Name of Author:
Date of Submission:
A Speech on the Effects of Excessive Consumption of Alcohol
“The Guest of Honor, invitees, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon? It is my humble submission today to share on one of the most contentious and extensively spoken issues in our society. Alcohol consumption is a subject with several impacts. The fact that alcohol consumption is widely discussed implies that it bears weight not only in our social-economic lives, but also in our daily practices of nation-building. Therefore, we need to find a way of moderating the effects of excessive consumption of alcohol.
To begin with, I will take you through the various effects of excessive alcohol consumption on your body and life. Alcohol is a drug which alters your physiologic ability to think, see things clearly and act accordingly. There are numerous health disorders associated with excessive alcohol consumption; the hazards are either short-term or chronic. The CDC has enumerated some of these effects in its websites (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1).
Among the short term health hazards associated with alcohol include unintentional injuries such as traffic injuries caused by impaired sight. A number of road accidents have been linked to excessive alcohol consumption. In 2006 alone, the National Highway Traffic Administration approximated 17, 941 deaths related to alcohol abuse and close to 275,000 injuries caused by collisions from alcohol use. These figures represent close to 40% of the total deaths in the USA (McGovern and White 86).
There is increased violence resulting from alcohol use. Most of these cases involve close family members or friends. According to CDC, alcohol is among the leading causes of child-mistreatment and neglect. About 35% of violence victims report that the abuses occur when the perpetrators are intoxicated. According to TAADAS, a woman is assaulted every 15 seconds in the USA, by a boyfriend, live-in partner or a husband. Women within the age bracket of 15-44 years are mostly vulnerable to domestic violence. While national statistics on violence are sourced from the FBI, or emergency reports, most women report violence cases to friends, churches, mosques or synagogues. Sexual assault is another form of violence ((TAADAS 1).
Excessive alcohol consumption in pregnant women can lead to abortion or fetal alcohol syndrome. CDC states that miscarriages and stillbirths are common happenings in pregnant women who consume excessive quantities of alcohol. Alcohol has the power to cross the placenta into the developing fetus. The fetus, therefore, develops a pattern of mental and physical deficiencies. In the USA and Europe, the prevalence rate for fetal alcohol syndrome is approximately 0.2-2 for every 1000 live births (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1).
The effects of excessive alcohol are quite many. Chronic alcohol use is even more fatal than short-term use. It results to the development of many chronic disorders, neurotoxicity, as well as social problems. Heavy drinking is implicated in decreased number of red blood cells that responsible for carrying oxygen around the body. This will in turn lead to anemia, which can aggravate a number of symptoms such as fatigue, lightheadedness, dyspnea (shortness of breath), et cetera (Dawson, Grant and Li 902-908).
Various researchers have linked heavy and consistent drinking to the development of cancer. Some of you may be surprised, but their rationale is very logical. When a person consumes alcohol, the body converts that alcohol to acetaldehyde, a potent carcinogenic molecule. Various cancer sites in the body have been linked to alcohol use. They include; the mouth, throat, colorectal region, breasts, and so on. The incidences of cancer are much greater in alcoholics who smoke than those who don’t.
Chronic alcohol use can lead to clumping of platelets, the blood cells implicated in blood clotting. Since platelets are found within blood vessels, when they clump, they form a blood clot. A blood clot within the heart vessels may cause heart disorders. The heart muscles can deteriorate causing a heart attack or any other fibrillating condition. If the clot happens in the brain vessels, the victim is likely to develop stroke.
The liver is mainly responsible for eliminating alcohol from the body. If there is consistent alcohol consumption, the liver may fail to eliminate the alcohol. In the process, it becomes scarred and eventually hardens. Liver cirrhosis, the hardening of the entire liver develops. A person with liver cirrhosis is unable to carry out any metabolic activity. A lot of toxic metabolites accumulate and death is inevitable. Alcohol use may also affect the gastrointestinal tract, aggravating a variety of disorders (Dawson, Grant and Li 902-908).
Alcohol is responsible for over 80,000 deaths yearly in the USA, according to CDC. This makes alcohol the third largest lifestyle related cause of mortality in the US. The cases of excessive consumption handled by physicians rose from 1.2 million in 2006, to the current figure of 2.7 million cases. Furthermore, CDC reported that, in 2006, the economic burden related to alcohol consumption was approximately $223.5 billion! (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1).
Ladies and gentlemen, with such whooping figures, we cannot just sit and watch the nation turn into a drinking den. Alcohol claims both lives and economic resources. We need to come out strongly and agitate against excessive alcohol consumption if we need to forge ahead as a nation. That responsibility lies with each one of us. Thank you for being patient and finding the time to listen to me.”
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). HYPERLINK “http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/DACH_ARDI/Default/Default.aspx” Alcohol-Related Disease Impact (ARDI).
Atlanta, GA: CDC. Retrieved from h HYPERLINK “ttp://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-u” ttp://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm on December 11, 2013
Dawson, DA, Grant, BF, and Li, TK. “Quantifying the Risks Associated with Exceeding
Recommended Drinking Limits.” Alcohol Clin Exp Res, 2005; Vol. 29: pp. 902-908.
McGovern, TF, & White, WL. Alcohol Problems in the United States: Twenty years of
Treatment Perspectives. Routledge, 2003.
Tennessee Association of Alcohol, Drug and Other Addiction Services (TAADAS). Domestic
Violence and Substance Abuse. Retrieved from HYPERLINK “http://www.taadas.org/factsheets/DVFacts.htm” http://www.taadas.org/factsheets/DVFacts.htm, on December 12, 2013.