Alcohol Abuse In Australia

Superior Essays
1. Introduction

Alcohol abuse is a serious social issue that consists of a constant pattern of drinking that can result in negative health, work, educational and social effects. Alcohol itself causes approximately 1.8 million deaths per year and around 90% of Australian adults have tried it at least once. Most people will be affected by alcohol abuse at least once in their lifetime – whether they are the abuser or friends and family.

2. History of alcohol

In the 16th century alcohol, which was called ‘spirits’, was mostly used for medicinal purposes. By the 18th century cheap spirits had reached a peak in Britain and gin consumption had reached 18 million gallons. This was when alcoholism first became widespread. The year 1920 bought the
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Causes of alcohol abuse/ alcoholism

The abuse of alcohol can be brought upon by many things – through upbringing to personal life experiences and mental disorders. When it comes to youth a bad home life (one with violence or neglect) can lead to drinking copious amounts. Alcohol abuse can also occur through seeing alcohol drunk by close relatives or friends regularly. Other causes of alcohol abuse include mental issues, peer pressure, low self-esteem, a stressful lifestyle and sexual or physical abuse. It must be noted that becoming an alcoholic doesn’t happen overnight, it is a long process that builds up overtime.

3.1 Symptoms of alcohol abuse

The symptoms of a drinking problem are often first noticed by family members or close friends, not the drinkers themselves. Some of the most common symptoms are drinking even though you know it creates problems, drinking every day, experiencing withdrawal symptoms after a period of time without drinking, a high tolerance to alcohol and denial of how alcohol is affecting your life. Early signs that you could be addicted to alcohol are being frequently intoxicated, blacking out while drinking and becoming angry or violent while drinking.

4. Who is effected and
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Short term effects

Short term effects are those that can occur in a single bout of drinking more than the standard amount, some of these include:
• Slurred speech
• Drowsiness
• Vomiting
• Diarrhoea
• Headaches
• Impaired judgement
• Unconsciousness
• Blackouts (Memory lapses)

5.1 Long term effects

Long term effects are ones that can develop or can occur over a long time of alcohol abuse, be it weeks, months or years. Some of these include:
• Injuries such as those acquired in a car crash or fight
• Increased likeliness of on-the-job injuries
• Loss of productivity
• Alcohol poisoning
• Inability to pass a blood test for alcohol
• High blood pressure or stroke
• Liver disease
• Nerve damage
• Sexual problems (No sexual drive, fertility issues)
• Ulcers and cancer of the mouth/throat
• Permanent damage to the brain

6. Prevention

There are ways to prevent alcohol abuse such as education on the effects of alcohol in schools and for people who could be prone to drinking, harsher penalties for drunk driving and public intoxication, tougher laws on where and when alcohol can be bought and by who. Also alcohol abuse could be prevented by only having so many outlets that sell alcohol per town or city. These things should see a decline in drinking large amounts drinking frequently. Other things that could be done to prevent people from abusing alcohol are to lower the strengths or alcohol that can be sold and to raise the drinking age to twenty

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