Alcohol And The Varying Effects It Has On Individuals

  • Category: Psychology
  • Words: 2258
  • Grade: 89
Alcohol affects different people differently. The difference between people's "tolerance" is as simple as their body weight, muscle mass, and several other factors, that affect the speed at which alcohol is broken down in the body. The importance of this essay will be to dispel any false beliefs or myths having to do with the falsities of toleration and alcohol, and to know the fact that alcohol effects the body negatively. This essay will also show people that, though they think and act normally their thought process is slowed and their actions are slowed by alcohol. Medical journals and psychology journals have done many studies in order to find the effects of alcohol on different people. Things that are affected are mentality, memory, and reaction time.

Alcohol inspires the age-old argument that one person can hold his or her liqueur better than another can. What factors come into play? Is it a matter of history of drinking, a matter of body weight, inheritance, or simply god struck luck? Some may argue that their heritage or race will enable them to drink more than someone of similar characteristics from another nationality and background. Some people will tell you they have a natural tolerance or a built up tolerance to alcohol. Some people will argue that the pure and simple fact that they outweigh their drinking partner will be enough to let them handle more. Then this will lead us into the definition of handle. What is the legal rate of impairment versus the social level of impairment, in other words how does one know when they've had enough? What do people define socially as being drunk? How do you have to act in order to be drunk? Another very important factor is self-control. Some people do not show their drunken behavior even though they are as drunk as the person sitting next to them is. Does the atmosphere surrounding a drinker add to his or her behavior? What are some of the factors regarding behavior? Do people act differently in front of friends, the opposite sex, or figures of authority? Strangely, sometimes some people can affect themselves when it comes to soberness.

Tolerance: Chemical or learned behavior. There are many different types of tolerance. Functional tolerance is the way an experienced drinker can drink larger amounts of alcohol and not show it. This is an adaptation of the mind and body towards alcohol (ATF par 3). Acute tolerance, the tolerance over time theory, states that if a person has a long enough history of drinking then they will feel the effects of alcohol less than another person will (ATF par 6). Environment-Dependent tolerance has to do with the place a person drinks. For example if a person always drinks in one bar and they go to a different bar then they will feel the effects more in the new bar (ATF par 8). Learned tolerance is also called behaviorally augmented which means that if a person is used to doing a task drunk then their minds will behave less effected than if they were not doing said task. Take for instance the drunk driver going home, he is less likely to get in an accident than if he was driving to an unknown place (ATF par 10). Environmental- independent tolerance is when a person becomes tolerant to alcohol within a non-environmental situation (ATF par 14). Metabolic tolerance is tolerance within the body. This toleration can be described as the body working faster at doing it's job of getting rid of toxicants or alcohol (ATF par 15). As said before there are many different types of toleration when considering alcohol. Alcohol is broken down in the body by the liver, however it is handled as a drug by the mind. In order to have tolerance to this drug you must be able to tolerate it mind and body.
"Tolerance can be a useful clue for clinicians in identifying patients who may be at risk for developing alcohol-related problems. For example, younger patients who are early in their drinking histories and who report that they can "hold their liquor well" may be drinking at rates that will place them at risk for medical complications from alcohol use, including alcoholism. The fact that tolerance of all alcohol's effects does not develop simultaneously is also important; people who are mildly tolerant may exhibit more symptoms of impairment when faced with unfamiliar activities, such as driving in an unknown area, than when they are engaged in routine actions, such as driving home from work. Lastly although we know that initial sensitivity to alcohol may play a role in the development of alcoholism, the role of tolerance in maintaining addiction to alcohol needs further exploration."(Gordis: Alcohol and Tolerance Commentary)

Chemical dependency on alcohol is one of the worst diseases in America today. It causes more suffering nationwide than any other disease. The dependency begins young when a person begins to drink uncontrolably to keep up with friends who can drink more. And like Marijuana the dependancy is mental. The similarities between marijuana and Alcohol are amazing. Both cause loss of brain cells, both drugs cause no permanent damage when taken in small infrequent doses, and both drugs are social drugs. The sociability of alcohol is a very dangerous thing. People begin drinking because they want to be socaible with people. Soon this habit will develop into something worse. When taken in large doses at frequent intervals alcohol will destroy a person's liver. It will also destroy their brain, for brain cells do not grow back. As one can see alcohol

Alcohol: the term denotes many different things. Alcohol is a chemical found in many beverages and drinks. Alcohol is found in mixed drinks, champagne, and beer. There are many different types of each of these categories of alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is a chemical depressant found in nature. It is the byproduct of rotting juices. Alcohol affects the mind by slowing down the reaction rate and motor abilities. Alcohol also makes people feel relaxed and or makes them forget their momentary problems. However, alcohol taken in large enough doses causes depression and decreased inhibitions. People consume alcohol in order to become more social. This drug enables shy people to be more outgoing. This effect is an impairment or side effect of the drug alcohol. This effect is why beer is a popular drink for clubs and fraternities (James pg. 2). Alcohol is also a casual drink for people having lunch or dinner. The reason for drinking alcohol in this situation is for sociability, not for impairment.

Alcohol consumption and the amount of time from drink to drink is relevant to the alcohol blood rate. The blood alcohol content or the BAC, is a constant rate for people of the same weight. Blood alcohol content is a chemical indicator of how much alcohol is going through a person's body at any given time. Blood alcohol rates are going to be constant for persons of the same weight and history of drinking. Blood alcohol content is a factor in many cases of arrest on the road. The chart for blood alcohol content is used to determine how many drinks a certain person has had. Police also use this chart in determining how able a person is to operate a vehicle. However some people show a tolerance or a resistance to alcohol. This is due to history of drinking and a rate of alcohol consumption. When a person drinks too much they act very unihibited. People will usually say things they do not mean and do things that they deem stupid and ignorant. If a person has six beers in a night, but had five of them in the first two hours and does not drink for the next three hours, then drinks again his level is going to be considerably lower, than if he only waited one hour for the last beer.

There are many factors that will affect one during the time one drinks. The most prevalent is amount of alcohol consumed. Others are not so undisputed. The age factor has been an argument between teens and legislators for quite a while. Most experts will tell you that alcohol does not effect a teen any different than an adult. Some experts will argue and tell you that the alcohol consumption in a minor causes under-development (Johnston pg 27). However, the legislation was passed to up the minimum legal drinking age for different reasons. For instance since the passing of the minimum legal drinking age law, underage drinking and driving accidents have gone down, underage drinking in general has gone down increasingly, and teen pregnancy rates have shown decrease (ATF par 6). This law was passed to protect teens from themselves during intoxication. For while intoxicated, many teens might not know how to handle themselves. Also many teens that began drinking early show higher risks for becoming alcoholics or for non-success in college or high school. However for the other side of the scale college students feel as though they are not treated fairly. There are frat parties where beer is prevalent. When these parties are busted many college students get needlessly detained. Then the situations like the Kentucky College riot for the right to have beer parties on campus that they would not have to drive back to their dorms. This is a valid argument for college beer parties. However, young people are vulnerable to the pressures and effects of alcohol a very harmful and very underestimated drug (APA 1994). From the authors personal experience, of friends drinking off campus and driving home, it is simply not worth it. Driving while intoxicated is not something that is necessary. If colleges would acknowledge that college students are going to drink in the first place and give them classes on responsibility and allowing college campus parties, then deaths would decrease.

There is a definite rate of breakdown of alcohol in the human body. Many factors involved in the breakdown speed of alcohol are body weight, sex, percent of muscle mass in weight, and several other factors. (Blood Alcohol Level chart)

Sex is a major factor when considering metabolism of alcohol. Females have more fat percentage than male's do by definition. Fat and muscle are vital in the metabolism of alcohol. When alcohol is metabolized it is spread out over the body through the blood stream, working its way through both muscle and fat. Muscle moves alcohol faster because muscle has more water content than fat does. This makes men more able to handle alcohol than women are (Norback pg. 21). However this goes by individual status as does muscle composition. If the women is more in shape than the men than they will be able to handle their alcohol better.

Body weight plays a major part in getting intoxicated. If a persons body weight is only 130 pounds it won't take much to get that person drunk. The person with the higher body weight will most likely last awhile at the bar. Also to take into consideration is the percent muscle mass. A person who 150 but very cut and very muscular would most likely out drink a 190 pound person who is mostly fat (Norback Pg.17). This shows that alcohol consumption is an individual thing. For no two people are the same size or the same build. There are hundreds of different combinations of weight and muscle/body fat percentage.

        In conclusion to this argument the reader can see many different parts to the argument to alcohol. Weather one wishes to believe the facts for either side is still a personal issue. However, the author has found many more examples and articles to suggest that alcohol cannot be grown accustomed to by the body. The mind instead becomes tolerant to the effects of alcohol and becomes adaptive to the circumstances. The research has shown that alcohol does not become weaker to the body as time goes on. However, the drinker that has a drinking history, will know how to handle themselves at a more normal pace, whereas the drinker with no history at all will show themselves as more intoxicated. Their Blood Alcohol Content will be the same, only their actions and feelings will differ. Alcoholism is not complete toleration to alcohol but it is the complete dependency on large amounts of alcohol. This serious condition develops over time. This time perios during which alcoholism develops is called history. Alcohol and drinking constitute a chemical process in the body and the brain. This process cannot be changed by simple tolerance to this drug. The behavior of tolerance is a learned reflex to the drug of alcohol. This reflex can and usually will lead to chemical dependancy on alcohol and alcoholism.
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