Moreover, alcohol can lead to many social and psychological problems, including family conflict, arrests, job instability, injuries related to violence or accidents, and psychological symptoms related to depression and anxiety (Negative pp). These problems can become a great emotional burden to individuals and families, as well as a great financial expense to health care systems and society (Negative pp).
Approximately fourteen million Americans, or one in every thirteen adults, either abuse alcohol or are alcoholic, and several million more engage in risky drinking that could lead to alcohol problems, such as binge drinking and heavy drinking on a regular basis (Alcohol pp). Moreover, fifty-three percent of men and women in the United States report that one or more of their close relatives have a drinking problem (Alcohol pp).
Consequences of alcohol misuse serious and in many cases can be life threatening (Alcohol pp). Alcoholism and heavy drinking can increase the risk for certain cancers, particularly those of the liver, esophagus, throat, and larynx, and can also cause liver cirrhosis, immune system problems, brain damage, and harm to the fetus during pregnancy (Alcohol pp). Furthermore, alcohol increases the risk of death from automobile crashes, as well as recreational and on-the-job injuries, and both homicides and suicides are more likely to be committed by persons who have been drinking (Alcohol pp). In economic terms, alcohol-related problems cost society an estimated $185 billion per year, however, in human terms, the costs cannot be calculated (Alcohol pp).
Scientists now believe that certain factors in a person's environment influence whether a person with a genetic risk for alcoholism ever develops the disease (Alcohol pp). An individual's risk for developing alcoholism can increase based on the person's environment, including where and how he or she lives, family, friends, culture, peer pressure, and how easy it is to get alcohol (Alcohol pp).
Alcohol also affects the brain, killing large amounts of brain cells the more alcohol a person consumes, leading to short-term memory loss and eventually what is referred to as "wet brain," when the alcoholic's brain no longer functions properly, resulting in a pre-vegetable state where the alcoholic can no longer put coherent sentences together or even function bowels or bladder correctly (Negative pp).
A common short-term effect of alcohol abuse, are blackouts, where the individual loses time as if he or she is in a dreamless sleep, though to everyone around they are fully awake and conscious, however, the individual will not remember anything they do or say (Negative pp). Alcohol abuse effects are numerous and alcohol abuse effects are deadly (Negative pp).
Negative Effects of Performance Enhancing Steroids
According to one study, it is estimated that more than 300,000 students between the eighth and twelfth grades used steroids in 2004, and they were not all jocks, and approximately one third of them were girls (Adle pp). Experts say that there is an increase of steroid use among boys whose heroes are not baseball sluggers, but the "sinewy, rock-jawed models glowering" from the pages of catalogs such as Abercrombie & Fitch (Adle pp). This development has led to the recent introduction of a new psychological diagnosis, "muscle dysmorphia," often called reverse anorexia (Adle pp). The side effects for teenagers who use steroids may be severe acne, hair loss, infertility, male breast development, violent mood swings and paranoia (Adle pp). Moreover, steroids can stunt growth and cause injuries that could end the career of the user whose intention was to enhance his or her play-life (Adle pp).
Steroids are hormones, and anabolic steroids, used for body-building purposes, mimic the effects of testosterone, the male hormone secreted by the testes (Adle pp). Anabolic steroids build strength by entering a muscle cell and switching on the genes that manufacture muscle proteins, and weight lifting amplifies the effect by stressing the muscles (Adle pp). The average adult male produces 30 to 50 milligrams of testosterone a week in his testes, and athletes may inject 300 to 1,000 milligrams or more, which induces a kind of "hyper-masculinity " (Adle pp).
Women are at risk for a whole set of masulinizing changes including body hair, enlargement of the clitoris and a deepened voice, while men take on feminizing changes, because the body responds to the oversupply of testosterone by signaling the testes to shut down, causing them to shrink, or the body may deal with the excess testosterone by converting some of it to estrogen, causing the male to grown breasts (Adle pp).
Adolescence signals the beginning of the end of skeletal growth, and steroids can hasten this process, thus shutting down growth prematurely (Adle pp). Steroids can also cause muscles to grow without compensating strengthening of the tendons that attach them to the bones, resulting in an imbalance that increases the risk of crippling injuries (Adle pp). Moreover, steroids lower the levels of the so-called "good cholesterol" and raise the bad, sometimes to alarming levels, and they can be toxic to the liver (Adle pp). And then there is the infamous psychological effects of aggressiveness, the "roid rage," that can result in uncontrollable acts of violence (Adle pp).
Possible adverse effects of anabolic steroids include liver damage, hepatitis, testicular atrophy, impotence, prostatic hypertrophy, prostatic carcinoma, amenorrhea, clitoromegaly, uterine atrophy, breast atrophy, musculokeletal (shorter adult height, increased muscle strains/ruptures), cardiovascular, increased blood pressure, mood swings, depression, psychosis, and addiction, to name but a few (Adolescents pp).
Adle, Jerry. "Doctors say it's a health crisis in the making."
Newsweek International; 4/11/2005
"Adolescents and anabolic steroids: a subject review." Pediatrics; 6/1/1997