ALCOHOL

Alcohol is produced when yeast, sugar and starch are fermented. Grains, fruits, or vegetables are fermented to produce ethanol and carbon- dioxide. Any responsible government must be intolerant to drunk driving. Such government must organize campaigns to reduce drunk driving and its associated problems. In Texas, a drunken person may seek the help of the system when heading home rather than drive while drunk. Such individual is encouraged to arrange for a ride home or have a designated driver he proposes to drink. In Texas, if you consume alcohol and your blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 BAC, you are legally intoxicated.

Effects of Alcohol Consumption
The effects of alcohol may be proximate or ultimate. In other words, alcohol has both short and long term effects.

Short Term Effects
• Alcohol consumption causes impaired judgements. Decisions made by an intoxicated individual may be affected by his drunkenness.. This is why such person will want to drive.
• Memory loss. Imagine a college professor of English Language struggling to recite alphabet correctly when drunk. This indicates a temporary loss of memory.
• Short-term sicknesses like headache, body ache, nausea, vomiting, and breathing difficulties are evident.
• Slurred speech. A drunkard leaks his lips as he talks. It may be difficult to comprehend a drunkard when he speaks.
• An alcoholic may have some hygiene problems. His mouth and body odour may be unbearable to people around him.
• An alcoholic has little or no regard for the well-being of the family. His self-centeredness makes him expend the money meant for the family on alcohol.

Long Term Effects
• Liver disease: Alcohol may damage the liver. The liver is forced to process the chemical in alcohol which may damage the liver and cause cirrhosis and fatty liver (steatosis).
• Heart: Heavy drinking can damage the heart and lead to heart diseases such as cardiomyopathy (stretching of heart muscle). Ultimately severe alcohol consumers may have stroke.
• The Kidney: When alcohol is consumed excessively, there are series of negative effects it has on the kidneys. Normally, kidneys are equipped to balance the acid in the body and help in releasing excessive acid, among other functions. Excessive alcohol consumption may strain the kidney or cause the development of a condition that disables the kidneys to produce urine.
• Generally, alcohol may lead to depression (when active or at withdrawal), stroke, or even death. Babies born by an actively alcoholic parent may have fatal alcohol disorder.
• The Stomach: The stomach houses the small intestine through which food and water passes during digestion and absorption. Alcohol, when taken, travels through the small intestines and may erode the intestinal walls or filter into the blood that circulates. Nausea and irritation are some of the effects. Erosion of the intestinal walls may cause stomach ulcer.
• The Pancreas: This supplies enzymes that digest food and not chemical from alcohol. When alcohol travels through the pancreas, it will negatively affect it. When overwhelmed, the pancreas becomes less functional. Excessive drinking over a long time may cause an inflammation of the pancreas, diarrhoea, fever, and pain in the abdomen.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, a person is legally intoxicated and may be arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) with a .08 BAC (blood or breath alcohol concentration).

How to Stay Healthy and Safe
• Avoid drinking alcohol
• Don’t drink and drive. If you have to drink, designate a driver to take you home, call a cab, or spend the night where you are.

Additional reading materials:

Texas Department of Transportation:
http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/division/traffic/safety/sober-safe/intoxication.html

http://www.drugfreeworld.org

© Copyright 2021

Dr. Silas Falokun is the coordinator of the Prison Rehabilitation Ministry International (PREMI) in North and South America. He is a behavior interventionist and an expert in prison matters. He is an employee of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.