The pattern of use is further defined in terms of short term and long term effect.
This paper will explore the various psychological and health problems associated with differing patterns and levels of alcohol use. It will also investigate the underlying causes of alcohol use and abuse and reveal several contributing factors. In addition, it will point out early warnings as well as signs commonly exhibited by alcoholics.
Moderate alcohol use is generally accepted in appropriate social settings and as a rule causes no health problems for the general population. Alcohol abuse is the over consumption of alcohol in a single event. The effects can range from mild changes in the subject's attitude to a severe altering of vision, balance and speech (Health24). These effects usually wear off in a matter of hours after the person stops drinking. However, if the blood alcohol level reaches .50, fatality can be the result.
Abusers are not necessarily physically addicted to alcohol, but develop problems as a result of their alcohol consumption and poor judgment, failure to understand the risks, or lack of concern about damage to themselves or others. Alcohol abuse may manifest anti-social and violent behavior. Studies have indicated that as many as 35% of all suicides and homicides are alcohol related. Alcohol is involved in 40% of all child abuse and rape cases. It has been found to be a contributing factor in 45% of automobile deaths (Kaye)
Alcohol can react in varying ways on different people. While some may display outwardly aggressive and hostile behavior, others will become more extroverted, engage in conversation and feel a sense of well being. These contradictory feelings among subjects are heightened due to alcohol's ability to lower inhibitions. When alcohol lowers inhibitions, it is likely to result in saying or doing something unintended. This puts the subject at social risk and contributes to feelings of alienation, feelings of anxiety, and loneliness. Though alcohol may give a temporary elevation to one's mood, it is a depressant and can eventually result in a state of depression for the abuser. Further abstaining from alcohol will, in most cases, result in the depression subsiding as the subject returns to a state of sobriety. Since the abuser is not yet physically addicted to alcohol, they may be influenced to cease drinking with mild persuasion or trusted advice.
However, the various moods and actions taken by an abuser may form the basis of continuing to drink more heavily. An abuser may find pleasure in the elevated high derived from alcohol and desire to repeat the experience. The abuser who has made regrettable remarks, or sustained a loss due to impaired judgment, may want to drink to mask their depression. As each subject, for their own contrary reasons, continues to drink more and on a more regular basis, they each run the risk of developing alcoholism.
Alcoholism is the long term, regular consumption of alcohol. It is usually marked by an emotional attachment as well as a physical addiction to alcohol. Long term alcoholism can cause severe health problems. It can damage the body, result in mental disorders, and lead to permanent brain damage. Though some damage may subside with the cessation of drinking, most effects of chronic alcoholism are irreversible. The results of the long-term damage will usually result in long term care,