alcohol Education

There is historical evidence that points to negative alcohol abuse effects, public drunkenness, and the damaging effects of excessive alcohol and abusive drinking. More recently, Dr. Jellinek discussed and analyzed alcoholism, alcoholic behavior, and the need for professional alcoholism treatment.

Due to the fact that millions of people in the industrialized nations suffer from alcohol abuse and alcoholism, it is clear that there exists a negative relationship between alcohol and alcoholism and, as a result, remains a critical need for more relevant and understandable education about alcohol in modern society.

Indeed, all adolescents and adults in the developed countries apparently need access to alcohol abuse and alcoholism facts as well as to upgraded and enhanced alcohol education so they can avoid the damaging consequences of excessive, irresponsible, and abusive drinking.

Alcoholism Videos

We have included some alcoholism videos so that you can see and hear directly from various people about their struggles with this disease.

If you, a family member, or one of your friends has a "drinking problem," seeing what others have gone through, how they made a connection with relevant alcoholism facts, and how they attained successful recovery is much more "real" than any information you can read about.

Furthermore, watching these videos may help you understand the connection between alcohol abuse and alcoholism and what others with a drinking problem are experiencing.

So make sure you look at these excellent videos if you want to learn more about alcohol information and alcoholism and alcohol abuse facts.

Conclusion: About Alcohol Information

Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Facts. History has shown that alcohol has been used in a number of beneficial ways. History has also demonstrated hundreds and thousands of years ago that excessive alcohol and abusive drinking result in negative alcohol abuse effects and serious social and personal problems.

Apparently, quite a few people have a few drinks to help them "open up" in social situations. Not surprisingly, this makes these individuals think that alcohol must be a stimulant.

Actually alcohol is a depressant. This fact may help explain the reality that alcoholism and depression commonly occur in the same person. There is, however, another "connection" between alcoholism and depression. That is, both alcoholism and depression are known to exist in the same person.

When this is the case, it is imperative that the person receives professional treatment for both medical conditions. Why? Because, treating one illness without also treating the other more likely than not will prove to be ineffective.

In spite of the fact that the unhealthy, damaging, and at times, the negative alcohol abuse effects and the fatal effects of excessive alcohol have been known for centuries, alcohol abuse and alcoholism continue to devastate human lives in our "enlightened" and "aware" society.

Obviously, more relevant and "enhanced" alcohol education is needed by youth and adults in the industrialized countries of the world so that they can learn more about the association between alcohol abuse and alcoholism and also learn how to avoid the destructive outcomes that are associated with alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

In a word, it seems that the people throughout the world need more relevant alcohol abuse and alcoholism facts so they can learn more about alcohol information and about the negative relationship that all too often exists between drinking alcohol and alcoholism and alcohol abuse.

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image: young man needing alcohol rehab