Relatively low doses of alcohol relax the user; make them more talkative and animated. Alcohol does this by increasing the metabolism in areas of the brain associated with movement e. g. the nigrostriatal pathway and this means that the rewards system in the brain becomes more active which makes people act in an unusually loud and cheerful manner. Excessively large doses of alcohol lead to acute alcohol intoxication and this has many short and long term health effects. One of the most classic symptoms of alcohol intoxication is appendicular ataxia and this results in the uncoordinated movements of the limbs.
Ataxia is why a drunken person is clumsy, will sway back and forth and often fall over. Its cause is not yet known but is probably due to alcohols effect on the cerebellum (the region of the brain that is responsible for motor control). Further studies on the subject have shown that alcohol beverages may have provocative effect on the coronary artery disease and stroke. These conclusions are drawn from death rates when comparing risks for coronary artery disease in people consuming small to moderate amounts of alcohol and those who don’t drink at all.
Drinkers experience a mild euphoria and loss of inhibition as alcohol impairs region of the brain controlling behaviour, judgement, memory, concentration and coordination as well as extreme mood swings and emotional outbursts. All of the above lead to social problems as drinkers have impaired judgements and may therefore agree to take part in a dangerous activity which they would not choose if they were sober. Overuse of alcohol also leads to aggressive behaviour and is the underlying cause of most anti-social behaviour.
However the main problem with alcohol is that it is very addictive and it is estimated that one in 13 people in the UK are dependent on alcohol. Several million drink excessively, and are putting their health at serious risk. Most of these arguments are based on scientific fact yet personal theories and opinions surrounding this topic may have been added by the provider to justify there points. Graph above is from: http://news. bbc. co. uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5230006. stm The graph above uses the new ranking system for the classification of drugs and alcohol is the first half of the graph.
As you can see, the independent experts whose input helped to shape this graph consider alcohol to be more dangerous than most class A and B and every class C drug. The quote below shows a statistic which again displays how alcohol is more dangerous than drugs; “One person a week in the UK dies from alcohol poisoning compared to 10 deaths in a year linked to ecstasy. ” http://news. bbc. co. uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5230006. stm There are many other statistics which display the negative health and social effects of alcohol.
It is estimated that; the NHS spend 1.7 billion in treating alcohol related illnesses, 17 million working days are lost to hangovers or alcohol-related illnesses and overall Britain’s binge-drinking culture costs over (Statistics from http://news. bbc. co. uk/1/hi/health/3121440. stm ) To conclude this argument, alcohol has many health effects both short term and long term. Alcohol abuse also has many negative social and economic impacts as well. Alcohol is perceived as being harmless however it is just as dangerous, and has many similar impacts on health as most drugs. Arguments against prohibition of alcohol
The main reason that alcohol is different from other drugs is that alcohol, unlike any other drug, is socially entrenched. As I have mentioned in the “History of Alcohol” section of this report, alcohol is an integral part of social life and banning it would be completely impractical. By banning alcohol millions of law abiding citizens all over the world would be criminalised and this will create a huge black market for alcohol. History has shown that the Prohibition of alcohol in America- “The Noble Experiment” was a complete failure. I will explore this issue later on in my “Why was the Prohibition of Alcohol in America unsuccessful? “