Effects of Alcoholism on the Mind, Body, and Emotional Spirit

Essay by deeUCollege, UndergraduateA+, May 2005

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This paper will discuss the effects of alcoholism on the mind, body, and emotional spirit. Alcoholism causes many physical conditions and reactions in the mind. It damages the brain and affects the normal thought processes. The brain and nervous system are affected by chronic alcohol abuse; in addition, the heart, liver, muscles, stomach, and bones can be harmed by excessive alcohol abuse. Negative emotional effects of alcoholism include embarrassment, regrets, self-doubt, and depression.

A majority of alcohol-related studies have been arranged for review of post-treatment alcoholics. In reviewing research completed on the effects of alcohol to the brain, the outcome of one particular study was completed on significantly active, heavy drinkers. None of the alcoholics in this study had yet to receive any formal treatment for his or her alcoholism. This study established that there were abnormalities in the cranial tissue of these participants. This effect resulted in a lowered cognitive functioning of the brain.

In the active drinkers there was impairment to the frontal white matter, considered to be a sign of neuronal damage, which caused an overall lowered capacity in memory functions (Researchers specify alcohol-related brain damage among heavy social drinkers).

Another study found that alcoholism was linked to a gene in the brain chemistry, which is considered a risk factor for developing alcoholism. Although genes play a factor in alcoholism, there are a large number of environmental factors that may play a role in whether or not a person actually becomes an alcoholic. This research was prepared to distinguish if there were any links that were connecting genes to alcoholism amid the generations of these particular subjects. The study found that a person who carried the gene identified as "GABRA 2" was more likely to develop alcoholism than a person in whom the gene was recessive. This...