?? - posted on 09/11/2009 ( 15 moms have responded )
There has been a few posts about drugs so I thought I would post a topic about another 'drug.' Alcohol. It is a favorite addiction the world over.
While the ingestion of alcohol is, by definition, necessary to develop alcoholism, the use of alcohol does not predict the development of alcoholism. The quantity, frequency and regularity of alcohol consumption required to develop alcoholism varies greatly from person to person. In addition, although the biological mechanisms underpinning alcoholism are uncertain, some risk factors, including social environment, stress, emotional health, genetic predisposition, age, and gender have been identified. For example, those who consume alcohol at an early age, by age 16 or younger, are at a higher risk of alcohol dependence or abuse. Also, studies indicate that the proportion of men with alcohol dependence is higher than the proportion of women, 7% and 2.5% respectively, although women are more vulnerable to long-term consequences of alcoholism. Around 90% of adults in United States consume alcohol, and more than 700,000 of them are treated daily for alcoholism. Professor David Zaridze, who led the international research team, calculated that alcohol had killed three million Russians since 1987
The various health problems associated with long-term alcohol consumption are generally perceived as detrimental to society, for example, money due to lost labor-hours, medical costs, and secondary treatment costs. Alcohol use is a major contributing factor for head injuries, motor vehicle accidents, violence, and assaults. Beyond money, there is also the pain and suffering of the individuals besides the alcoholic affected. For instance, alcohol consumption by a pregnant woman can lead to Fetal alcohol syndrome, an incurable and damaging condition.
Estimates of the economic costs of alcohol abuse, collected by the World Health Organization, vary from one to six per cent of a country's GDP. One Australian estimate pegged alcohol's social costs at 24 per cent of all drug abuse costs; a similar Canadian study concluded alcohol's share was 41 per cent. A study quantified the cost to the UK of all forms of alcohol misuse as £18.5–20 billion annually (2001 figures).
With Alcoholism and alcohol comsumption having such an impact on life - should alcohol be banned or illegal or taxed more or put into the same category as other drugs such as marijuana, heroin, cocaine, etc