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Alcohol Research Assignment

Uploaded by hally on Oct 19, 2001

Alcohol Dependence: Comprehension and Application.

Outline the physiological effects of alcohol consumption, both short-term and Long-term:

Short Term: The immediate effect of alcohol consumption is the alteration of mood. It may be surprising to discover that though it makes people feel a sense of euphoria, happiness and relaxation, it is in-fact, a depressant. The direct result of alcohol in the bloodstream causes impairment of motor co-ordination and suppresses central nervous system activity, which gives the impression of clumsiness and can lead to alcohol related accidents. The more intoxicated the person becomes the further their speech becomes slurred, vision blurred and loss of balance. Further more it switches off that part of the brain that controls judgement, leading to loss of inhibitions. This impairs the person’s decision making which can result in greater risk taking. However drinking in large doses can result in the suppression of vital bodily functions which can lead to coma, or even death. Additionally a drunken person vomiting while passed out, can lead to death by asphyxiation.

Alcohol also impairs the memory of an intoxicated person by inhibiting the transfer and consolidation of information in long and short-term memory. Therefore this reduces the drinker’s ability to remember information that he/she has learned before going out for drinks. Furthermore, the attention span of the drinker is dramatically decreased for periods of up to forty-eight hours after drinking. This can further affect the academic performance of a student and his/her ability to study outside of class. REM and deep sleep is also suppressed (extremely important for restful sleep, memory consolidation and emotional well being. Thus when REM is suppressed it will give a feeling of tiredness when waking up the morning after being intoxicated. Alcohol use also impairs the functioning of the immune system—weakening the body’s ability to fight off infectious disease. In the short term this will increase the number of colds that the drinker experiences.

Long term: Drinking for prolonged periods of time can have detrimental effects on the human body. Since alcohol is in fact a poisonous substance, having it circulating in the body will contribute to severe intestinal dysfunction. However, although alcohol alone is not the sole cause of the problems outlined below, it simply increases the risk of developing certain diseases/dysfunctions.


  • Memory Loss
  • Confusion, Disorganisation
  • Hallucinations, Fits
  • Permanent brain damage
  • Impaired ability to learn new things

  • Impaired liver functions
  • Severe swelling and pain
  • Inflamed liver (hepatitis)
  • Largely irreversible cirrhosis...

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    Uploaded by:   hally

    Date:   10/19/2001

    Category:   Drugs And Alcohol

    Length:   8 pages (1,718 words)

    Views:   2659

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