Sociología y Trabajo Social




Alcoholism is a chronic and usually progressive illness involving the exercise inappropriate ingestion of ethyl alcohol, whether in the form of familiar alcoholic be verages or as a constituent of other substances.

Alcoholism is through to arise from a combination of a wide range of physiological, psychological, social and genetic factors.

It is chacterized by an emotional and physical dependence on alcohol, and it frequently leads to brain damage or early death.

Initially, the alcoholic may demonstrate a high tolerance to alcohol, consuming more and showing less adverse effects than others. Subsequently, however the person begins to drink against his or her own best interest, as alcohol comes to assume more importance than personal relationships, work, repulation or ever physical health.

Alcohol has direct toxic as well as sedative effects on the body, and failure to take care of nutritional and other physical needs during prolonged periods of excessive drinking may further complicate matters.

Advanced cases often require hospitalization, the effects on major organ system are commutative and include a wide range of

digestive - system disorders such as ulcers inflammations of the pancreas and cirrhosis of the liver. The central and peripheral nervous systems can be permanently damage blackout, hallucinations, and extreme tremors may occur.

Treatment of the illness increasingly recognises alcoholism it self as the primary problem needing attention, rather than regarding it as always secondary to another underlying. Problem specialise residential treatment facilities and separate unit within general or psychiatric hospitals are rapidly increasing in number.

In addiction to managing physical complication and withdrawal states, treatment involves individual counselling and group therapy techniques aimed at complete and comfortable abstinence from alcohol and other mood - changing drugs of addiction.

The of alcohol-related deaths among women has risen by five per cent in the last 20 years. Half of the 40000 people who die from alcoholism in the UK each year are female. Alcohol Concern, a referral agency and pressure group for better treatment facilities, estimate that one in 12 women has a serious alcohol problem.

They now have two women drinkers coming forward for help to every three men. A few years ago the ratio was one to six. The number of women admitted to psychiatric hospitals suffering from alcohol- related problems has risen by an incredible 375 per cent.

The trouble, according to Joanna Burstow - dependency counsellor and alcohol consultant to the Charter Nightingale hospital in London- Is that many women can not admit they have a problem until is too late.

Women absorb alcohol more quickly than men because our bodies have less water and more fat.

Are you an alcoholic ?

If you are worried that you may have a drink problem, use these questions, drawn up by Alcoholics Anonymous, to help you decide.

  • Is drinking making your home life unhappy?

  • Does drinking make you careless of your family's welfare?

  • Do you drink because you are shy with other people?

  • Is drinking affecting your reputation?

  • Do you drink to escape from worries or trouble?

  • Are you unconcerned about who you are with and where you are when you are drinking?

  • Do you drink alone?

  • Have you lost time from work due to drinking?

  • Has your ambition decreased since drinking?

  • Has you effiency decreased your since drinking?

  • If drinking jeopardising your job of business?

  • Have you ever felt remorse after drinking?

  • Are you in financial difficulties because you drink?

  • Do you crave a drink at a definite time each day?

  • Does drinking cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?

  • Do you want a drink the next morning?

  • Do you drink to build up your self confidence?

  • Have you ever have a complete loss of memory as a result of drinking?

  • Has your doctor ever treated you for drinking?

  • Have you ever been in hospital or prison because you drinking?

  • If you have answered yes to any one question, that is a warning that you may be an alcoholic.

    Two yesses and the chances are that you are an alcoholic; three or more, and you are definitely an alcoholic.

    Question taken from Who me? Available from Alcoholic Anonymous- address in Where To Go For Help box, right.

    What's smoking?

    Smoking is an inhalation an exhalation of the fumes of burning tobacco. The dried leaves of the plant are smoked in a pipe or in cigar from, but mostly in cigarettes. About 50 million people in the U.S. currently smoke a total of 570 billions cigarettes each year. As recently as the 1.940s smoking was considered hamless, but laboratory an clinical research has since proved that smoking greatly increases a smoker's risk of dying from several diseases, chief of which is leng cancer.

    A little of history

    European explored arriving in the western hemisphere observed native Americans smoking the leaves of the tobacco plant in pipes.

    Most tobacco was consumed in pipes an cigars or as snuff.

    This pattern changed by the early 20th century , when smokers were consuming more than 1000 cigarettes per capita each year. The general attitude of society was that smoking relieved tensions and produced no ill effects.

    Medical studies have established that overall mortality is twice as high among middle-aged men who smoke as among those who do not. The death rate is higher for those persons who smoke more cigarettes per day and for those who have smoked longer.

    Chief among cancers caused by smoking is lung cancer, which accounts for 28 percent off all U.S. cancer deaths. The American Cancer Society estimated that in 1988 smoking would account for 83 percent of the 139.000 deaths form lung cancer, which is seven times as likely to strike a smoker as a non-smoker. Additionally, smokers have a fivefold increased risk for cancer of the larynx, oral cavity and esophagus; about one-third of all cancers of the bladder, kidney and pancreas are attributable to smoking as well.

    What's drug dependence?

    Drug dependence is a psychological and sometimes physical state characterized by a compulsion to take drug in order to experience its psychological effects. Addiction is a severe form of dependence, usually marked by physical dependence. The latter state exists when the drug has produced physiological changes in the body, as evidenced by the development of tolerance (increasing amounts of the drug are needed to achieve the same effect), and of a withdrawal syndrome after the drug's effects have worn off. The syndrome is marked by such symptoms as nausea, diarrhea, or pain; these vary with the type of drug. Psychological dependence, or habituation, is present when the compulsion to take a drug is strong, even in the absence of physical withdrawal symptoms.

    Scientists often measure a drug's potential for abuse by studies with laboratory animals. Drugs that an animal will administer to itself repeatedly are said to have powerful reinforcing properties and a high potential for abuse.

    The drugs that are commonly abused, besides substances such as alcohol and tobacco, can be grouped into six classes: the opioids, sedative-hypnotics, stimulants, hallucinogens, cannabis and inhalants.


    This class includes drugs derived from opium (such as morphine an heroin) and its synthetic substitutes (such as methadone). Medically, morphine is a potent pain reliever; indeed, it is the standard by which other pain-relieving drugs are measured.

    Opioids produce different effects under different circumstances. The drug taker's past experience an expectations have some influence, as does the method of administering the drug (by injection, ingestion or inhalation). Symptoms of withdrawal include kicking movements in the legs, anxiety, insomnia, nausea, sweating, cramps, vomiting, diarrhea and fever.


    The principal drugs of abuse in this class are barbiturates, which have been used since the early 1900s to relieve anxiety and induce sleep.


    The plant Cannabis sativa is the source of both marijuana and hashish. The leaves flowers and twigs of the plant are crushed to produce marijuana; its concentrated resin is hashish. Both drugs are usually smoked. Their affects are similar: a state of relaxation, accelerated heart rate, perceived slowing of time, and a senseof heightened hearing, taste, touch, and smell. These effects can be quite different, however, depending on the amount of drug consumed and the circumstances under which it is taken. Marijuana and hashish are not thought to produce psychological dependence except when taken in large daily doses. The drugs can be dangerous, however especially when smoked before driving. Although the chronic effects are not yet certain, marijuana is probably injurious to the lungs in much the same way that tobacco is. A source of concern is its regular use by children and teenagers, because the intoxication markedly alters thinking and interferes with learning.


    In this class are substances that usually are not considered drugs, such as glue, gasoline, and aerosols such as nasal sprays. Most such substances sniffed foe they psychological effects act to depress the central nervous system.

    The effects, which are immediate, can last as long as 45 minutes. Headache, nausea, and drowsiness follow.

    Medical attention to the problems of the drug abuser is largely confined to dealing with overdoses, acute reactions to drug ingestion, and the incidental medical consequences of drugs use, such as malnutrition and medical problems caused by unsterilized needles.

    Two types of treatment programs are used for more opioid users. Therapeutic communities require the drug abuser to take personal responsibility for his or her problem. Typically, the idea behind this treatment is that the drug abuser is emotionally immature and must be given a second chance to grow up.

    In our country, between 5-10 persons of each 100000 are anorexic, but the last 9 years.

    How explain this increased? The desire for being slim can not be considered anorexia.

    Our society makes us he slim because if you are fat, you are turn.

    Actually anorexia is frequent in families that haven't got economic problems and about all in girls that look for success.




    Enviado por:Irene Vela
    Idioma: castellano
    País: España

    Te va a interesar