“Enemies of mine, do not gloat over me! Although I have fallen, I will rise; though I live in the dark, I will never be afraid” This has been one of the favourite quotes of a famous alcoholic in my town.
And he repeats this quote anytime he falls and it was really fun watching how he manoeuvres to stand up. I knew little about what was happening to him during those days and I really enjoyed watching him.
I have now grown up to understand his acts were caused by some excitants (Alcohol); I do not rejoice over it anymore but grieve for him.
Alcohol is a colourless volatile flammable liquid which is produced by natural fermentation of sugars and it is the intoxicating constituents of wine, beer, spirits and other drinks (Oxford dictionary, 2017).
In Ghana some of the alcoholic beverages people usually consumed are Pito (local brew made from millet), Burukutu (alcoholic beverage of a vinegar-like flavour prepared from sorghum grains), Akpeteshie (local gin), and Palm wine (nsafufuo).
Although these different types of alcohol come with different percentages, it should be taken in moderation (not more than 14 units per week).
3.3 million deaths every year result from harmful use of alcohol, this represent 5.9 % of all deaths in the world (WHO, 2015).
The effects of alcohol are very difficult to generalized because its effects depend on the amount consumed and how one is able to tolerate it.
Early Effects of Alcohol
- Slurred speech
- Upset stomach
- Breathing difficulties
- Distorted vision and hearing
- Impaired judgment
- Decreased perception and coordination
- Memory lapses
Long-term Harmful Effects of Alcohol
- Brain Damage
- Cancer (abnormal cell growth)
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Pneumonia (inflammation of the lungs)
- Hepatitis (inflammation of the liver)
- Anaemia (loss of red blood cells)
- Stomach and intestinal ulcers
- Inflammation of the pancreas
- Birth defects in pregnant women
- Weight gain
- Mental Challenges
The body absorbs alcohol faster and since it is a toxic material, it puts pressure on the liver. I cannot restrict you from taking it; but recommend not to take alcohol when:
- On medication
- Operating machinery
- Dealing electrical materials and equipment.
High dosage of alcohol is very harmful to health as stated earlier. It is therefore advisable to control your alcohol intake if you cannot quit by.
Finally, know your limits and stick to them. keep track of your alcohol intake and do not let people top up while you drink. Add plenty of mixers to drinks to make them last longer and drink slowly (drink at your own pace) and avoid rounds.