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Chapter Summary

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PSYC 3110

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CHAPTER EIGHT REVIEWModern views on alcohol as a social problem can be traced back to the eighteenth century when distilled spirits became available for the first time in EuropeBecause of their cheapness they were popular with the English working class Early eighteenth century popular beliefs about the dangers of alcohol have been shaped by organizations known as temperance societiesTemperance societies dedicated to counteracting the harmful effects of drinking eg Alcoholics Anonymous influence of prohibition era in the USAthere are conflicting views throughout the societies such as preaching moderation and avoiding excess view that spirits are intrinsically dangerous while weaker alcoholic drinks are harmless and alcohol is highly addictive to everyoneWashingtonians in the USA in 1840s which were selfhelp associations running regular meeting along the lines of religious revivalist groups with emphasis on the confessions of the repentant sinner and an appeal to a higher power for support with exception of some countries majority Muslim population alcohol is legally obtainable in 2007 World Health Organization estimated that 37 percent of global mortality and 44 percent of disease was attributable to alcohol not including social harmviolence work problems etc global burden of disease attributable to alcohol as 4 percent varying from 13 percent in the poorest countries with low consumption to 121 percent in the former socialist countriesamong young people 1529 years 25 percent of male mortality and 10 percent of female mortality is attributable to alcohol DANGERS OF DRINKING ALCOHOLmajor risk factors chart on page 171The dangers to health of alcohol consumption is not always found for light and moderate drinkers and may even experience health benefits compared with nondrinkersprolonged heavy drinking is known to be the main cause of liver cirrhosisLiver cirrhosis frequently fatal form of liver damage usually found among longterm heavy drinkers Initially fat accumulates on the liver enlarging it this restricts blood flow causing damage to cells and scar tissue develops preventing the liver from functioning normallyEstimate that mortality from liver disease has doubled from 1991 to 2007 alcohol could be the cause of about 4 percent of deaths from breast cancer drinking during pregnancy has been shown to be associated with significant damage to unborn child and heavy drinking is the main cause for fetal alcohol syndrome Fetal Alcohol Syndrome abnormality found in children whose mothers drink heavily during pregnancy characterized by facial abnormalities mental impairment and stunted growthdrinking has been linked to below average birth weight and increased risk of spontaneous abortion
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