Donnerstag, 7. Januar 2016

ധ്രുവദീപ്തി // Mythos // Health // The Oldest and most widely used drug in human history. / Dr. D. John, USA.

Mythos // Health

The Oldest and most widely used drug in human history. /

Dr. D. John, USA.

Alcohol is a depressent.

Alcohol, especially ethyl alcohol ist the oldest and most widly used drug in human history. Alcoholic beverages were presumably discovered, rather than invented, in prehistoric times. Their origin is buried in antiquity, though the presence of wine and beer is well attested in the diets of most preliterate people.

Alcohol is produced by fermentation, a natural process in which yeast acts on the sugar in fruit juice or on grain broth and produces both alcohol and carbondioxid. Beer contains about 4 %(four percent) alcohol, wine about 12%,and hard liquor about 40 to 50 percent. The alcoholic content in spirit is 95% . 

Alcohol is a depressent.

To many people world over, an alcoholic beverage is part of their meal. Moderate alcohol use is an enjoyable part of many occations. Problem drinkers drink enough to cause troubles for themselves and for society. Alcoholics, as history shows, are unable to lead normal lives because of their addiction. Alcohol is a depressent that acts mainly on the brain through bloodstream. ( alcohol is a subtle, complicated drug that exerts a wide range of pharmacological effects). Liver converts alcohol at the rate of half ounce per hour. Any excess over this rate circulates in bloodstream, reaches the brain,and causes intoxication, which in turn affects hearing, vision, reaction time, balance and co-ordination. It gradually affects the brain, stomach and intestines, the liver, heart, the immune systems and reproduction. 

Motives for drinking.

There are three general patterns of drinking: 1. the traditional social pattern, 2. the contemporary social pattern, 3. and the various patterns of indivisual drinking (Hoff, 1974). Traditional patterns of social drinkings provide a loosening of the bonds of strict contol. This is followed by special occation celebrations like birth, baptism, wedding, and funerals. Other occations such as holidays, farewells, and reunion will bring in more occations for drinking. The society being mobile through travel and immigrations, their family relations and ethnicity are discrupted. They, in turn adopt drinking within their new communities or association, ignoring their old traditions.

Mr. Cohen ( 1983) refers to alcohol as one of the most dangerous drugs on earth. He presents compelling date and conclusions about the many sad consequences of alcohol use. They include impaired health, early death, family breakups, trafic fatalities, homicide, suicide, sexual assults, and huge industrial loss from impairea productivity. It is hard to measure the harmful effects on children of one or both of drug addicted parents. Hospitals and jails are filled with drug addicted population.

Various surveys such as the Alcoholic Dinking Survey of 1964, and 1965, The Harris Survey of 1972-74, and Gallupp Survey of 1974 have conclusively proved that over 70 percent of American population are drinkers. Recent survey indicates that one in every five family has become alcohol addicted (Goodwin, 1988).

Who is an alcoholic ?

American psychiatric Association states that an alcoholic is a person who drinks, has problem for drinkings, but goes on drinking anyway. The alcoholic thinks about alcohol from morning till night, and at night. If not too drunk to dream, dreams about alcohol. It is an obsession. When an alcoholic enters into a bar, by mere compelsion he begins drinking. A person in the grip of alcoholism blacks out from drinking too much, suffers memory loss, and wakesup trembling with craving for another drink. However, the behaviour of alcoholics fluctuates widly. While some drink heavilly every day, others can stop for brief periods, only to go for heavy dozes.
Motives for drinking.
In 1986, The American Psychiatric Assosiation has determined three basic criteria to define and diagnose alcoholism:
1. Psychological symptoms such as hand tremors and blackouts,
2. Psychological difficulties which include an obsessive desire to drink,
3. and behavioral problems that disrup social or work life (Time,1983).

According to experts, alcoholism tends to develop at certain ages, progresses steadly and terminates in more or less predicatable ways. There are much variations among people of all nations; among men and women and among whites and blacks. Men with rare exceptions, do not become alcoholic after 45 years. A typical American alcoholic begins drinking heavilly in his late teens and twenties, increase the doze with serious problems in his thirties, and becomes true alcoholic at the age of 40 to 45. Very few are able to revert back to narmal life. Some of them end their lives by death from suicide, accident, or medical illness (Goodwin, 1988).

Women drinkers.

Women drinkers show distinct features when compared to men. Women tend to become alcoholic at an older age, even after mid forties. Usually they will have a depressive illness coinciding with heavy drinking. Alcoholism is more serious in women and harder to treat. They usually have disruptive early life experiences or psychiatric problems that lead them to alcoholism. Another important aspect is that alcoholism is usually found in their families. Some start using alcohol as medicinal and later become addicted to it.

Family problems like rejection by a spouse, divorce, misscariage, or death of a close member can guide them to alcoholism. Women are more submissive and through friendship they are led to drinking which, in most cases, change their personality. A recent survey indicates that more teenage girls are constant drinkers than ever before which will eventually increase the rate of alcoholism among women. Homones in women have more higher alcohol content in blood than men./-

(Conti..on next.) 

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