Peer pressure in the modern society has led the youth intoengagingin numerous unruly behaviors which have drastically changed their behavior a great deal. Unlike in the past, the youth are now involved in taking numerous types of drugs because of influence from their friends or celebrities they follow on social media platforms. Research elucidates that at least one youth of every ten abuses or might have abused a drug in the past. The percentage of youths who have been using drugs in the recent past has drastically escalated, something that has raised concern since if the trend continues, it may cause disastrous consequences. Most of the by the youth interfere with their reasoning hence makes them . A psychoactive substance is any substance that interferes with mood and affects how the brain works and causes change in feelings, thoughts, and behavior. The major psychoactive substances are classified into depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, and opioids. The most used psychoactive drugs are alcohol, caffeine, heroine, cannabis, and cocaine. Out of all these, alcohol stands out as the most commonly abused psychoactive substance as it is legalized in most countries. It is in this light that this paper seeks to narrow down attention to the impact of alcohol as the most abused psychoactive substance.
Overview of the Scope
According to research, most youths in many countries especially those in colleges and other tertiary institutions have indulged themselves into alcohol abuse. Most of these youths are drawn into this social vice by their friends or due to peer pressure. Also, most celebrities on the internet have done various performances in an effort to praise alcohol. In most cases, they produce music or any other type of content in areas where alcohol is taken hence luring the youth to abuse the drug. Thus, online platform and especially artists are primarily to blame for the high rate of alcohol addict cases globally. Other people abuse alcohol just to fit in the company of their friends. There have been more cases of ladies being involved in this menace in the recent past and the number is expected to rise if proper measures such as guidance and counseling are not put into place. A national survey in the United States found out that about 80% of college students drink alcohol as 50% of this number is involved in binge drinking, which is taking of high volumes of alcohol within a short period, something that can be harmful to health (Charles et al., 2021). The prevalence of alcohol use in the United States was found out that females consume about four drinks in a week with males consuming double the number which is nine drinks per week. One is likely to be at higher risk or become alcoholic when the number of drinks they consume within a week rises. About 80% of students in American colleges are involved in alcohol abuse and research states that all students are either affected by alcohol abuse whether they drink or not. College environment is a great contributor to binge drinking as survey indicates that about 53% of students in American colleges aged between 18 and 22 drink high amounts of alcohol (., 2021). While binge drinking is regarded as drinking over five drinks for males in one sitting and more than for females, some people double this amount, hence putting themselves at a higher risk, a situation known as high-intensity drinking.
Underage college drinking has numerous harmful effects such as deaths. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has stated that about 1500 college students whose ages range between 18 and 24 lose their lives as a result of alcohol related unintentional injuries including motor-vehicle crashes. There is also the issue of sexual assault whereby most students in colleges have experienced it, either directly or indirectly from another student who also abuses alcohol. Heavy alcohol consumption also interferes with ones ability to think well and as a result, most people who are under the influence of alcohol tend to be involved in immoral social behaviors such as rape. Moreover, people who are heavily addicted to alcohol find it difficult to continue with their studies and most of them drop out as a result. This is because addiction requires one to take alcohol every day. When they are in school, they may not have money to buy alcoholic drinks daily and at the same time, they may be busy to look for the money to buy alcohol and thus, they end up dropping out of school.
Another impact of alcohol consumption is that it leads to domestic violence. People under the influence of alcohol have been involved in causing chaos and this may erupt into fights. Thus, such people are usually tied up in various issues that interfere with their ability to maintain themselves and as a result, they end up being in conflict with everyone around them. In most cases, people who are dependent on alcohol rarely concentrate on one thing and thus making them difficult to handle any type of work assigned to them. The fact that alcohol makes one unable to create make sound decisions means that it can be disastrous.
Patterns, Signs and Symptoms
There are various behavior patterns, symptoms and signs of alcohol addiction. While alcohol may not have major signs, continued heavy intake of alcohol may have some manifestations on an individual. One of these symptoms and signs is poor coordination. This is whereby the affected person cannot coordinate activities well and may show signs such as slurred speech during their communication. Alcohol interferes with speech patterns hence making one unable to make the right choices in life. Also, alcohol addiction leads to memory impairment whereby one is unable to make the right decisions. For instance, a person under the influence of alcohol may find it difficult to make sound moral decisions and this explains why most people end up being involved in immoral behaviors such as rape and having sex with people recklessly since their mind cannot coordinate well. Alcohol intake also makes one involve themselves in risky behaviors such as drinking while under alcohol influence. This is dangerous as one may easily cause an accident which can claim their lives. Alcohol addiction also makes one to divert most of their energy into drinking and other activities such that one can only think about taking alcohol after they are done with work instead of going home to spend time with their family. Some common signs that one is addicted to alcohol is whereby they are unable to do anything until they take some alcohol and this is dangerous as it may make one fully alcohol dependent. In regards to tolerance and withdrawal, people with alcoholism problems tend to take more alcohol than others without getting drunk. Some withdrawal symptoms of alcoholism are anxiety, nausea, seizures and headache.
Behavioral treatment is one of the treatment behaviors for people with alcoholism as it involves treating the disorder by talking to an individual as a way of counseling. In this case, one is given some counseling based on their level of addiction and advised to change gradually until they finally overcome drinking alcohol. Also, some medications may be prescribed to enable one lower the urge of taking alcohol. After taking these drugs, they interfere with ones ability to consume alcohol as they prevent the excessive urge to take alcohol. Moreover, psychotherapy is another treatment modality whereby one engages the affected person into a conversation whereby they educate them on various aspects regarding alcohol (Araujo, Henriksen, Gamsby&Gulick, 2021). In this case, one is usually informed on various critical matters such as how alcohol interferes with their body and the effects that may come along with heavy consumption of the same. Further, motivational interviewing can also be used as an approach as it makes the affected person stop taking alcohol through being motivated by another person. In this case, one may give a motivational story to the addicted person so that they can change on their behavior.
Policy and How it may Affect Practice
Various measures can be put to prevent people from being addicted to alcohol. One of them is subjecting them to regular counseling sessions whereby they are told on the dangers of alcohol addiction. Moreover, one can be guided to use the right measures such as presenting some of their issues that may be problematic to a counselor instead of taking alcohol to lower stress. Also, countries can regulate the amount of alcohol so that people do not abuse it. One of these ways can be through regulation of alcohol such that when one passes a certain limit, they can be held responsible by the law. This would help in reducing the number of accidents that happen each year since some of them are caused by drunk driving. Also, the government can set strict measures aimed at combating the abuse of alcohol especially for the youth until one reaches the age of 25 as some youths drink while they are still young, something that influences them and prevents them from making the right decisions (Buleyko&Soldatkin, 2021). Also, alcohol users can be asked about the reasons that make them abuse alcohol and then be assisted to overcome the problem by helping them overcome factors that subject them to drinking alcohol. In most cases, peer pressure is primarily to blame for high cases of alcoholism, especially among the youth. Therefore, one can educate the youth on why they need to avoid alcohol and get to listen their views on the same. This policy may impact practice in that it may impact most youths who are affected by alcoholism to change their behavior
In summary, the body in different ways. Alcohol being the key focus in this paper has been the main menace as far as drug abuse is concerned. Thus, one can overcome heavy alcohol intake through counseling and behavior techniques. They can also use drugs to lower their urge of taking alcohol.
Araujo, I., Henriksen, A., Gamsby, J., &Gulick, D. (2021).Impact of alcohol abuse on susceptibility to .Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, 8, 37.
Buleyko, A. A., &Soldatkin, V. A. (2021).Impact of alcohol abuse on suicide risk in schizophrenic patients.Zhurnalnevrologii i psikhiatriiimeni SS Korsakova, 121(10), 144-148.
Charles, N. E., Strong, S. J., Burns, L. C., Bullerjahn, M. R., &Serafine, K. M. (2021). Increased mood disorder symptoms, perceived stress, and alcohol use among college students during the COVID-19 pandemic.Psychiatry research, 296, 113706.
Lam, B. Q., Srivastava, R., Morvant, J., Shankar, S., &Srivastava, R. K. (2021). Association of Diabetes Mellitus and Alcohol Abuse with Cancer: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Significance. Cells, 10(11), 3077.
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