Alcohol is defined by the Oxford dictionary as being “A colorless volatile flammable liquid which is the intoxicating constituent of wine, beer, spirits, and other drinks, and is also used as an industrial solvent and as fuel.” For the sake of this assignment, alcohol will be defined as the intoxicating substance that is found in drinks.
Impact on Individuals
There are many factors that influence the consumption of alcoholic beverages, in young adults and adults alike these factors include: bullying, parents who binge drink, access to alcohol from caregivers, friends who drink regularly and poor educational achievements. Noticeably these factors are linked to negative development and peer pressure, and alcohol being a depressant means it can take away the pains and stresses of factors such as these. Statistics involving alcohol and young people include:
-Young Australians (aged 14–24) have their first full serve of alcohol at 15.7 years on average.
-72.3% of 12–17 year olds have consumed alcohol in the last 12 months.
-17% of 15–18 years old say they had sex when drunk which they later regretted.
-Alcohol contributes to the 3 major causes of teen death: injury, homicide and suicide.
Alcohol has a numerous amount of effects on the user, in the short term these are:
Slurred or incoherent speech
Poor balance and clumsiness
Stomach pains, vomiting or nausea
Loss of consciousness or blacking-out
Redness of the face during or after periods of consumption There is a large section of the law discussing the use and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Under the Road Traffic Act (1961 SA), it is illegal for a learner or p-plater to drive after having alcohol, and illegal for a licensed driver to have a blood alcohol level above 0.05 whilst driving. This has been a big-problem for many drivers in Australia as people are regularly found and convicted of driving under the influence. In WA, 14,000 drivers where convicted of drink driving in 2012 of which, 2500 had a blood level of over 0.15. As of the Harbours and Navigation Act (1993 SA), it is illegal for the person operating the vessel to be under the influence. Fortunately there has been very little problem with this law regarding individuals.
Impacts on the Community
Alcohol is extremely prevalent in today’s society with it being commercially available. As you would have already viewed, 72% of young adults have had alcohol in the past month with the average age of having a full serve alcohol being 16 years. Although many young adults have alcohol the age group that consumes the most alcohol annually is 70+ year olds. Traditionally, men drink more than women, but this gap is closing with alcohol consumption by females increasing each year. It would important to note although that men drink much more beer than women whereas women drink a lot more wine and spirits than men. People with low socio-economic status are more likely to consume alcohol than people with high socio-economical status; with low socio-economic status individuals having 7% higher binge drinking cases then their wealthy counterparts. The reason why alcohol is so easily accessible in Australia is because it is available almost everywhere and easily brought. This is particularly problematic for young adults under the drinking age as they exposed to alcohol use and abuse every day and can easily be gotten through an irresponsible adult or shoplifting. Drinkwise Australia is the best support service in dealing with alcohol abuse, although any other support services that help with depression (e.g Beyond Blue) can be of use as well. There are many ways of getting off an alcohol addiction, one it to set goals such as I will stop drinking on weekends, or I will only have one beer for the next 2 weeks. Relaxation techniques also help to smother down alcohol cravings, as well as exercise and eating food.
In my honest opinion, influenced by that of