August 23, 2017

Alcohol Overview

[frame align=”left”]Alcoholism - Alcohol Overview[/frame]Over the centuries, when a new medical concern has cropped up, alcohol is the top solution for many doctors and researchers. Some reasons people have used alcohol include as an antiseptic, as a painkiller, as a sedative, as a medicine on the battlefield, as a way to drown one’s sorrows, and even as a teething aid for babies. On the other end of the spectrum – alcohol has first pick at social activities, celebrations, and family gatherings.

[spacer size=”5″]

Timeline of the History of Alcohol

  • 6000-4000 B.C. Viticulture is the selective cultivation of specific grape vines for making wine. This particular process dates, as early as the modern America era.
  • Circa 3000-2000 B.C. During this approximate time, the making of beer flourished in the area of modern day Iraq, which was then the area of the Mesopotamian and Sumerian cultures. There were recipes for more than 20 different varieties of beer recorded on clay tablets. Also during this time, the production and trade of wine became very important in Mediterranean culture and commerce, and ships carried large amounts of wine between cities in the Mediterranean area.
  • 1500 B.C. Produced in the Aegean and Levant was the start of producing wine commercially.
  • Circa 800 B.C. Distillation of both rice beer and barley, productions of beer began in India.
  • 1100: The medical school at Salerno, Italy documented alcohol distillation, calling the product of it spirits because they were extracting the wines’ spirits.

The Middle Ages: Distillation of grain alcohol began in Europe.

  • 1525-1550. Recognized in England, the best process was using distilled spirits excessively.

During the 17th century: Massachusetts created laws to limit widespread drunkenness, mainly from those who used home brewing methods, and to supervise taverns where alcohol served.

  • 1700: Ireland and Scotland known for their high quality whiskey/whiskey productions.

Early 19th century: The alcohol distillation process becomes easier to control and cheaper due to the creation of the continuous still.

December 1917: The 18th Amendment to the Constitution passes, taking effect on January 16, 1920 and repealed on December 5, 1933.

October 14, 1978: President Jimmy Carter of the United States signed a bill legalizing beer to be home brewed for the first time since the 18th Amendment took effect.

Effects of Alcohol

Some of the effects associated with consuming alcohol include altered mood states. Alcohol can momentarily increase a person’s self-confidence and promote his or her social skills, as well as leads to lowered inhibitions. Alcohol can also be extremely hard on the body physically, at the very least it dehydrates the drinker. The effects of alcohol are dependent on the amount of alcohol consumed as well as the frequency. Psychological mood and environment can also be factors in the end result of drinking too much.. Consuming alcohol excessively produces side effects such as loss of balance, staggering, slurred speech, and vomiting. Alcohol may also promote violence, and physical or verbal aggressiveness in some people who use it.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Some signs of alcohol withdrawal include hangover symptoms – which may include headaches, muscle aches, fatigue, thirst, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, sensitivity to sound, sensitivity to light, a feeling of dizziness or the room spinning, shakiness, decreased sleep or poor sleep, bloodshot eyes, mood disturbances (depression, irritability, anxiety, etc.), difficulty concentrating, and a rapid heartbeat. Other withdrawal symptoms may include hallucinations and hand tremors.

Problems Associated with Long Term Use of Alcohol

There are many problems that have been associated with long-term use of alcohol, some of which are very serious. Some of the problems that may happen to a person who has been using alcohol for a long period of time include mental health problems, brain damage, increased blood pressure, hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, diabetes, impaired kidney function, cancer, heart disease, pancreatitis, tremors, stroke and sexual impotence in men. Long-term use of alcohol also interferes with rapid eye movement – or REM – which occurs when a person is sleeping and is essential for an individual to feel fully rested and is very important for a person’s overall health.

Overdose Risk of Alcohol

If a person consumes a large quantity of alcoholic beverages during a short period, blood alcohol levels rise so much that they may reach a lethal point. One danger that has befallen more people that the public knows is binge drinking, vomiting, and then asphyxiation from choking on the vomit. In addition, alcohol is a huge factor in a number of social disorders – such as violence, crime, and accidents – where the death is the untimely consequence. If a person is mixing alcohol with certain other drugs, such as barbiturates or opiates, he or she also increases their risk of overdosing.