Alcohol and the average teen Essay
Many teens today face the situation of alcohol and alcohol abuse. Although we cannot make their choices for them, we can persuade them into not taking alcohol by knowing the risks first; a lot like warnings on smoke packages. Alcohol can have a big affect on the adolescent mind. The brain of a an average human being keeps developing to the age of adolescence; people believe that the brain stops developing at the age of adolescence, but in fact, the brain develops into the early 20’s. At the age of adolescence, the brain goes under remodelling and rewiring.
The underdeveloped brain of an adolescent can suffer irreversible brain damage and may have long lasting effects on the brain. That is why there is an age limit of 19 in Canada and the age limit of 21 in the United States.
Many side effects of drinking alcohol are: slurring of words, memory loss, difficulty walking, blurred vision, slow reaction times, dehydration, blackouts(being unconscious) and even death. Alcohol is a dangerous thing a teens should not take the risks. Long term effects of alcohol unintentional injuries: car crash, falls, burns. e. t. cintentional injuries: firearm injuries, sex assault and domestic violence increase on the job injuries and loss of productivity increase of family and relationship problems alcohol poisoning high blood pressure, stroke and other heart diseases liver disease nerve damage sexual problems permanent brain damage mouth and throat cancers.
Short term effects of alcohol slurred speech drowsiness vomiting diarrhea coma blackouts unconsciousness blurred vision and hearing problems breathing difficulties After drinking alcohol, many people experience difficulty to walk, unable to gain balance, motor control, timing and awareness.
This is because your body will not completely absorb all of the alcohol; some of it will travel into the brain and into your cerebellum. Your cerebellum controls motor control, awareness, coordination and thoughts. The alcohol will tend to make your hands shake a lot, unable to pick up stuff and to lose balance and maybe even fall. After you drink alcohol(ethanol), reaction time or reflexes slow, because the cerebellum controls awareness which is affected by alcohol. For example, after drinking large amounts of alcohol, a person would often stumble, lose control and fall over.
A person might not be aware that they are drunk until they wake up from a hangover. A second example for motor control is when a person has no control of their hands and cannot grasp at any object. One more example of balance is that a person has difficulty walking, often grabbing objects to support their body. Drinking alcohol can have effects such as mood swings, and unable to control one’s self and can sometimes become very violent. The frontal lobes control planning, forming ideas, making decisions/judgement and using self control. Alcohol disrupts the frontal lobes and can create these effects.
It is illegal to drive while having more than 0. 08 % blood alcohol concentration because the alcohol will affect decision making while driving and become very dangerous if poor decisions are made. Violent tendencies also come from the induce of alcohol. Two thirds of victims who suffered violence by an intimate have reported alcohol has been a factor. Drinking alcohol can also have suicidal thoughts and attempts. In 2002, 3 million youth were at risk of suicidal attempts. The suicidal thoughts and attempts are because the frontal lobe controls thoughts and judgement while under the influence of alcohol.
An example of poor decision making is when a person decides to jump down two stories from a balcony. An example of mood swings is that a person will be happy when drinking, but depressed later can be common effects. An example of self control, is when a person has violent rages that he/she cannot control that causes reckless damage. When a person thinks of an action, their body will act it out. The brain sends messages through the spine and to a certain part of the body carrying out the instructions through a set of nerves in the nervous system.
Alcohol slows down the central nervous system which makes actions/movements, speech and thoughts slower by inhibiting signals between the head, spinal cord and nerve endings . Alcohol is a central nervous depressant and have life threatening effects on the body’s nervous system. The nervous system takes more damage than any other part of the body. Alcohol decreases the central nervous system’s activity, and reduces anxiety, tension, and inhibitions. Drinking on a empty stomach can make the alcohol rush through your bloodstream faster, although drinking while eating doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t get drunk.
Stroke, heart attack and dementia can be the results of alcohol’s effect on the nervous system. Another example of when alcohol acts on the nervous system is when your words slur and vision will start to blur. Memory loss and unconsciousness/blackout can happen when a person drinks too much alcohol. The alcohol affects the hippocampus part of the brain, and is located in the medial temporal lobe of the brain. The hippocampus is vital to learning and memories and also vulnerable to chronic alcohol consumptions. When induced alcohol, it can affect the brain and can make you forget the recent memories of events.
And having drunk alcohol has been shown to decrease the volume of the hippocampus; having induced too much alcohol in very little time can make you black out and forget whole events. If alcohol damages the hippocampus, people may find hard to grasp at memories and may find it hard to learn. This affects teens because of learning disabilities which could make them fall behind in school. An example of memory loss is, when Joe stays at his friend Bob’s house, but he got drunk, passed out and woke up the other day not remembering what he was doings at his friend’s house.
Alcohol can affect the hippocampus and affect your learning and memory. Blood pressure, hunger, thirst and the urge to urinate, even death are the effects of alcohol on the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus controls/ regulates the body’s functions. Some of the functions that the hypothalamus performs are: autonomic nervous system controls that help regulate eating and drinking, controls body temperature, body fluid, electrolyte balance and weight. When teens drink, they get a warm feeling inside their body. What actually happens is their blood pressure and body heat are rapidly decreasing.
Death occurs because the body temperature and blood pressure are dropping, also because there is too much alcohol in one’s system(alcohol blood concentration 0. 40%) Each year, approximately 5, 000 youth die from alcohol. Hunger and thirst occur because the hypothalamus regulates eating and drinking and is disrupted by the alcohol. That is also the reason for the urge to urinate because of the regulation of bodily fluids. Alcohol can affect your hypothalamus and disrupt your body’s natural functions. unconsciousness, low body temperature and slow breathing are the effects of alcohol on the medulla.
The medulla controls automatic functions such as breathing, consciousness and body temperature. By acting on the medulla, alcohol induces sleep, which causes blackouts and unconsciousness. This also means that a person’s breathing would be affected and would be life threatening because their breathing would slow. A person’s body temperature also decreases below normal creating hypothermia, especially if the person drinks in cold temperatures. Alcohol is a life costing drug that should be precautioned. Alcohol and the body Alcohol also has huge impacts on health and the human body.
The alcohol first passess through the mouth and into the body. From there, it goes into the stomach. Some of the alcohol goes into bloodstream in the stomach, but most of it goes on to the small intestine. In the small intestines, the alcohol enters the bloodstream through the walls of the intestines. Then, the heart pumps the alcohol throughout the body. Next, the alcohol reaches the brain. After that, the liver works to oxidize the alcohol at a rate of 0. 5 oz per hour. Finally, the alcohol converts into water carbon and energy.
Health problems that alcohol can cause are: high blood pressure, osteoporosis(bone disease), stroke and cancer, including breast cancer. Alcohol can have big impacts on the body. Alcohol can has huge impacts on the heart and health. The heart is a pump for your blood to flow throughout your body and is the biggest muscle in your body. The effects of alcohol on the heart can cause good and bad effects. The benefits of drinking alcohol are: you’re less likely to get cardiovascular disease. One way is that the alcohol can increase good cholesterol which prevents clots and heart attacks.
There are also many dangerous effects of alcohol on the heart when heavy alcohol consumptions occurs: excessive intake of alcohol will more likely give you high blood pressure and puts extra strain on the heart, increases the amount of fat circulating in the bloodstream, people who drink too much will increase their risk of experiencing stroke and would cause atrial fibrillation-irregular heartbeats which could increase stroke. Alcohol has both benefits and risks depending on the consumption. Through the pathway of alcohol, it passes through the digestive system.
The alcohol can irritate the stomach, causing it to produce more acid than usual, causing inflammation of the lining of the stomach. The side effects are stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea and in heavy drinkers, bleeding. The long term consequences of alcohol are the increase of getting cancer of your mouth, tongue, throat, stomach and pancreas. Alcohol can also make it difficult to digest food and absorb any nutrients from the food you just ate. This is because the alcohol reduces enzyme production in the pancreas making it hard to break down and absorb the fat and nutrients.
A possible way to protect your stomach is to eat rich carbohydrates and drink a lot of water that would slow down the the rate of which your body absorbs alcohol. Death is possible too. If your unconscious, it is possible that you will throw up in your mouth and die of choking on the vomit; it would be stuck in your respiratory system and your lungs would not get air. Alcohol, if not, is a very unhealthy substance to your stomach and digestive system. Your liver is one of your most vital organs in your body. Your liver’s main job is detoxification-to filter your blood for toxins coming from the digestive tract.
Liver disease is used to describe the damage done upon your liver from the alcohol. There are two main types of liver disease: acute meaning liver problems develops over a few months and chronic liver disease is damage done to the liver over a number of years. Some reasons why alcohol causes liver disease are: 1. Oxidative stress. The liver takes up a lot of stress filtering the alcohol and the chemical reaction can cause damage to the cells. This could cause inflammation and scarring as the liver tries to regenerate itself. 2. Alcohol causes damages to the small intestines releasing bacteria that is carried out onto the liver.
Long term effects on the liver can cause many liver disease, fat deposited due to absorbing of alcohol leads to fatty liver disease and cirrhosis-a complete shutdown of the liver because it is so damaged. Heavy alcohol consumptions can have a great deal to the liver and your health. Alcohol also damages the kidney. Whether it’s acute or chronic alcohol consumption, the alcohol will damage the kidneys. The functions of the kidneys is to filter blood-the kidneys remove metabolic waste, controls the body’s fluid balance, regulates the balance of electrolytes, regulation of blood volume and pressure and maintaining electrolyte levels in blood.
As the kidneys filters blood, urine is created and stored in the kidneys’ pelvis. Alcohol can cause all kinds of damage to your kidneys. Alcohol alters the filtering system of the kidneys and damages the balance of water and ions in the body. Drinking alcohol can cause high blood pressure and is the second leading cause to chronic kidney disease. The alcohol also alter filtering levels that will increase urination when drinking which is why you have to go to the washroom every five minutes, but is important to keep hydrated because by urinating, you get rid of your body’s water.
Alcohol impacts the kidneys and kidneys are vital to the human body. How alcohol impacts teens and families Alcohol impacts teens and families a lot. Alcohol abuse among teens is a common problem. Statistics say that 80% of high school students report drinking alcohol and 40% of high school students report trying alcohol by the eighth grade. Some effects of alcohol abuse are emotional problems. Alcohol abuse can cause emotional problems like depression and anxiety. Alcohol abuse can cause severity in these problems. Statistics say that eighth grade girls that have alcohol abuse are more likely to attempt suicide.
Some of the reasons that teens drink are: peer pressure. E. x. Your friends are all drinking and you’re the one who doesn’t. Your friends will make fun of you and say you’re a loser. Fun and adventure. E. x. You want to try beer of alcohol for fun or for adventures and you try a sip. Then gulps and are not able to control yourself. Curiosity. E. x. You’ve seen them in the television. You’ve seen it in movies: people(mostly adults) drinking alcohol and getting crashed. Your parents warned you about the effects of alcohol and becoming an alcoholic.
But you still wonder what it feels like to drink a sip of alcohol. So you take a bottle of beer take a drink. You get a warm feeling inside. Then you can’t control yourself and drink way too much and have a hangover. Self esteem. Some teens have a low self esteem and they want to boost it. Drinking alcohol will not boost self esteem, but causes depression instead. To cope with stress. E. x. You are under a lot of stress from school, relationships, e. t. c. When drinking alcohol, a feeling of happy and carefree. Scientists have discovered that drinking alcohol releases serotonin which is a happy chemical.
Alcohol also affects teens when driving. It is not a good idea to drive with someone who is impaired that drives. Having more than 0. 08% of blood alcohol concentration can affect judgement, judgement to know if you’re intoxicated , especially when driving and is considered illegal to drive with above 0. 08% blood alcohol concentration . Statistics show that in 2010, 10,228 were killed in alcohol impaired driving crashes, almost one third of all the traffic related deaths in the United States. Impaired drinking continues to be the number one road safety issue in Canada.
Alcohol also affects the family around you. When teens are killed in car accidents, their families are greatly impacted. The family would be burdened with sadness as they hear the police tell that your son or daughter was killed by drunk driving and would never forget. Not only does it impact parents, but children as well. There’s a same possibility that the parents/ guardians could’ve died in a car accident as well. The children have to take care of themselves and for each other now that their parents, unless taken to foster parents and can sometimes never recover from the tragedy.
Not only does drunk driving affect families, but alcoholics too. Alcoholism is a family disease that affects everyone in the family. Usually, the alcoholic doesn’t know that they’re an alcoholic until it’s too late. The child works extra hard trying to be a perfect that they don’t upset the alcoholic, but always takes the blame is called the scapegoat. The other family member tries to make the alcoholic drink more and tries to hide the fact that alcohol is the problem and is called the enabler. Alcohol impacts teens and also families as well.
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