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Why is alcohol considered to be a serious problem? As many 33,000 people in the UK die from alcohol related causes each year- thats ten times as many people that die on the roads

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Introduction

Alcohol Should alcohol be prohibited? Why is alcohol considered to be a serious problem? As many 33,000 people in the UK die from alcohol related causes each year- that's ten times as many people that die on the roads every year. I believe this information should be presented to children at a young age (year five) to reduce the amount of alcohol related illnesses, such as alcoholic liver disease, in young people. By doing so, children will understand from a young age the health implications of excessive consumption of alcohol, and therefore will be able to make more informed decisions in future regarding alcohol consumption. This means that the number of alcohol related deaths the number of cases of alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour is likely to decline. This should also be presented to my peers as they are in the age that has a major problem in binge drinking this has increased due to a variety of reasons many of these reasons Contents: What is alcohol? ..................................................................................Pg3 Alcohol through history and its portrayal in the media................. Pg4 Arguments for prohibition of alcohol............................................... Pg6 Arguments Against prohibition of alcohol....................................... Pg9 Why was the Prohibition of Alcohol in America unsuccessful? ....Pg11 Common misconceptions................................................................... Pg12 Conclusion............................................................................................ Pg13 Bibliography......................................................................................... Pg15 What is alcohol? Alcohol is the name for ethanol, chemical compound C2H5OH. Alcohol is made when the glucose, in grains such as barley or fruit such as grapes, are fermented by yeast. Yeast is neither an animal or plant cell but is in fact a member of the fungi family and this single-celled microorganism is made of a nucleus, cytoplasm, cell membrane, vacuole and a cell wall. The most common yeast is Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is the mainly used in the baking and brewing industry. During fermentation, the yeast anaerobically respires. Anaerobic respiration is the incomplete break down of glucose (which is found in the grains/fruit), without the presence of oxygen and this process occurs in most plant and animal cells however the products of anaerobic respiration vary. ...read more.

Middle

Graph above is from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5230006.stm The graph above uses the new ranking system for the classification of drugs and alcohol is the first half of the graph. As you can see, the independent experts whose input helped to shape this graph consider alcohol to be more dangerous than most class A and B and every class C drug. The quote below shows a statistic which again displays how alcohol is more dangerous than drugs; "One person a week in the UK dies from alcohol poisoning compared to 10 deaths in a year linked to ecstasy." http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5230006.stm There are many other statistics which display the negative health and social effects of alcohol. It is estimated that; the NHS spend �1.7 billion in treating alcohol related illnesses, 17 million working days are lost to hangovers or alcohol-related illnesses and overall Britain's binge-drinking culture costs over �20 billion every year. (Statistics from http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3121440.stm ) To conclude this argument, alcohol has many health effects both short term and long term. Alcohol abuse also has many negative social and economic impacts as well. Alcohol is perceived as being harmless however it is just as dangerous, and has many similar impacts on health as most drugs. Arguments against prohibition of alcohol The main reason that alcohol is different from other drugs is that alcohol, unlike any other drug, is socially entrenched. As I have mentioned in the "History of Alcohol" section of this report, alcohol is an integral part of social life and banning it would be completely impractical. By banning alcohol millions of law abiding citizens all over the world would be criminalised and this will create a huge black market for alcohol. History has shown that the Prohibition of alcohol in America- "The Noble Experiment" was a complete failure. I will explore this issue later on in my "Why was the Prohibition of Alcohol in America unsuccessful?" The long term effects of alcohol are harmful, however this can happen with any overdose of anything e.g. ...read more.

Conclusion

Note that most people think that alcohol in moderation is safe yet Britain is the only European country in which it is considered normal to go out and have alcohol without a meal. Even today's so called secular society Christianity is still predominant this is evident in the fact that national holidays are still names after Christian ceremonies. In Christianity and Judaism the consumption of alcohol is not forbidden in fact it is used in many religious ceremonies. Although religion is not solely to blame, the fact is that it does encourage the use of alcohol. I believe that alcohol, due to its social significance, cannot be prohibited. However, I think that the government should educate young children (from year 5 and upwards) about the dangers of alcohol. Many young people company that although they are taught about the dangers of drugs, they do not even know the amount of units of alcohol that you should drink in one day. With regards to adults, I believe that information about alcohol units should be given more clearly. "Most adults are aware that one unit is considered to be 8g of alcohol, or equivalent to: * half a pint of standard strength (3.5% AVB) beer, cider or lager * a pub measure of spirit * half a standard glass (175ml) of wine * a pub measure of sherry, vermouth or liqueur" (Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/treatments/healthy_living/nutrition/healthy_alcohol.shtml#benefits_of_alcohol) However, most adults forget to take into account of the size of glasses or the varying alcohol content of different beers, wine etc. and I believe that this information should be advertised. By taking these measures we are likely to see a decrease in the number of alcohol related deaths, illnesses and anti-social behaviour. By teaching children from a young age the dangers of alcohol and how it should be consumed in moderation, the binge drinking trend in young people can be curbed. Similarly, by presenting adults with advertisements on units, people are less likely to become accidentally intoxicated. ...read more.

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