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Word Count: 580
Alcohol is a drug and like all drugs it has an effect on a persons body and mind Because drinking alcoholic beverages makes some people feel more alive and more outgoing alcohol is sometimes seen as a stimulant In fact it is a depressant and slows down the central nervous system of which the brain is a part Small amounts of alcohol can affect a persons coordination and judgment Drinking a large amount of alcohol at one time can even cause death Alcohol is estimated to be contributing factor in 20-30 of all accidents higher alcoholic content Regular use of alcohol has not changed significantly since 1989 Crime is inextricably related to alcohol and other drugs AOD Annually 480000 arrests for liquor law violations and 704000 arrests for drunkenness for alcohol Alcohol is a key factor in up to 68 of manslaughters 62 of assaults 54 of murders or attempted murders 48 of robberies 44 of burglaries In 1992 there were 6839 deaths due to alcohol A couple years back 64 of all reported child abuse and neglect cases in New York City were associated AOD abuse While the moderate consumption of alcohol is associated with better health and longer life the heavy consumption of alcohol especially over a period of many years can lead to serious health problems and even death Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is an irreversible condition associated with excessive consumption of alcohol by pregnant women and is therefore completely preventable Each and every case of FAS is a needless tragedy Victims suffer serious physical deformities and often mental deficiencies And they suffer these problems for their entire lives While most cases occur among alcoholics who consume alcohol heavily throughout their pregnancies no one knows for certain what level of alcohol consumption is safe for a pregnant woman Cirrhosis is probably the most widely recognized medical complication of chronic alcoholism It is a grave and irreversible condition characterized by progressive replacement of healthy
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