Alcohol and Drinking - Alcoholism as a Disease Essay

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Alcoholism as a Disease

Unfortunately, alcohol brings on the risk of many diseases. "Recent evidence indicates that a wide variety of diseased conditions are brought about by a substance that coats the body's red cells, causing them to adhere to one another in clumps. These clumps, sometimes called 'sludge,' can be created by the ingestion of alcohol"(Burgess,p.130). Alcohol has a disastrous affect on all of the body's organs, the main one being the brain. "At death, the brain of the dependent drinker or alcoholic invariably will reveal enormous numbers of small areas of atrophy in which brain cells have been destroyed"(Burgess,p.131). The brain begins to shrink when under the influence of alcohol. This means that the space that
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Many medical authorities. . .declare [that] alcoholics are highly vulnerable to ulcers, chronic pancreatitis, gastritis, and complications affecting their blood and bone marrow. Heart disease. . .may also be more common among alcoholics"(Burgess,p.138). Alcoholics have a lower resistance to a number of different infections. An alcoholics life span, therefore, will be much shorter than that of a nondrinker.

A person can spot an alcoholic by the way he or she acts. The alcoholic may use polydrugs and may have had several experiences with hospitals and emergency rooms for alcohol related illnesses. These illnesses can be anything from a comas to hallucinosis. Some other diseases are hepatic disease, peripheral neuropathy, nutritional deficiencies, internal bleeding, and alcohol psychoses. These alcoholic may suffer "acute withdrawal reactions, rationalization, resentments, sexual impotency, loss of efficiency at work, geographic moves, changes in friends and family, changes in drinking places, emotional and physical violence, traffic accidents, and feelings of guilt about drinking"(Denzin,p.19). Vital organs are the ones most affected by the use of alcohol. They suffer vitamin deficiencies, bone fractures, bruising, dermatitis, weakening of muscles, loss of body heat, and adrenal failure. None of these bodily problems are uncommon to the body of an alcoholic. Another interesting fact is that alcohol is carried in the bloodstream. Blood reaches every tissue

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