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http://www.drugaware.co.za

On THIS LINK  - links will open in a new window – you can find ALL information on different drugs, like mandrax, heroine, etc. etc…… click on the images and then follow the links on the top of the page once you are on the site of…www.drugcentre.org.za (South Africa’s site…there’s a lot of info to be found, very useful!!….try this site for other links…www.drugs.co.za)and…on THIS LINK (drugaware.co.za) you can see real photos and find more info on drugs!

What is alcohol? Alcohol is a clear drink that is made from corn, barley, grain, rye, or a beverage containing ethyl. When a person drinks alcohol, about 20 percent is absorbed in the stomach, and 80 percent is absorbed in the small intestine. The concentration of alcohol, the type of drink, and whether the stomach is full or empty depends on how fast the alcohol is absorbed. Once the alcohol is absorbed into the tissue, it affects your mind and body.  Blood alcohol concentration can rise up to 20 minutes after having a drink. After alcohol is absorbed it leaves the body in three ways: the kidneys, lungs, and liver.

How is it made?  Beer and  wine are called fermented beverages. They are made by adding yeast to a substance that contains sugar. The yeast starts the formation process, which turns sugar into ethyl and carbon dioxide gas. Beer is made from barley malt. The people who brew the beer soak the barley in water to make it sprout. When the barley dries, they take off the sprouts only leaving starch, or malt. The malt is ground up and mixed up with water to form mash. This is put into another mash which contains corn or rice that has been crushed and heated. The starch from corn or rice is then changed to sugar. Some dried flowers are added to the mash to add flavor, then the mash is fermented. Then the brewers age the beer for several weeks to add taste in the beer. http://library.thinkquest.org/TQ0310171/what_is_alcohol.htm

A drug used to treat seizures and migraines may help alcoholics quit the bottle, according to a study in the US. And unlike other medications for alcohol addiction, sufferers can get help without having to completely dry out first.
“You can be treated immediately for the disorder when you are in maximum crisis,” says the lead author
Bankole Johnson at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, US.
Johnson and colleagues followed the progress of 317 individuals with alcohol dependence for 14 weeks. Half received treatment with the drug topiramate, an anti-convulsant sold under the brand name Topamax, while the other half received a placebo.
At the start of the study, participants were averaging about 11 drinks per day, and drinking heavily on more than 80% of their days. They totally abstained on approximately three days a month.
By the end of the study, those receiving the drug reported drinking heavily on just 20% of days. They also averaged only 3.5 drinks per day, and managed to stay completely sober more than half the time.

Pleasure blocking
The control group also improved, but significantly less. They drank heavily on more than 40% of days, consumed six drinks per day, and abstained from drinking about a third of the time.

Topiramate works by blocking the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which reinforces the pleasurable feelings that alcoholics get when they drink.

In an accompanying editorial, Mark Willenbring at the US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says the primary problem now is how to improve patient access to treatments like topiramate, since alcohol abuse remains a woefully under-treated disorder.

“One potential solution is for primary care physicians and psychiatrists to begin systematically identifying and treating alcohol dependence in their patients,” he says.

Topiramate, which is not currently approved by the FDA for alcohol abuse, is already being used “off label” for this disorder, according to Johnson. “My hope is that topiramate continues to be validated and tested by other doctors, and if they want to [prescribe it off-label], they should.”

 


Read article Here ….

WHAT IS ALCOHOL?
What Is Alcohol?
Alcohol is created when grains, fruits, or vegetables are fermented. Fermentation is a process that uses yeast or bacteria to change the sugars in the food into alcohol. Fermentation is used to produce many necessary items — everything from cheese to medications. Alcohol has different forms and can be used as a cleaner, an antiseptic, or a sedative.

So if alcohol is a natural product, why do teens need to be concerned about drinking it? When people drink alcohol, it’s absorbed into their bloodstream. From there, it affects the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), which controls virtually all body functions. Because experts now know that the human brain is still developing during our teens, scientists are researching the effects drinking alcohol can have on the teen brain.

How Does It Affect the Body?

Alcohol is a depressant, which means it slows the function of the central nervous system. Alcohol actually blocks some of the messages trying to get to the brain. This alters a person’s perceptions, emotions, movement, vision, and hearing.

In very small amounts, alcohol can help a person feel more relaxed or less anxious. More alcohol causes greater changes in the brain, resulting in intoxication. People who have overused alcohol may stagger, lose their coordination, and slur their speech. They will probably be confused and disoriented. Depending on the person, intoxication can make someone very friendly and talkative or very aggressive and angry. Reaction times are slowed dramatically — which is why people are told not to drink and drive. People who are intoxicated may think they’re moving properly when they’re not. They may act totally out of character.

When large amounts of alcohol are consumed in a short period of time, alcohol poisoning can result. Alcohol poisoning is exactly what it sounds like — the body has become poisoned by large amounts of alcohol. Violent vomiting is usually the first symptom of alcohol poisoning. Extreme sleepiness, unconsciousness, difficulty breathing, dangerously low blood sugar, seizures, and even death may result.

Why Do Teens Drink?

Experimentation with alcohol during the teen years is common. Some reasons that teens use alcohol and other drugs are:

  • curiosity
  • to feel good, reduce stress, and relax
  • to fit in
  • to feel older

From a very young age, kids see advertising messages showing beautiful people enjoying life — and alcohol. And because many parents and other adults use alcohol socially — having beer or wine with dinner, for example — alcohol seems harmless to many teens.

Why Shouldn’t I Drink?

Although it’s illegal to buy alcohol in the United States until the age of 21, most teens can get access to it. It’s therefore up to you to make a decision about drinking. In addition to the possibility of becoming addicted, there are some downsides to drinking:

The punishment is severe. Teens who drink put themselves at risk for obvious problems with the law (it’s illegal; you can get arrested). Teens who drink are also more likely to get into fights and commit crimes than those who don’t.

People who drink regularly also often have problems with school. Drinking can damage a student’s ability to study well and get decent grades, as well as affect sports performance (the coordination thing).

You can look really stupid. The impression is that drinking is cool, but the nervous system changes that come from drinking alcohol can make people do stupid or embarrassing things, like throwing up or peeing on themselves. Drinking also gives people bad breath, and no one enjoys a hangover.

Alcohol puts your health at risk. Teens who drink are more likely to be sexually active and to have unsafe, unprotected sex. Resulting pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases can change — or even end — lives. The risk of injuring yourself, maybe even fatally, is higher when you’re under the influence, too. One half of all drowning deaths among teen guys are related to alcohol use. Use of alcohol greatly increases the chance that a teen will be involved in a car crash, homicide, or suicide.

Teen drinkers are more likely to get fat or have health problems, too. One study by the University of Washington found that people who regularly had five or more drinks in a row starting at age 13 were much more likely to be overweight or have high blood pressure by age 24 than their nondrinking peers. People who continue drinking heavily well into adulthood risk damaging their organs, such as the liver, heart, and brain.

How Can I Avoid Drinking?

If all your friends drink and you don’t want to, it can be hard to say “no, thanks.” No one wants to risk feeling rejected or left out. Different strategies for turning down alcohol work for different people. Some people find it helps to say no without giving an explanation, others think offering their reasons works better (“I’m not into drinking,” “I have a game tomorrow,” or “my uncle died from drinking,” for example).

If saying no to alcohol makes you feel uncomfortable in front of people you know, blame your parents or another adult for your refusal. Saying, “My parents are coming to pick me up soon,” “I already got in major trouble for drinking once, I can’t do it again,” or “my coach would kill me,” can make saying no a bit easier for some.

If you’re going to a party and you know there will be alcohol, plan your strategy in advance. You and a friend can develop a signal for when it’s time to leave, for example. You can also make sure that you have plans to do something besides just hanging out in someone’s basement drinking beer all night. Plan a trip to the movies, the mall, a concert, or a sports event. You might also organize your friends into a volleyball, bowling, or softball team — any activity that gets you moving.

Girls or guys who have strong self-esteem are less likely to become problem drinkers than people with low self-esteem.

Where Can I Get Help?

If you think you have a drinking problem, get help as soon as possible. The best approach is to talk to an adult you trust. If you can’t approach your parents, talk to your doctor, school counselor, clergy member, aunt, or uncle. It can be hard for some people to talk to adults about these issues, but a supportive person in a position to help can refer students to a drug and alcohol counselor for evaluation and treatment.

In some states, this treatment is completely confidential. After assessing a teen’s problem, a counselor may recommend a brief stay in rehab or outpatient treatment. These treatment centers help a person gradually overcome the physical and psychological dependence on alcohol.

What If I’m Concerned About Someone Else’s Drinking?

Many people live in homes where a parent or other family member drinks too much. This may make you angry, scared, and depressed. Many people can’t control their drinking without help. This doesn’t mean that they love or care about you any less. Alcoholism is an illness that needs to be treated just like other illnesses.

People with drinking problems can’t stop drinking until they are ready to admit they have a problem and get help. This can leave family members and loved ones feeling helpless. The good news is there are many places to turn for help: a supportive adult, such as your guidance counselor, or a relative or older sibling will understand what you’re going through. Also, professional organizations like Alateen can help.

If you have a friend whose drinking concerns you, make sure he or she stays safe. Don’t let your friend drink and drive, for example. If you can, try to keep friends who have been drinking from doing anything dangerous, such as trying to walk home at night alone or starting a fight. And protect yourself, too. Don’t get in a car with someone who’s been drinking, even if that person is your ride home. Ask a sober adult to drive you instead or call a cab.

Everyone makes decisions about whether to drink and how much — even adults. It’s possible to enjoy a party or other event just as much, if not more so, when you don’t drink. And with your central nervous system working as it’s supposed to, you’ll remember more about the great time you had!

Source: 

Click HERE to read about alcohol and how it affects the brain and your health!
 teens-brain-after-drinking

Click HERE to read about Binge drinking and the effects on your brain.
binge-drinking

Alcohol….MORE…
What are its short-term effects?
When a person drinks alcohol, the alcohol is absorbed by the stomach, enters the bloodstream, and goes to all the tissues. The effects of alcohol are dependent on a variety of factors, including a person’s size, weight, age, and sex, as well as the amount of food and alcohol consumed. The disinhibiting effect of alcohol is one of the main reasons it is used in so many social situations. Other effects of moderate alcohol intake include dizziness and talkativeness; the immediate effects of a larger amount of alcohol include slurred speech, disturbed sleep, nausea, and vomiting. Alcohol, even at low doses, significantly impairs the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely. Low to moderate doses of alcohol can also increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including domestic violence and child abuse. Hangovers are another possible effect after large amounts of alcohol are consumed; a hangover consists of headache, nausea, thirst, dizziness, and fatigue.
What are its long-term effects?
Prolonged, heavy use of alcohol can lead to addiction (alcoholism). Sudden cessation of long term, extensive alcohol intake is likely to produce withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations and convulsions. Long-term effects of consuming large quantities of alcohol, especially when combined with poor nutrition, can lead to permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and liver. In addition, mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with fetal alcohol syndrome. These infants may suffer from mental retardation and other irreversible physical abnormalities. In addition, research indicates that children of alcoholic parents are at greater risk than other children of becoming alcoholics

Source: click HERE



Image: howstuffworks

In 1997, Americans drank an average of 2 gallons (7.57 liters) of alcohol per person. This translates roughly into one six-pack of beer, two glasses of wine and three or four mixed drinks per week (see MMWR: Apparent Per Capita Ethanol Consumption for details). About 35 percent of adults don’t consume alcohol, so the numbers are actually higher for those who do — alcohol is an amazingly popular social phenomenon.

If you have ever seen a person who has had too much to drink, you know that alcohol is a drug that has widespread effects on the body, and the effects vary from person to person. People who drink might be the “life of the party” or they might become s­ad and droopy. Their speech may slur and they may have trouble walking. It all depends on the amount of alcohol consumed, a person’s history with alcohol and a person’s personality.

Even though you have seen the physical and behavioral changes, you might wonder exactly how alcohol works on the body to produce those effects. What is alcohol? How does the body process it? How does the chemistry of alcohol work on the chemistry of the brain? In this article, we will examine all of the ways in which alcohol affects the human body.

Read on THIS LINK more!

Definition
Alcoholism is an illness marked by drinking alcoholic beverages at a level that interferes with physical health, mental health, and social, family, or occupational responsibilities.

Alcoholism is divided into 2 categories: dependence and abuse.

People with alcohol dependence, the most severe alcohol disorder, usually experience tolerance and withdrawal. Tolerance is a need for markedly increased amounts of alcohol to achieve intoxication or the desired effect. Withdrawal occurs when alcohol is discontinued or intake is decreased. Alcohol dependents spend a great deal of time drinking alcohol, and obtaining it.

Alcohol abusers may have legal problems such as drinking and driving. They may also have problems with binge drinking (drinking 6 or more drinks at one sitting).

People who are dependent on or abuse alcohol continue to drink it despite evidence of physical or psychological problems. Those with dependence have more severe problems and a greater compulsion to drink
Read more on alcoholism on
THIS LINK

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