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 Smoking, Drinking & Addiction

 
What’s Ugly about Partying with Drinks and Drugs
Prof. Adrian Kennedy
(Continued...)

Your alcoholic status
So what is your alcoholic status? Are you a social drinker and only drink occasionally? Or, are you in the risk phase and frequently look out for a drink when things go wrong? In case you drink every day – and drink excessively, medical science classifies you as an alcoholic. Or alternatively, if drinking is interfering with your work, you’re probably a heavy drinker. If work is interfering with your drinking, then you’re probably an alcoholic. Try the test below to identify you alcoholic status.

First, look at the social phase and then proceed to the other phases. You are in the critical phase in case you tick any aspect there.

Social Phase

I drink occasionally
I never exceed 2 pegs
I am never desperate for a drink

Risk Phase
I drink alone
I drink under pressure
I have earlier tried to quit

Critical Phase

I drink almost every day
I frequently exceed 3 pegs
I frequently lose control

Safe drinking for social drinkers
  • Drink slowly – one peg/hour
  • Dilute with water
  • Eat before/during drinking
  • Never exceed two pegs
  • Avoid drinking daily
  • Avoid drinking alone
  • Avoid morning drinking
  • Avoid drinking under pressure
  • Do not drive/work after drinking

Responsible drinking
Alcohol may even prove to be healthy, if you drink responsibly (not to the bartender). Alcohol contains flavenoids and antioxidants, which actually protect the cells from free radical damage, and if taken in moderation, reduce blood pressure and increase the good cholesterol (HDL) in the blood. However, alcohol is addictive and frequent drinking creates tolerance in the body.

This means that the body adapts to existing levels of consumption, and requires higher dosages to get the same euphoric effect every time.

Cirrhosis of the liver, reduced libido and sperm mobility and so on, result. In the female alcoholic, it could causes foetal malformation and underweight babies in pregnancy.

Avoiding a hangover
If for any reason, you exceed your level of responsible consumption, the immediate effect the next morning is a splitting headache, and a feeling of nausea. This is referred to as a hangover. The best way to avoid a hangover, of course, is to drink in moderation and to consume sufficient water during and immediately after your drinking bout. Other tips include:
  • Eat before/during drinking
  • Avoid more than three drinks
  • Do not mix drinks
  • Have sufficient water
  • Sleep it off
  • Lemon juice (vitamin C) is good
  • Eat bananas and bread
  • Avoid coffee/another drink
Instant karma
Whenever we say “drugs” the image that the mind conjures up is …well, that of drugs. But what is sold in a drug or pharmacy store are also drugs, and for those of us who are committed to good health, we need to take a good academic peek into this business to understand the difference.

Drug abuse
There are basically two types of drugs - prescribed and non prescribed. Prescribed drugs are those recommended by a doctor to fight illnesses. Non prescribed drugs are commonly referred to as narcotics. These are basically non medical products and are irrelevant in the treatment of illnesses. Their usage is called drug abuse. However, prescribed medical drugs can also be abused when used beyond the purpose for which they were prescribed. Like if you have too much (increased dosage), too often (increased frequency), too long (extended periods), or have the wrong usage (stimulants and depressants) or wrong combination (depressants and alcohol).

Stimulants
Stimulants are abused by students to enhance concentration. Long distance drivers and shift workers use them to keep awake, while executives use them to maintain high energy through the day. Stimulants are available in their natural form as cocaine (derived from the leaves of the cocoa plant) and dried and used as powder. It is colorless and is usually sniffed at parties by the rich and famous. Addicts tend to use the cheaper variety diluted with distilled water and mainlined into the blood stream for immediate effect. The side effect of long term abuse includes insomnia, hypertension and rapid heart rate.

Street names of narcotics
  1. Stimulants
  2. Cocaine: Coke, Crack
    Amphetamines:Speed, Meth, Dexies, Uppers
  3. Depressants Heroin: Jack, Smack, Crap, Brown Sugark Tranquilizers: Downers, Barbs (Valium)
    Inhalants: Sniffing
  4. Hallucinogens Marijuana: Grass, Pot, Dope,Weed LSD: Acid, Paper Acid
    PCP: Angel Dust, Crystal
  5. Party Drugs
    Easy Lay, Great Body Harm(GBH), Mind Eraser

 
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