Essay on The Spirited Effect

Submitted By kdmiller4
Words: 1238
Pages: 5

The Spirited Effect Some call it firewater, others call it poison. Some cherish it, others are revolted by it. The go to drug of many, alcohol, is a deeply studied substance that has been present throughout history and never fails to stir up controversy. In more recent years, many people have risen up and have taken a stand against alcohol because of the detrimental effects it can play on your life and your body. To combat these crusaders against alcohol, others have chosen the other side to try and prove that there is nothing wrong with spirits and to let everyone know the potential health benefits it may provide. Regardless of the stance taken, the role alcohol plays on the body is both destructive and nurturing in different ways. Alcohol is a very versatile drug. It is used for many medicinal purposes and can be used for some household remedies. The alcohol that is produced for consumption is an addictive drug if not used in moderation. Moderation is generally described as 1-3 drinks a day (Hanson, “Alcohol”). When first consumed, alcohol goes straight to the stomach where it is absorbed into the bloodstream and then pumped into the brain and various parts of the body. Although the kidneys and the lungs help with the process of breaking down ethanol, the poisonous chemical inside alcohol, the liver does most of the work. If the amount of alcohol consumed is greater than the amount the liver can process, then that is where a person starts to feel intoxicated. Since the process of eliminating alcohol from the body is so strenuous, continually forcing the body to rid itself of the poisonous chemical ethanol can cause serious effects on the internal organs of a heavy drinker (“Alcohol: What’s in it For You?”). Studies have shown that drinking in moderation can be beneficial to your health, but overconsumption can pose great risks. The most common problem associated with continuous heavy drinking is liver damage. “It can cause inflammation of the liver (alcoholic hepatitis) and lead to scarring of the liver (cirrhosis), a potentially fatal disease” (“Alcohol: Balancing”). These health complications could eventually cause a liver failure which would prevent your body’s ability to break down hazardous substances. An increased risk of cancer is commonly associated with heavy drinking. Some of these cancers include mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, and breast (“Alcohol’s Effects on the Body”). However many studies have shown that people who drink in moderation have decreased risks of cancers and diseases such as osteoporosis, gallbladder disease, arthritis, strokes, kidney cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and thyroid cancer (Hanson, “Alcohol”). Since alcohol impairs the brain’s ability to perform motor functions, strict laws have been put in place on the operation of motor vehicles while intoxicated. Many times a person will drive while not feeling intoxicated, but it only takes a couple drinks for alcohol to impair motor functions. “In 2010, 10,228 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (31%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States” (“Impaired Driving”). These statistics are omnipresent throughout the years and have taken a great toll on the lives of others. The legal drinking age in the United States is 21. In 1984 the federal government passed a bill that forced states to increase the legal drinking age to 21 or else they would lose important funding for their highways (“Underage Drinking”). Around the world, many other countries have different legal ages, the most common being 18. The growing concern for young drinkers in the United States has caused many programs to open that help troubled youth and research to see how alcohol affects a growing body. Although there is no definite age, the brain stops developing anywhere from age 18 to age 26. The lasting effects alcohol can have on a growing brain can be hard to find but could…