Alcohol Term Paper

Because alcoholic beverages differ in content, it is important here to define what constitutes “one drink.” A useful definition is that one standard drink contains one-half ounce of ethyl alcohol.When moderation is exceeded, or when one drinks at all in dangerous situations, one enters the realm of risky drinking, which includes both acute and chronic risk.Drinking occupies more of the person’s time, and becomes increasingly important so that it is unpleasant to be away from alcohol.

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Because alcohol is a depressant drug, depression is often caused or exacerbated by heavy drinking.

In college students, drinking level has a strong and negative relationship to grade point average.

Typically, alcohol dependent people are quite able to “hold their liquor,” showing less apparent intoxication from drinking than might be expected in the average person.

Such tolerance is misleading, however, because while it appears that the person is unaffected, in fact he or she has a sufficiently high blood alcohol level to cause serious acute and chronic risk.

At the same time, it is abundantly clear that heavier drinking is often associated with devastating consequences to the individual and to society.

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Wine has long been recommended to promote physical health, and indeed recent scientific evidence indicates a consistent association between moderate drinking and longevity, although the reasons for this link are still poorly understood.

Acute risk has to do with the immediate effects of intoxication.

Even low levels of alcohol in the bloodstream, for example, can significantly impair driving ability.

This can and does result in errors of perception regarding one’s ability or (lack of) impairment, and in decisions and judgments that themselves lead to risky consequences.

Chronic risk, on the other hand, has to do with the long-term effects of drinking.

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