During college years it is very common for students to consume alcohol on the
weekends and sometimes during the week. Because alcohol is usually available and
usually present at every college party, drinking becomes “the thing to do”. Social
drinking on the weekends is one thing, but many take it much farther than that. Some
students look to get wasted or intoxicated. When students get into the habit of abusing
alcohol to get drunk on a consistent basis this becomes a problem, and the disease
known as alcoholism can develop. As a college student it becomes clear to me that
some of my friends and acquaintances are developing signs of ...view middle of the document...
are craving, a strong need, or urge to drink, loss of control; not being able to stop
drinking once drinking has begun, physical dependence; withdrawal symptoms, such as
nausea, sweating, shakiness, or anxiety after stopping drinking. And tolerance; the need
to drink greater amounts of alcohol to feel drunk. This can come to the point where an
alcoholic’s craving to consume alcohol can be as strong as the need for food and water.
Because of this an alcoholic will continue to drink, despite serious family, health,
or legal problems. “Alcoholism is considered a chronic, often progressive disease, and
alcoholic until death, unless treated. The symptoms of alcoholism can also be applied to
alcohol abuse, but abuse can lead to dependence, and criteria set up by a
questionnaire. It’s a method to screen for alcoholism and can determine if an abuser is
actually an alcoholic. Answering yes to two or more of the questions can indicate
alcoholism. But what is more difficult to diagnose and understand is the cause of
alcoholism. Drinking alcohol alters the balance of chemicals in the brain, such as
gamma-amino butyric acid, which inhibits impulsiveness, and glutamate, which excite
the nervous system. Alcohol also raises dopamine levels in the brain. This is
responsible for the good feeling one gets from consuming alcohol. Excessive drinking
over a long period of time can deplete or increase the levels of dopamine; the body
begins to crave alcohol to restore the brain to equilibrium. Other factors can lead to
alcohol abuse than causes an addiction. These factors are: Genetics, which is passed
down from parents to children. Emotional state, high levels of stress or anxiety.
Psychological problems, such as having low self-esteem or depression, also having
friends or a partner who drinks regularly could promote excessive drinking.
It is difficult to distance yourself from people who are close to you who may be
drinking. Steady drinking over a period of time can produce a physical...