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Word Count: 356
Alcoholism and its affects It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase possess or consume alcohol but many teenagers do Alcohol goes directly into the bloodstream which is why it effects every system in the body Heavy drinking can cause cirrhosis and cancer of the liver Children in families with alcoholic members are at a higher risk for alcoholism Excessive drinking can decrease the amount of testosterone in a mans body and cause impotence Alcohol abuse can lead to both homicides and suicides Drinking can cause serious injuries and death -- over 38 of drownings are alcohol-related Long-term effects of heavy alcohol use include loss of appetite vitamin deficiencies stomach ailments sexual impotence liver damage heart and central nervous system damage and memory loss Alcohol blocks the messages going to your brain and alters your perceptions and emotions vision hearing and coordination Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant It affects virtually every organ in the body and chronic use can lead to numerous preventable diseases including alcoholism A survey taken in 1994 called Monitoring the Future shows that alcohol is the number 1 substance used by 8th 10th and 12th graders Over 50 percent of 12th graders report key word report drinking alcohol in the past month Alcohol lowers inhibitions and impairs judgment which can lead to risky behaviors including sex This can lead to getting HIVAIDS as well as other sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy Alcohol also hinders coordination slows reaction time dulls senses and blocks memory functions The relationship between alcohol and motorcycle crashes is very high In 1993 40 percent of the 5905 traffic fatalities of 15- to 20-year olds were alcohol related Thats 2362 or 25 of them Alcoholism is a disease -- just like diabetes or high blood pressure But having the disease is nothing to be ashamed of Many teens have determined that they are alcoholics and
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