Currently, alcoholism represents one of the widespread addictions. The long-term physiological effects of addiction to alcohol are characterized by the phenomena of tolerance and dependence. Tolerance occurs when a set of liver enzymes is produced after a prolonged drinking, which assist in metabolizing alcohol. As a result, alcohol is broken down faster and the person has to increase alcohol amounts in order to attain the same amount of intoxication. Tolerance is the most critical long-term physiological effects of addiction to alcohol. This is so because it produces a false sense of security in the people addicted to alcohol. This can lead to tissues and organ damages, which continue to enhance tolerance in the alcoholic person. The damaged liver can eventually reduce alcohol tolerance, but smaller amounts of alcohol will have the same intoxicating effect.
Addiction to alcohol can lead to physical dependence. This is seen when a person suddenly abstains from alcohol or reduces the level of consumption. The scientific evidence indicates that a sudden drop in the amount of alcohol taken make the dependent alcoholic person experience alcohol withdrawal syndrome, which occurs six to eight hours after he or she stops drinking (Harari and Legge, 2001). The symptoms of withdrawal syndrome are nausea, vomiting, insomnia and sweating among others. When this withdrawal syndrome continues the individual suffers from blood pressure, experience visual, auditory, severe confusion and tactile hallucinations among others, which can cause sudden death.
Marijuana is known to have a variety of psychotic effects on the users, therefore I do not support the issue of its legalization. Despite its medical use where Marijuana is believed to significant ability of alleviating patient’s symptoms, it has the potential threat to society. This is so because there is scientific evidence that it causes psychological and physical injury to the abusers (Benson, Joy and Watson, 1999). By comparing marijuana and tobacco smoking, the scientist result indicates that both substances pose great health risk to the abusers. However, marijuana joints have indicated that it produces more tar in the lungs just like tobacco. Similarly, clinical results indicate that abusers of marijuana are more likely to have a respiratory disease and nervous system. This is so because it has tolerance and dependence psychological effect on the users. Therefore, marijuana should not be legalized due to its physical and psychological effects.
Heavy drinking has diagnosed to cause serious mental disorders and permanent damage to the brain and nervous system. The alcohol suppresses sub cortical inhibitions of the cortical control of memory and alterations in other brain systems. One of these effects is the Wernicke encephalopathy, which is a neurological disorder. This is a disease of the central nervous system, which causes challenges in walking, confusion and disturbances of the muscles that control eyeball movement. Research suggests that about 80 percent of people with this disorder also experiences peripheral nerves, which make the individual experience burning, tender feet and hands (Hanson, Venturelli and Fleckenstein, 2006). This causes serious brain damage and may be fatal if the person does not receive treatment such as huge doses of thiamin. However, the patients who manage to recover are left with a permanent condition referred to as Korsakoff’s psychosis.
An eating disorder is a significant and persistent health concern. This is so because it is constructed as an addict- like behavior. The evidence indicates that eating disorders can result in addiction like eating patterns because of the addictive ability of hyperpalatable foods. The eating disorder is considered as a variant of personality disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder. This is so because eating disorders such as Binge eating disorder and bulimia nervosa and obesity experiences, behavior and neurochemical changes which are extremely comparable to other addictive behaviors (Rubin, 2006). An individual suffering from this disorder experiences large consumption for a long period, constant attempts to reduce and continued use despite severe consequences. However, tolerance, withdrawal and decrease of social, occupational are less recurrent symptoms. Therefore, eating disorders can be construed to be addictive-like behaviors.
Sexual addiction is referred to as a progressive sexual disorder characterized by compulsive sexual thought and actions. Just like other addictions, its effect on the addict and society increases as the disorder progresses. Research indicates that the addict mainly intensify the addictive behavior to meet the same outcomes. Some sex addicts develop progress behaviors such as masturbation and extensive use of pornographic materials. In additional, sex addiction can be due to illegal activities such as child molestation and rape, exhibitionism and obscene phone calls among others (Carnes and Carnes, 2001). The people suffering from sexual addiction have behavior that is beyond their ability to control.
Sex addicts have experienced compulsive behavior just like other addiction disorders. The addict may develop a paraphilias a disorder that makes a person become sexually aroused by objects or action that are less accessible to the sex addict. Like other addictions, this behavior of engaging in persistent sex continues despite the desire and constant effort to stop. For instance, about 12 million people in the America suffer from sexual addiction. There is no one factor considered to be the cause of sexual addiction, but research indicates psychological, biological and social factors are associated with the development of this disorder. Therefore, this disorder mainly results in denial and shame because it is associated with sexual behaviors.
Benson, J. A., Joy, J. E., & Watson, S. J. (1999). Marijuana and medicine: Assessing the science base. Washington, DC: National Acad. Press.
Carnes, P., & Carnes, P. (2001). Out of the shadows: Understanding sexual addiction. Center City, MN: Hazelden Information & Edu.
Hanson, G., Venturelli, P. J., & Fleckenstein, A. E. (2006). Drugs and society. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Harari, P., & Legge, K. (2001). Psychology and health. Oxford: Heinemann.
Rubin, J. S. (2006). Eating disorders and weight loss research. Hauppauge, N.Y: Nova Science Publishers.