At present, almost, everywhere in the world, alcohol consumption is growing, i.e. daily the number of people who, out of curiosity, who for other reasons, come into contact with him, is increasing. In most economically developed countries, the problem of alcoholism occupies one of the leading places in social ecology. The attention of specialists of various fields is riveted to it: doctors, lawyers, sociologists, educators, etc. I will try to introduce you to the essence of the problems associated with the disease and treatment of alcoholism. I am convinced that it is impossible to achieve success in the fight against this ominous disease, without understanding, sympathy, the constant support of loved ones, without the active efforts of society as a whole.

A bit of history

The history of the production of intoxicated drinks goes back thousands of years. People learned about the intoxicating properties of alcoholic drinks no less than 8000 BC. - with the advent of ceramic dishes, which made it possible to make alcoholic drinks from honey, fruit juices and wild grapes. Alcoholic beverages were obtained from palm juice, barley, wheat, rice, millet, maize.

Widespread in antiquity found grape wine. In Greece, grapes began to be cultivated for 4000 BC. Wine was considered a gift from the gods. The patron saint of viticulture and winemaking in Greece was Dionysus, son of Zeus. His other name is Bacchus, in Latin form - Bacchus. Even then, it was noticed that excessive consumption of any intoxicating drinks is dangerous. Therefore, the Greeks, as a rule, drank grape wine diluted with water, so it better quench thirst, and a person did not get drunk.

Alcohol and alcohol addiction

Pure alcohol began to be obtained in the 6th-7th centuries by Arabs and called it “alcohol”, which means “intoxicating”. The first bottle of vodka was made by Arab Rabez in 860. Distillation of wine to produce alcohol dramatically exacerbated alcoholism. It is possible that this was the reason for the prohibition of the use of alcohol by the founder of Islam, Mohamed (Mohammed, 570-632).

In the Middle Ages in Western Europe, they also learned how to get strong spirits by sublimating wine and other invigorating sugary fluids. For the first time this operation was performed by the Italian monk alchemist Valentius. Since then, strong alcoholic beverages have quickly spread throughout the world, primarily due to the constantly growing industrial production of alcohol from cheap raw materials (potatoes, sugar wastes, etc.).

The spread of alcoholism in Russia is associated with the policies of the ruling classes. An opinion was even created that drunkenness was supposedly an old tradition of the Russian people. At the same time, they referred to the words of the annals: "Fun in Russia is drinking." But this is a slander against the Russian nation. The Russian historian of the customs and manners of the people, Professor N. I. Kostomarov (1817 - 1885) completely refuted this opinion. He proved that in Ancient Russia they drank very little. Only on selected holidays they made mead, mash or beer, the strength of which did not exceed 5-10 degrees. Chara started in a circle, and everyone drank a few sips from it. On weekdays, no alcohol was supposed to, and drinking was considered the greatest disgrace and sin. The custom of drinking from the same cup meant complete trust in each other and unanimity, so there could be no refusal.

Vodka began to penetrate into the country at first from abroad, and then its own distillery appeared. The government, starting with Ivan III, sought to retain the right to make and sell vodka in established taverns (the word “tavern” in Tatar means “inn”). In 1651, the word “tavern” was replaced by “mug”, although the essence they remained the same. In 1746, "circle yards" began to be called "drinking establishments." In 1895, the tsarist government introduced a state monopoly on the sale of vodka, motivating this measure with concern for public health. The state-owned monopoly did not eliminate drunkenness and shirking, when vodka was sold at an increased price at any time of the day or night to anyone.

Thus, over the centuries, people enjoyed drinking, the ruling circles only cared about making more income from the sale of vodka. Almost no measures aimed at protecting the health of the people, their morality, were taken.

Indeed, a peculiar “drinking procedure” has been created in Russia, according to which not a single significant event, not a single day of rest should pass without wine.

In Russia, before the Great October Socialist Revolution, the cult of wine acquired special features. Firstly, it was not a wine cult, but vodka. Secondly, drunkenness was promoted in any life situations, starting from religious holidays and ending with the smallest everyday events that needed to be “washed”. Thirdly, the use of alcohol in large quantities was encouraged, which was associated with the "breadth" of the Russian soul. Naturally, there was no question of any organized and effective counteraction to alcoholism and drunkenness in pre-revolutionary Russia.

The government understood that vodka gives fabulous profits and distracts the masses from the struggle. The Great October Revolution began the process of destroying the social prerequisites for drunkenness in our country. The fight against alcoholism will require a lot of time and effort. This is evidenced by a significant consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Alcohol properties

Alcohol - ethyl alcohol - is a clear, colorless liquid with a burning taste, burning with a slightly luminous bluish flame. Alcohol belongs to the group of narcotic substances. It is obtained as a result of alcoholic fermentation of cereals and vegetables with the help of yeast fungi, in recent years they have also been synthesized.

The sugar molecule (glucose) consists of 6 carbon atoms, 12 hydrogen atoms and 6 oxygen atoms - C6H12O6. Yeast enzymes seem to chop this complex molecule into separate pieces, then combine them into new molecules. Two molecules of carbon dioxide are usually formed from C6H12 O6 - 2CO2 (we see its bubbles in the fermenting liquid). The remaining atoms are combined into two alcohol molecules (2C2H5OH). With the depletion of the smell of sugar, fermentation also ceases. This is the simplified mechanism for converting Sugars or starch into alcohol.

The initial product for the production of ethyl alcohol is cereals: potatoes, beets, and also sulphite liquor - an overgrowth of papermaking, and wood sugared chemically by the action of acids at high temperature and pressure. Raw ethyl alcohol (raw) contains many impurities, including poisonous fusel oils, which are especially abundant in moonshine.

Subsequently, the alcohol is purified by distillation in special apparatuses. But even in rectified alcohol obtained in this way, however, some of the substances harmful to the body are still preserved.

Poorly purified alcohol contains harmful impurities. From purified or rectified ethyl alcohol, vodka, tinctures, and liquors are made. The stronger the drinks, the more harmful they are. Ethyl alcohol quickly penetrates through the skin, mucous membranes and, at a concentration of more than 20 degrees, dehydrates and coagulates the cellular protoplasm. Alcohol inhibits the transmission of impulses through nerve fibers even before the onset of metabolic disorders in nerve cells, which occurs at high doses. Alcohol in small doses and low concentration acts as a stimulant, exciting and able to cause euphoria, which is one of the reasons for drinking alcohol. Having an effect on the central nervous system, alcohol spreads to the most important nerve centers, hence the coordination of movements is disturbed (gait changes), and then the muscles relax, the reflexes fade.

Alcohol causes an increase in cardiac activity, depresses cardiac activity, dilates blood vessels.

When the paralyzing effect of alcohol spreads to the spinal cord, there is a gradual expansion of the vessels of the internal organs, the blood drains from the periphery and the skin becomes pale and cold.

Small doses of alcohol, acting reflexively, irritate the mucous membrane of the mouth, stomach and increase breathing. Large doses of alcohol inhibit breathing and can lead to paralysis.

Alcohol has an irritating effect on the digestive tract. In low concentrations, it increases the secretion of gastric juice and causes an increase in appetite, alcohol reduces the digesting ability of gastric juice due to a decrease in the number of enzymes in it. Therefore, alcohol cannot be an appetite enhancer. Strong alcoholic beverages can cause more severe irritation and inflammation of the lining of the stomach - acute gastritis.

Alcoholism is the regular, compulsive consumption of large amounts of alcohol over a long period of time. This is the most serious form of drug addiction involving 1 to 5% of the population of most countries.

Everyone can become an alcoholic. However, studies have shown that alcoholics have a risk of becoming addicted to alcohol 4-6 times higher than non-alcoholics.

The study of alcohol consumption among young people in Russia is largely based on similar studies abroad, which were conducted in Western Europe and North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and carried out in various directions:

  • Studying the prevalence and pattern of alcohol use by students
  • The effect of alcohol on children and adolescents was investigated.
  • The relationship between academic performance and alcohol consumption was determined.
  • Anti-alcohol education programs were developed and tested.

A significant place among the studies of this period was occupied by the works illustrated by the prevalence and nature of drinking customs when children were given alcohol to:

  1. “health promotion”
  2. "appetite"
  3. “growth improvements”
  4. “facilitating teething”
  5. “warming”
  6. “satisfying hunger”
  7. "reassurance"

Among the studies of the effect of alcohol on the children's body, first of all, the work of I.V. Sazhina “The effect of alcohol on the nervous system and the characteristics of the development of the body” (1902). It contains numerous, sometimes unique observations about the effect of alcohol on the child’s nervous system; It is proved that even small doses of alcohol have a detrimental effect on the emerging immunity and characteristics of a growing person.

The modern period of the study of early alcoholization is marked by numerous attempts to more deeply reveal the causes of alcohol abuse without comparing the influence of peers, alcoholic customs, family and gender, their detailed consumption of alcoholic beverages, Forslung (1970) found that mother’s alcoholic beverages have a significant effect on alcoholism, primarily Alcoholic behavior of the father determines that of his daughter and has the greatest alcoholization of sons. The influence of peers was interrelated with whether the teenager would drink in the absence of parental control. Vidkhri (1974) several types of relationships between an alcoholic culture and a microsocial attitude of an individual in relation to alcoholization:

  • “abstinence culture” corresponds to a stop for total abstinence
  • “ambivalent culture” - ambiguous and controversial alcoholic attitude
  • “liberal culture” - corresponds to a “permissible” attitude prohibiting outright drunkenness
  • “pathological culture” - an alcohol installation that allows any signs of drunkenness.

It is estimated that two-thirds of alcoholics are men. Studies of alcoholism show that alcoholism is often part of a common depressive illness. Many alcoholics suffer emotional problems acquired from childhood, often associated with the loss, absence or lack of one or both parents.

Stages of alcoholism

Domestic drunkenness can lead to alcoholism: because the drinker uses alcohol to alleviate stress (“symptomatic drunkenness because it is so strong that the initial stages of addiction remain noticed (“ neglected drinking ”).

Early alcoholism is marked by memory lapses. Alcohol of the younger generation by most researchers considering a significant indicator of the dysfunction of the micro social environment. This determined the constant interest in studying the problems of prevalence and the nature of alcoholization.

To early alcoholization is familiarity with intoxicating doses at the age of 16 years. About early (teenage) alcoholism, we should talk about the appearance of its first signs under the age of 18 years. When analyzing juvenile alcoholism, we proceeded from the methodologically important floor that the use of alcohol by adolescents must be considered: one of the forms of behavior disorder. This requires a broader and deeper problem, which is not limited to the framework of social narcology.

Boys more often than girls consume the main types of alcoholic beverages, this difference becomes significant by increasing their strength. Among schoolchildren, consumption of predominantly weak alcoholic beverages is widespread - beer, wine, while rural students are more familiar with the tastes of alcoholic beverages. In the 1920s, schoolchildren could use enough moonshine: in 1.0 - 32.0%, in boys and 0.9-12% in preschoolers, the frequency of drinking vodka increased with age. In almost all socio-hygienic and clinical-social studies of youth alcoholization, the method of interviewing was used in various modifications of the correspondence questionnaire before telephone interviews and clinical interviews. The most difficult are the data on the prevalence of alcohol consumption among young people, since the authors of n different countries, but even of the same country, historically used qualitatively different methods for identifying those who did not drink alcohol, different classifications by age, etc. Despite the diverse criteria for identifying alcohol abusers with alcoholism in adolescence, the data are different; still allow us to judge that their number is quite large.

The analysis shows that over the past 100 years, regardless of the level of abuse of alcoholic beverages, the prevalence rates of its alcoholism among young people have remained at a fairly stable level exceeding 5% of patients under 20 years of age and 8-10% of patients under 25 years of age. This fact is of fundamental importance, since it testifies to the dynamics of the emergence and development of early forms of alcoholism in the integral structure of alcohol incidence.

Basic alcoholism - the drinker cannot stop until it has reached poisoning. He encourages himself with self-justification and pompous promising all his promises and intentions are not fulfilled. He begins to avoid friends and neglect food, past interests, work and money. Physical decline in health. Resistance to alcohol decreases.

Chronic alcoholism is characterized by further moral irrational thinking, vague fears, fantasies, and psychopathic behavior. Physical damage is increasing. The drinker no longer remains, or can no longer take steps to get out of this situation. This person can reach in 5-25 years.

The cure is usually carried out according to special programs for alcohol. Psychologically, in an alcoholic, the desire to get help is revived, and he thinks more rationally. Ideally, it also develops hope, responsibility, external interests, self-esteem and satisfaction, abstinence from alcohol.

The final stage of alcoholism occurs if an alcoholic refuses treatment and breaks down again after treatment. Irreversible mental and physical t usually end in death.

The harmful effects of alcohol on offspring

Alcohol is detrimental to children before they are born. Popular wisdom teaches that children of not only alcoholics, but even those who drink alcohol once before conception, are often born weak, retarded, mentally disabled or even dead. The laws of ancient Rome forbade young people under 30 years of age, that is, during the years of the most active reproduction of offspring, to drink alcohol. According to the laws of ancient Greece, a drunken husband was strictly forbidden to converge with his wife. In Russia, the bride and groom were forbidden to drink intoxicants during the wedding.

On the effect of alcohol on offspring, there are numerous data from both doctors and scientists. Observations and systematization of pathological abnormalities in children in the families of drinkers and non-drinkers of parents conducted in our country before the revolution showed the following (in percent): they died in the first months of life - in families of drinkers - 43.9, in families of non-drinkers - 8.2 ; were underdeveloped - 38.6 and 9.8, respectively; healthy physically and spiritually -17.5 and 82.0. These data convincingly show that in families drinking healthy children are 5 times less than in non-drinkers, the mortality of children there is 5 times higher and patients 3.5 times more. This is not about the families of alcoholics, but about the families of drinkers. And this means that along with alcoholics and drunkards, this can include the so-called "ritualists" and people who drink "culturally."

Antabuse Molekule

The Izvestia newspaper in an interesting publication entitled “To be or ... to drink? —That's the question” dated May 16, 1984 cited data from the French researcher Morrell, who traced the lives of four generations of people suffering from chronic alcoholism. Here is this information: "In the first generation - moral depravity, alcoholic excesses; in the second - drunkenness in the full sense; representatives of the third generation suffered from hypochondria, melancholy, were prone to murder and suicide; in the fourth - dullness, idiocy, sterility ..." Such unique data make it possible to visualize and evaluate the true disaster that alcohol brings to people.

By the logic of its influence, alcohol is merciless both to those who drink "culturally" and to those who prefer other ways of drinking it. Regardless of whether a person drinks at a "shalman" or in a restaurant, the result on the offspring affects the same. We are talking about the amount of alcohol consumed and the frequency of alcohol intake. The more often a person is applied to the glass, the larger the dose he drinks, the more chances are that this alcohol will respond to his offspring. That is why people in the reproductive period of life who want to have children should completely exclude all types of alcohol from consumption. The following case shows what only a single use of alcohol can lead to.

Unfortunately, in our time, young parents often do not have the necessary knowledge about the dangers of alcohol, they are poorly trained in marriage hygiene, although their level of general education is quite high. Meanwhile, a number of studies have shown that, not only at the time of conception, but also during pregnancy, alcohol can lead to severe defects. From the blood of the mother, he very quickly enters the circulatory system of the fetus.

Scientists conducted the following observations: 1 hour before birth, women were given alcohol in an amount of 0.5 grams per 1 kilogram of body weight. After the birth of the baby, blood was taken for examination from the umbilical cord, that is, from the circulatory system of the fetus. And alcohol was determined in the blood. This means that for alcohol and the placenta is not a barrier protecting the fetus. It is especially dangerous for women to take alcohol in the first two weeks of pregnancy.

As a result of a survey of one and a half thousand mothers and their children, abnormalities were observed in two percent of children born to mothers who did not drink alcohol at all. This percentage rose to nine among children of “moderately” drinking mothers. As you can see, deviations from the norm are observed 4.5 times more often in children of those mothers who drink “moderately”. (But the advocates of this type of alcohol consumption stubbornly argue that “moderate” doses are harmless!) In children who drink heavily, mothers, the percentage of deviation from the norm rose to 74. Moreover, as a rule, they have not one, but several deviations from the norm. It is on children whose protective mechanisms are still very weak that the toxic effect of alcohol is particularly detrimental.

It is known that now, due to the rapid development of technology, an increase in mutagenic (mutation - change) factors affecting the heredity of people is noticeable. Among them, one of the first places is ionizing radiation. Scientists have found that such radiation has a common effect on hereditary factors, and even their small doses make themselves felt in subsequent generations. From a genetic point of view, there are no maximum permissible doses of these radiations for human health.

The foregoing applies also to alcohol. Even small doses of alcohol are reflected in the genetic substrate, which can lead to the birth of defective offspring, if not immediately, then in subsequent generations.

Scientific data show that alcohol, as a strong protoplasmic venom, dramatically affects the germ cells of both dales. In men who systematically consume alcohol, profound anatomical changes take place both in the reproductive organs themselves and in the germ cells. The latter are deformed, their number, activity and vitality are sharply violated. The function of hormonal elements is also distorted. There is a sharp dissonance between the initially increased libido and the physical abilities of a person, which brings discord to family life. In the future, these opportunities weaken, and then may come to naught. In parallel with changes in the physiology of hormones, gross mental changes occur concerning the intimate side of spouses' lives. Pathological jealousy appears, which sometimes takes ugly forms and turns family life into hell.

The effect of alcohol on the offspring goes in two directions. First, alcohol consumption is accompanied by profound changes in the genital area of ​​people, including a decrease in the function of germ cells and even atrophy of the reproductive organs. A special study found that alcohol acts on the liver in such a way that it leads to a decrease in the production of male hormone - testosterone. During the study, the subjects were in the clinic, for the first five days they did not drink alcohol at all. At this time, they conducted a series of diagnostic tests aimed at determining the initial function of the liver and other organs. One of the tests was a liver biopsy: a tiny piece of this organ was taken with a cannula inserted through the abdominal wall. By examining a tissue sample, doctors were able to measure the activity of a specific liver enzyme that destroys testosterone. Over the next four weeks, each subject was on an individual diet according to his body weight. As one of the components of this diet, he drank a small amount of alcohol diluted in fruit juice to the strength of the wine. 18 hours after the “month of drinking” was over, the researchers performed a second biopsy of the liver. It was found that the level of the enzyme that destroys testosterone increased, and the liver from 2 to 5 times. Blood tests confirmed a decrease in the level of circulating testosterone, indicating the absence of compensatory hormone in the subjects. With prolonged use of alcohol, liver damage is persistent. In this experiment, the detected effect after the cessation of alcohol consumption by the subjects was not observed. All indicators returned to normal.

The second way the effect of alcohol on the offspring is its direct effect on the germ cell. When a person is intoxicated, all the cells of his body are saturated with ethyl poison, including germ cells, from which, when the male and female cells merge, the fetus is born. Damaged germ cells cause the onset of degeneration. Even worse, if the other (female) cell during the fusion proves to be alcoholized, an accumulation of degenerative properties then occurs in the embryo, which is especially difficult for the development of the fetus.

At one time, scientists subjected to statistical processing the material obtained during the nationwide census of Switzerland in 1900. Nine thousand idiots were identified in the country. The analysis showed that all of them were conceived mainly during two short periods of the year, namely during the grape harvest and at Shrovetide, when people drink most. At the same time, the greatest number of idiots was given by the wine cantons of Switzerland. Similar data were obtained earlier in France.

Since then, scientists from many countries have carried out hundreds of studies confirming an indisputable fact: if conception occurred during a period when one or especially both parents were intoxicated, they give birth to inferior children with various pathological abnormalities that are more often and harder to manifest in the mental sphere : Children are born by psychopaths, epileptics, morons, etc.

The effect of alcohol on the fetus and the unborn baby is convincingly shown in experiments with animals. Their regular intake of even small doses of alcohol gives a sharp increase in infertility (in females and males), common malformations, miscarriages, mortality in the first period after birth, as well as a decrease in the further viability of this animal species.

Pregnant guinea pigs received small doses of alcohol over a period of time. As a result, 54 out of 88 cubs (60 percent) died immediately after birth. The following curious case is also known. For the artificial breeding of chickens, 160 eggs were laid in a barn, under which there was a room for distillation of alcohol. By the deadline, only half of the chickens appeared, 40 of them died, and 25 hatched ugly, with disfigured beaks, without claws. But there were only vapors of alcohol that passed through the thickness of the floor, and the embryos were protected by the shell. Only an insignificant amount of this poison could reach the embryo, and it was enough to get such consequences. In an experiment on rabbits, prolonged alcoholization of males led to brain pathology in their offspring, which was expressed in a decrease in the brain mass of the cubs. Alcohol is currently considered the most toxic poison of all known poisons in relation to the human fetus.

In a clinical study of the neuropsychic development of 64 children born to fathers who drank for 4-5 years before their birth, the presence of mental inferiority was found in all children, even with satisfactory physical development. At the same time, it was revealed that the greater the “alcoholic experience” a father had, the sharper the mental retardation of his child manifested. Such consequences of parental drunkenness are far from the worst that can be.

Drinking parents steal from their children childhood and youth, the joy of knowledge and discovery, the happiness of a full-blooded life. In the elementary grades of the school, children from alcoholic families still study more or less tolerably, but the curriculum is becoming more complicated and they are starting to lag noticeably behind others. These students quickly get tired, their attention is scattered, they cannot solve complex tasks that require ingenuity and creative efforts, their desire to learn quickly disappears. Their life proceeds sluggishly, grayly, without initiative.

Very often, from drunkenness of parents, children with more severe mental disorders (idiots, epileptics) will be born, laying a lifelong burden on the shoulders of both parents and society. And the higher the per capita consumption of alcohol in the country, the more inferior offspring are born.

On the effect of alcohol on the appearance of idiots, there is convincing, strictly scientific evidence. So, in France as early as 1880-1890, it was found that out of 1000 idiotic children, 471 had fathers-drunkards, 84 had mothers, 65 had both parents. About 170 idiots information was not received. And only 210 of them did not have their parents drunkards or, in any case, did not admit it. 8 percent of the total number of idiots were conceived when their parents were intoxicated. Scary numbers. They especially emphasize the toxic properties of alcohol. In this respect, he occupies the first place, since science does not know another poison that would possess similar properties.

Factors affecting the conception of a child

It became known that the placenta is a protective barrier from exposure to many toxic substances, but not from alcohol. Scientists, not without reason, believe that of all known embryotoxic chemicals, ethyl alcohol is the most dangerous. However, the relationship between developmental abnormalities in children born to women suffering from alcoholism and the use of ethyl alcohol has been established relatively recently. The risk of congenital malformations in the fetus is directly proportional to the dose of alcohol consumed during pregnancy.

The effect of alcohol on the offspring goes in two directions:

  • Firstly, alcohol consumption is accompanied by profound changes in the genital area of ​​people, a decrease in the function of germ cells and even atrophy of the reproductive organs.
  • Secondly, the pathway of influence on the offspring is its direct effect on the germ cell. Alcohol damage to the germ cell causes the onset of degeneration. Even worse, if another cell (female) during fertilization is alcoholized. In the embryo there will be an accumulation of degenerative properties, which will especially affect the development of the fetus.

Most often, ethyl alcohol enters the body of future parents with the intake of various alcohol-containing drinks. These drinks contain various additives (mineral salts, dyes, methanol, etc.) - up to 400 different chemical elements in total, the effect of which on the body of an adult is still not well understood. Regardless of the way it enters the body, ethyl alcohol, due to its free solubility in water and fats, easily penetrates through any cell membrane into internal organs and tissues, and most of all it is in the liver, kidneys, lungs, salivary glands and testes.

Alcohol affects the incidence of various complications during pregnancy and childbirth. According to studies in drinking women, the number of spontaneous miscarriages, late toxicosis, stillbirths is increasing, and childbirth is most often accompanied by weak labor.

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can be accompanied by a variety of impaired development of the embryo and fetus of the child. Ethyl alcohol easily penetrates the placenta and its content in the blood of the mother and fetus quickly reaches the same level. Alcohol accumulates in fetal tissues rich in phospholipids, in the brain, as well as red blood cells. The removal of alcohol from the body is carried out due to liver enzymes, and in the future baby it will form only by the second half of the mother’s pregnancy. The harmful effect of ethyl alcohol on the fetus is associated with the immaturity of the protective mechanism, increased vascular permeability, etc.

Of particular importance are the so-called critical periods of embryonic development, when the sensitivity of the embryo and the fetus to foreign substances reaches its maximum level. The embryotoxic effect of alcohol (at the stage of the embryo) leads to inhibition of the development or death of the embryo.

Irritating in the kidneys of the renal tubule epithelium, alcohol increases urination, especially when alcohol is introduced in low concentrations (beer, grape wine). It can cause severe kidney damage.

Children and women are more sensitive and vulnerable to alcohol, and people who are used to it are more hardy.

The body gets rid of alcohol by excreting it with urine, then exhaled air, and the maximum part of it is oxidized, that is, it is dehydrated with the enzyme alcohol dehydrase in the liver, and possibly in other organs. The last products of alcohol oxidation are carbon dioxide and water. Alcohol will oxidize about 0.1 g. per 1 kg of weight in men and 0.085 g. per 1 kg of weight in women per hour. Alcohol, when burned, gives 7.1 calories of heat. It cannot serve as a substitute for nutrients, cannot serve as a material for building the cells of an animal organism, since it does not contain vitamins, carbon, proteins, fats, salts.


Alcohol and motherhood

1. The effect of alcohol on the female genital area

Alcohol, adversely affecting a woman’s health, disrupts the normal functioning of her genitals. Considering the effect of alcohol on the sexual sphere of a woman, one cannot but say about infertility. Alcohol abuse, destroying a woman’s body, depletes her nervous and endocrine systems and, in the end, leads to infertility. In addition, women who abuse alcohol often lead a promiscuous life, which is inevitably accompanied by inflammatory diseases of the internal genital organs and, as a rule, ends in infertility.

2. ASP - fetal alcohol syndrome

The intrauterine development of the unborn child begins with the moment of fertilization of the female reproductive cell.

The state of intoxication at the time of conception can have an extremely negative effect on the health of the unborn baby, since alcohol is dangerous not only for mature germ cells, but can play its “fatal role” even at the time of fertilization of fully-fledged (normal) germ cells. Moreover, the strength of the damaging effects of alcohol at the time of conception is unpredictable: there can be both mild disorders and severe organic lesions of various organs and tissues of the unborn child.

As soon as fertilization of the egg occurs, the unborn baby begins to develop in the body of the woman. Doctors call the period from conception to 3 months of pregnancy critical in the development of the fetus, since at this time there is an intensive laying of organs and tissue formation. Alcohol consumption can lead to teratogenicity, i.e. to the ugly, the effect on the fetus, and the damage will be stronger the more alcohol was exposed at an earlier stage of the critical period.

Alcohol and alcohol addiction

A special term has appeared in the medical literature, which refers to a complex of defects in children caused by the damaging effects of alcohol during fetal development - fetal alcohol syndrome (APS), or alcoholic fetopathy syndrome. ASP is characterized by congenital anomalies in the development of the heart, external genitalia, dysfunction of the central nervous system, low body weight at birth, and the child’s lag in growth and development. Children with alcoholic fetopathy syndrome have characteristic facial features: a small head, especially a face, narrow eyes, a specific fold of the eyelids, and a thin upper lip.

The degree of “manifestation” in children of fetal alcohol syndrome may be different, but the child must have it if the woman drank alcohol during pregnancy. This is also evidenced by the data of Swedish researchers. They found that in women who consumed from 25 to 50 g of pure alcohol (125 g of vodka or 500 g of wine) in the first months of pregnancy, in 33% of cases children with an acute form of alcohol syndrome are born: cleft lip, joint abnormalities, heart structure defects etc. In 34% of other cases, symptoms are present in a slightly more smoothed form. And only in 33% of cases do drinking women give birth to outwardly normal children. However, in the future they all lag behind in growth and development.

Drinking alcohol is dangerous not only in the first months of pregnancy, but throughout its duration, since alcohol easily penetrates from the mother through the placenta through the blood vessels that feed the fetus.

It must be emphasized that mother’s alcoholism has a 2 times stronger effect on offspring than father’s alcohol abuse.

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy negatively affects not only the condition of the fetus, but also the course of the pregnancy itself. Often there are various toxicosis of pregnancy, psychosis, premature and complicated birth.

Even insignificant doses of alcohol that enter the baby’s body together with mother’s milk can cause serious disturbances in the activity of the central nervous system, and in some cases even have irreversible consequences. A child under the influence of alcohol becomes restless, sleeps poorly, he may experience cramps, and subsequently lag in mental development. If the nursing mother suffers from chronic alcoholism, and alcohol regularly enters the baby’s body, then in addition to these phenomena, the child may have a peculiar “syndrome of alcohol dependence of the infant”.

Alcohol and teens

Although the prevalence of alcohol consumption among boys (boys) is greater than among girls (girls), however, this difference is becoming more and more reduced.

Modern adolescents are earlier involved in drinking than their peers in the past. This mainly happens in the circle of relatives or friends. Parents encourage (6-10 year old) children to drink in 60.5% of cases. Friendship with alcohol occurs at an older age.

In addition to an earlier start, experts note an increase in the number of alcohol abusers among young people (usually, when defining “alcohol abusers”, they take into account three main criteria: the frequency of alcohol consumption, its amount, the presence of problems that a young person has due to the frequent use of alcohol) .

What are the main motives that encourage teens to drink alcohol?

The jump in alcoholism among minors occurred in our country, much later than abroad.

Depending on the frequency, quantity, occasion, etc., experts identify several forms or types of alcohol consumption by minors. In order to further understand what is meant by one form or another, we consider this classification in more detail:

  1. lack of consumption (do not drink alcohol at all or there is a single case of its use, no longer repeated);
  2. rare use (up to 4-5 times a year in connection with any celebrations and in very small quantities);
  3. “traditional” use (up to 10-12 times a year for traditional occasions: holidays, family celebrations, birthdays and in small doses);
  4. frequent use (2-3 times or more per month, not only in connection with traditional occasions, but also “just like that.” Moreover, alcohol is consumed in large doses, which often leads to antisocial behavior when intoxicated).

The so-called alcoholization of minors has its own developmental features. Firstly, it depends on age. The older the children, adolescents, the greater their number involved in alcohol, the higher the level of frequent consumption of alcoholic beverages. Secondly, an important role in the spread of alcoholization of minors is played by alcoholic traditions rooted in society. Thirdly, children and adolescents are most often introduced to alcohol by their parents and immediate relatives.


Chronic alcoholism (alcohol addiction) is a disease in which, due to alcohol abuse, neuropsychic disorders gradually appear, and then diseases of the internal organs.

The main symptom of chronic alcoholism is an irresistible craving, a painful addiction to alcohol and a closely related loss of a sense of proportion or over the amount drunk. Along with this, addiction to alcohol and an increase in endurance to it are observed. With severe degrees of alcoholism, alcohol endurance no longer arises, people begin to get drunk already from relatively small doses of alcohol for them in the old days - 150-300 grams. For some people, drinking can take on a drunken character. They absorb alcohol for several days, in some, binge can last for weeks.

With alcoholism, the character changes. People become more angry, agitated, cynically curse, threaten, prone to aggressive acts.

According to special statistical studies, alcoholism is one of the most common causes of suicide.

Sometimes the weakening of mental abilities and social degradation are so pronounced that they give reason to many scientists to regard this condition as alcohol dementia.

In parallel with neuropsychic disorders, there are also lesions of internal organs.

A single drink due to the protective and adaptive properties of our body does not cause much damage, but alcohol lingers for up to two weeks in the liver, kidneys, lungs, and brain tissue. Frequent drinking leads to damage to the gastrointestinal tract, since alcohol initially causes irritation, and then inflammation of the lining of the stomach (gastritis) occurs.

Alcohols lose their appetite, and nutrition is disrupted, which leads to vitamin deficiency. The intestines are also affected, which leads to constipation, mowing.

The liver is very often affected by alcohol, which leads to cirrhosis of the liver. This disease develops gradually, first passing through the stage of inflammation, and then fatty degeneration, weight loss, jaundice, and a change in the liver in volume are noted. Most often, such severe lesions are not observed, and the disease is limited only to hepatitis (inflammation of the liver),

In alcoholics, organic changes in the cardiovascular system occur. There is a degeneration of the heart and the breakdown of individual muscle fibers, which are replaced by elements of adipose and connective tissue. The walls of the vessels that feed the heart thicken, in connection with which the nutrition of the heart muscle is disturbed; this is accompanied by pain in the region of the heart. The cardiac muscle gradually weakens, increases in volume, and the cavity of the heart expands. Sometimes there are small heart muscle heart attacks — micro heart attacks.

Alcoholics also have hypertension, cerebral arteriosclerosis, vascular atherosclerosis, which leads to premature aging. Alcoholics often die at a flourishing age, far from reaching the average life expectancy, since alcohol reduces the body's resistance to any disease.

Here are a few symptoms of this dangerous disease:

  • If you notice that the level of your drunkenness is constantly changing, and that you are starting to drink more and more, more and more.
  • If you notice that you already need to drink more to achieve the effect.
  • If you start to notice the habit of making promises to reduce your alcohol consumption for yourself and other people and do not keep promises.
  • If you notice a tendency to false understatement of the amount you drink.
  • If you raise your glass faster than others in the company and rush to drink it first.
  • If you are sure that you can drink more than others in the company. Or if you have a drink before you go somewhere to a company where, you know, there will be alcohol.
  • If you cease to like being there where they skimp on alcohol.
  • If you find yourself spending more on alcohol than you think you should spend on it, and still continue to do so.
  • If you feel the need to drink alcohol at certain hours and daily.
  • If you notice a need to regularly sew a few glasses of
  • If you have almost everything turns into a reason for a drink: good or bad news, good or bad weather, or even a day of the week.
  • If you started to need a drink to relieve the general condition.

Alcoholism and heredity

Experimental studies have shown that alcohol can enter the sperm of men. If at the time of conception one of the parents is drunk, then this can damage the fetus. Drunk children conceive of epilepsy or other illnesses.

Many scientists point to the influence of ancestral alcoholism on the emergence of mental illness in descendants. Interesting observations were made in Utah in the USA: in a family of 11 children; those born to the drunkenness of the father are healthy; of the four children born during the period of drinking, one idiot, one alcoholic, one suffers from epilepsy; the three children born after the father stopped drinking again are completely healthy.

It should be remembered that due to the great plasticity and adaptability of the human body, children of alcoholics can even out under favorable conditions and subsequently do not give noticeable deviations from the norm. However, in the light of modern genetic data on the transmission of hereditary information, it is necessary to study in more depth the issues of the effect of alcoholism on heredity.

Alcoholism and sexually transmitted diseases

Alcohol, even in small or medium doses, enhances sex drive, dulls shame, a sense of disgust and self-safety. Clouding the mind, alcohol weakens criticism of its behavior, so people who are intoxicated easily easily enter into casual sexual relations, and, in the end, get sexually transmitted diseases.

Scientists cite observations that 90% of patients with syphilis, and 95% of gonorrhea, became infected while being drunk. All patients stated that if they were sober, they would never have sexual intercourse with people from whom they were infected. From all this it follows that alcohol is associated with sexually transmitted diseases.

Alcohol Prevention

Prevention of drunkenness and alcoholism is a complex task requiring an integrated approach.

The earliest form of prevention of alcoholism among the population was various restrictive or prohibitive measures. In 1865, a restrictive system was first applied in Gothenburg, later called heterborg. The monopoly on the sale of alcohol belonged to the city authorities, which limited the number of drinking establishments where alcohol was sold, the time and days of their sale.

Later, in 1914, due to the insufficient efficiency of the Gothenburg system, the Bratt restrictive system was introduced. The release of a limited number of spirits (4 liters per family per month) was regulated by special cards issued to the head of the family. A similar limit system for the sale of alcohol in 1932 was introduced in Finland. Both restrictive systems are only effective in the first years after administration. On the one hand, they do not completely exclude the population’s access to alcohol, and on the other, they contribute to the secret sale and smuggling of alcohol.

A more radical prohibition system - the complete cessation of the production and sale of alcoholic beverages (the so-called dry law) also did not give positive results in the prevention of alcoholism. Prohibition was in force in Iceland, Finland, Norway, USA, Russia. In all these countries, only the first years after the ban on alcoholism decreased, and then home-brewing, smuggling and sale of alcohol increased sharply. The study of the effectiveness of the Prohibition as a means of preventing alcoholism in the population, conducted by the governments of these countries, led to its abolition.

The activity of a sobriety society turned out to be insufficiently effective. Undoubtedly, these societies played a positive role in anti-alcohol propaganda, but did not solve the problems of drunkenness.

The difficulty of prevention is determined by the fact that alcoholism and alcoholism are, above all, a social problem. Their development is closely connected with “drinking” customs and traditions in various micro social groups. Effective prevention of alcoholism and alcoholism requires not only medical efforts, but also a broad interagency approach for comprehensive preventive measures.

In the system of national measures for the prevention of alcoholism among populations, administrative, legislative, and medical-hygienic aspects can be distinguished.

Among the administrative measures aimed at the prevention of alcoholism and alcoholism among the population, it should be noted the categorical prohibition of the use of alcoholic beverages in production as stipulated in the Labor Code. The administration of the enterprise can apply administrative and public measures of influence on the violator from not being allowed to work, transferring to a lower-paid position and depriving of bonuses to the restriction on additional benefits.

It is forbidden to trade in alcohol near industrial enterprises, educational institutions and children's institutions.

The legislative aspects of the prevention of alcoholism and alcoholism are aimed at preventing offenses to alcohol abusers. Legislative measures contribute to the development and implementation of social protection measures, the improvement of criminal law against anti-alcoholism and alcoholism.

Of great importance in the prevention of alcoholism and alcoholism is criminal law. According to the Criminal Code, alcohol intoxication when committing a criminal offense is considered an aggravating factor and entails a great punishment. For the accused, suffering from alcoholism, in addition to the criminal penalties ”, compulsory treatment for alcoholism is provided for by a special court decision. The relevant articles provide for punishment for the production of moonshine and other strong drinks, involving minors in drunkenness. Parents who abuse alcohol and neglect the upbringing of their children, the court may deprive of parental rights.

The medical and hygienic aspect of the prevention of alcoholism and alcoholism includes the anti-alcohol education of various sectors of the population, the active early detection and treatment of people with alcoholism.

The medical and hygienic direction of the prevention of alcoholism and alcoholism is carried out in two directions: sanitary-educational anti-alcohol work with the population, and early detection and active treatment of people suffering from alcoholism. Not only narcologists, psychiatrists, but also doctors of other specialties participate in the sanitary-educational anti-alcohol work. In anti-alcohol work with the population, the media are actively used, and public organizations are involved in it. Sanitary and educational work is built taking into account the age and gender and professional differentiation of the population. They explain not only the detrimental effects of drinking and alcoholism, but also the conditions and factors that contribute to various forms of alcohol abuse.

The latest achievements of domestic and foreign narcology in the implementation of the above measures allow the widespread implementation of the prevention of alcoholism and alcoholism in the country.

Thus, the prevention of alcoholism and alcoholism is a complex of social, economic, administrative, legal and medical measures.

The effectiveness of primary prevention of alcoholism is determined by the coordination and breadth of interdepartmental, mainly non-medical, their differentiation, taking into account regional characteristics; secondary and tertiary prevention of alcoholism is determined by a set of medical measures carried out mainly by a specialized narcological service.


Having studied the literature on the topic “Alcoholism as a risk factor”, I came to the conclusion that alcoholism is a real problem in our time. Alcoholism encompasses various segments of the population: the poor and rich, children and adults. No matter what nationality a person belongs to, he can always succumb to the influence of alcohol.

After conducting a survey among adolescents in our city, I confirmed the fact that most adolescents systematically drink alcohol from an early age, which negatively affects their health. Often this hobby develops into chronic alcoholism. This disease already affects not only the patient himself, but also the people around him and society as a whole.

If a person nevertheless has embarked on this path, he must understand and realize that there is a way out of the current situation.

I want to draw the attention of adolescents to the existing problem. To show the harmful effects of alcoholism on the body, so that teenagers think and decide for themselves whether to continue drinking or not. It is important to note that teenage girls get used to alcohol faster, which can cause irreversible consequences.

This, in turn, inevitably leads to the emergence and consolidation of certain attitudes in the personality structure, ways of perceiving reality, semantic shifts, clichés that begin to determine everything, including the “non-alcoholic” aspects of adolescent behavior, to generate their characteristic features for alcoholics, relationships to yourself and the world around you.

I urge those around you not to drink alcohol! So, during the use of tobacco and alcohol, profound changes in the personality, all of its basic parameters and components take place.

Thus, taking non-drinkers even small, it would seem, doses of alcohol significantly reduces their quality, accuracy, coordination of movements, increases the time of motor reactions and the time of perception of various irritants.

It is easy to see that the nature of parental alcoholization is largely directly copied by children. I. Kankarovich (1930) indicates that alcoholism of parents is accompanied in no less than half of cases by the alcoholism of their children.

By: Dr. Mark R. Edison

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