The Psychosocial Effects Of Alcoholism
The Psychosocial Effects of Alcoholism
Alcoholism refers to the abuse of alcohol by individuals who are unable to control their binge drinking behavior over a prolonged period of time. Alcoholics are not simply people who consume alcohol; instead, their entire lives revolve around alcohol. While many people usually dismiss the effects of heavy drinking to a hangover that will not last beyond the day, the effects of alcoholism are infinitely more enduring and devastating not only for the alcoholics, but also for their families and friends.
Excessive consumption of alcohol can exert a severe impact on the brain, both on the short-term and long-term basis. The reason why alcoholics exhibit aggressive behavior can be attributed to the effects of alcohol on various parts of the brain. First, alcohol can affect the gamma-aminobutyoric acid receptor (GABA-A) complex in the brain that inhibits aggressive behavior by creating anxiety over socially inappropriate behavior. Second, the effect of alcohol on the dopaminergic system that controls the psychomotor stimulation can lead to an increase in the intensity and level of aggression. The lower blood sugar in the brain can also contribute to a heightened level of aggression (Graham, Wells, & West, 1997, p. 626).
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