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  1. Alcohol, sometimes referred to by the chemical name ethanol, is a psychoactive drug that is the active ingredient in drinks such as beer, wine, and distilled spirits (hard liquor ). It is one of the oldest and most common recreational substances, causing the characteristic effects of alcohol intoxication ("drunkenness").

  2. Drugs most often associated with this term include: alcohol, amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cannabis, cocaine, hallucinogens, methaqualone, and opioids. The exact cause of substance abuse is not clear, but there are two predominant theories: either a genetic disposition which is learned from others, or a habit which, if addiction ...

    • Definitions
    • Signs and Symptoms
    • Causes
    • Mechanisms
    • Diagnosis
    • Prevention
    • Treatment
    • Epidemiology
    • Prognosis
    • Societal and Economic Costs

    Risky drinking (also called hazardous drinking) is defined by drinking above the recommended limits: 1. greater than 14 standard drinksunits per week or greater than 4 standard drinks on a single occasion in men 2. greater than 7 standard drinksunits per week or greater than 3 standard drinks on a single occasion in women 3. any drinking in pregnant women or persons < 21 years old Binge drinking is a pattern of alcohol consumption that brings blood alcohol concentration ≥ 0.08%, usually corresponds to 1. ≥ 5 standard drinks on a single occasion in men 2. ≥ 4 standard drinks on a single occasion in women In the DSM-IV, alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence were defined as distinct disorders from 1994 to 2013. The DSM-5 combined those two disorders into alcohol use disorder with sub-classifications of severity. The DSM-IV definition is no longer used. There is no "alcoholism" diagnosis in medical care. Alcohol misuse is a term used by United States Preventive Services Task Forceto desc...

    Individuals with an alcohol use disorder will often complain of difficulty with interpersonal relationships, problems at work or school, and legal problems. Additionally, people may complain of irritability and insomnia. Alcohol abuse is also an important cause of chronic fatigue.Signs of alcohol abuse are related to alcohol's effects on organ systems. However, while these findings are often present, they are not necessary to make a diagnosis of alcohol abuse. Signs of alcohol abuse show its drastic effects on the central nervous system, including inebriation and poor judgment; chronic anxiety, irritability, and insomnia. Alcohol's effects on the liver include elevated liver function tests (classically AST is at least twice as high as ALT). Prolonged use leads to cirrhosis and liver failure. With cirrhosis, patients develop an inability to process hormones and toxins. The skin of a patient with alcoholic cirrhosis can feature spider angiomas, palmar erythema and — in acute liver fai...

    The cause of alcohol abuse is complex. Alcohol abuse is related to economic and biological origins and is associated with adverse health consequences. Peer pressure influences individuals to abuse alcohol; however, most of the influence of peers is due to inaccurate perceptions of the risks of alcohol abuse. According to Gelder, Mayou and Geddes (2005) easy accessibility of alcohol is one of the reasons people engage in alcohol abuse as this substance is easily obtained in shops. Another influencing factor among adolescents and college students are the perceptions of social norms for drinking; people will often drink more to keep up with their peers, as they believe their peers drink more than they actually do. They might also expect to drink more given the context (e.g. sporting event, house party, etc.).This perception of norms results in higher alcohol consumption than is normal.Alcohol abuse is also associated with acculturation, because social and cultural factors such as an et...

    Excessive alcohol use causes neuroinflammation and leads to myelin disruptions and white matter loss. The developing adolescent brain is at increased risk of brain damage and other long-lasting alterations to the brain. Adolescents with an alcohol use disorder damage the hippocampal, prefrontal cortex, and temporal lobes. Chronic alcohol exposure can result in increased DNA damage in the brain, as well as reduced DNA repair and increased neuronal cell death. Alcohol metabolism generates genotoxic acetaldehyde and reactive oxygen species. Until recently, the underlying mechanisms mediating the link between pubertal maturation and increased alcohol use in adolescence was poorly understood. Now research has suggested that sex steroid hormone levels may play a role in this interaction. When controlling for age, it was demonstrated that elevated estradiol and testosterone levels in male teenagers undergoing pubertal development was linked to increased alcohol consumption.It has been sugg...

    DSM-IV

    Alcohol abuse was defined in the DSM-IVas a maladaptive pattern of drinking. For its diagnosis, at least one of the following criteria had to be fulfilled in the last 12 months: 1. Recurrent use of alcohol resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home 2. Recurrent alcohol use in situations in which it is physically hazardous 3. Recurrent alcohol-related legal problems 4. Continued alcohol use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal pr...

    DSM-5

    The alcohol abuse diagnosis is no longer used in the DSM-5 (released in 2013), it is now part of the alcohol use disorder diagnosis. Of the four alcohol abusecriteria, all except the one referring to alcohol-related legal problems are included in the alcohol use disorder criteria.

    Screening

    The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) is considered the most accurate alcohol screening tool for identifying potential alcohol misuse, including dependence.It was developed by the World Health Organisation, designed initially for use in primary healthcare settings with supporting guidance.

    Preventing or reducing the harm has been called for via increased taxation of alcohol, stricter regulation of alcohol advertising and the provision of brief Interventions. Brief Interventions for alcohol abuse reduce the incidence of unsafe sex, sexual violence, unplanned pregnancy and, likely, STD transmission.Information and education on social norms and the harms associated with alcohol abuse delivered via the internet or face-to-face has not been found to result in any meaningful benefit in changing harmful drinking behaviours in young people. According to European law, individuals who are suffering from alcohol abuse or other related problems cannot be given a driver's license, or if in possession of a license cannot get it renewed. This is a way to prevent individuals driving under the influence of alcohol, but does not prevent alcohol abuse per se. An individual's need for alcohol can depend on their family's alcohol use history. For instance, if it is discovered that their f...

    Youth treatment and intervention should focus on eliminating or reducing the effects of adverse childhood experiences, like childhood maltreatment, since these are common risk factors contributing to the early development of alcohol abuse. Approaches like contingency management and motivational interviewing have shown to be effective means of treating substance use disorder in impulsive adolescents by focusing on positive rewards and redirecting them towards healthier goals. Educating youth about what is considered heavy drinking along with helping them focus on their own drinking behaviors has been shown to effectively change their perceptions of drinking and could potentially help them to avoid alcohol abuse.Completely stopping the use of alcohol, or "abstinence", is the ideal goal of treatment. The motivation required to achieve abstinence is dynamic; family, friends and health practitioners play a role in affecting this motivation. Some people who abuse alcohol may be able to re...

    Alcohol abuse is said to be most common in people aged between 15 and 24 years, according to Moreira 2009.However, this particular study of 7275 college students in England collected no comparative data from other age groups or countries. Causes of alcohol abuse are complex and are likely the combination of many factors, from coping with stress to childhood development. The US Department of Health & Human Servicesidentifies several factors influencing adolescent alcohol use, such as risk-taking, expectancies, sensitivity and tolerance, personality and psychiatric comorbidity, hereditary factors, and environmental aspects. Studies show that child maltreatment such as neglect, physical, and/or sexual abuse, as well as having parents with alcohol abuse problems, increases the likelihood of that child developing alcohol use disorders later in life. According to Shin, Edwards, Heeren, & Amodeo (2009), underage drinking is more prevalent among teens that experienced multiple types of chil...

    Alcohol abuse during adolescence, especially early adolescence (i.e. before age 15), may lead to long-term changes in the brain which leaves them at increased risk of alcoholism in later years; genetic factors also influence age of onset of alcohol abuse and risk of alcoholism. For example, about 40 percent of those who begin drinking alcohol before age 15 develop alcohol dependence in later life, whereas only 10 percent of those who did not begin drinking until 20 years or older developed an alcohol problem in later life.It is not entirely clear whether this association is causal, and some researchers have been known to disagree with this view. Alcohol use disorders often cause a wide range of cognitive impairments that result in significant impairment of the affected individual. If alcohol-induced neurotoxicityhas occurred a period of abstinence for on average a year is required for the cognitive deficits of alcohol abuse to reverse. College/university students who are heavy binge...

    Alcohol abuse is associated with many accidents, fights, and offences, including criminal. Alcohol is responsible in the world for 1.8 million deaths and results in disability in approximately 58.3 million people. Approximately 40 percent of the 58.3 million people disabled through alcohol abuse are disabled due to alcohol-related neuropsychiatric disorders. Alcohol abuse is highly associated with adolescent suicide. Adolescents who abuse alcohol are 17 times more likely to commit suicide than adolescents who don't drink. Additionally, alcohol abuse increases the risk of individuals either experiencing or perpetrating sexual violence. Alcohol availability and consumption rates and alcohol rates are positively associated with violent crimes, through specifics differ between particular countries and cultures.

  3. Alcohol (also known as ethanol) has a number of effects on health. Short-term effects of alcohol consumption include intoxication and dehydration. Long-term effects of alcohol consumption include changes in the metabolism of the liver and brain, several types of cancer and alcohol use disorder. Alcohol intoxication affects the brain, causing ...

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  5. Drugs and Alcohol Today is a double-blind peer-reviewed academic journal covering latest research about the health and social components of drug and alcohol uses, and related fields. The journal publishes scholarly articles, research reports, and critical reviews.

  6. en.wikipedia.org › wiki › DrugDrug - Wikipedia

    The most widely used drugs in the world include caffeine, nicotine and alcohol, which are also considered recreational drugs, since they are used for pleasure rather than medicinal purposes. All drugs can have potential side effects. Abuse of several psychoactive drugs can cause addiction and/or physical dependence.

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