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Alcohol: the legal drug that kills

Alcohol: the legal drug that kills

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According to statistics, Portugal is one of the countries with the highest alcohol consumption in the world. About 1/4 of young Europeans aged 15 to 29 die from excessive alcohol consumption.

Excessive consumption gives the illusion of strength, agility and speed, but in reality the person is weaker, less agile, slower and more confused.

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1. Alcohol: the legal drug that kills

Deciding whether or not to drink alcohol, and how much to drink, is a personal decision that we will all have to make one day. The important thing is to have enough information to make a correct choice. There is a tendency to regard alcohol as somewhat harmless. The consumption of alcohol is seen only as a form of entertainment; there are advertisements and television shows that show beautiful people enjoying life and drinking alcohol.

Alcoholism has multifactorial causes, that is, its appearance occurs through the interaction between biological, psychological and sociocultural factors that complement each other in the genesis of this pathology.

It is known that the human brain is still developing in adolescence and it is also known that alcohol is a depressant, that is, it slows down the function of the central nervous system. In fact, alcohol blocks some of the messages that are trying to reach the brain, altering perception, emotions, movement, vision and hearing.

After ingestion, alcohol quickly reaches the brain tissue, interfering with various functions such as reasoning and thinking, with high ethylic concentrations in the body causing acute intoxication, causing symptoms such as euphoria, disinhibition, propensity for aggressive behavior, instability, speech coordination and articulation difficulties. At very high levels of concentration, the same death can occur as a result of depression of the respiratory system.

When consumed in large quantities, alcohol causes intoxication. People can lose coordination, speak more slowly, become confused and disoriented. Depending on the person, intoxication can make someone too friendly, uninhibited and talkative, or too aggressive and angry. Reaction times decrease dramatically and this is one of the main reasons why drinking and driving is not allowed.

Risks of accident, violence and suicide are more frequently observed in alcohol dependents, in addition to disorders associated with alcohol consumption, such as intoxication, withdrawal, withdrawal delusion, jealousy delusion, alcohol-induced persistent dementia, psychotic disorder, mood disorder , amnesic disorder, anxiety disorder, sexual dysfunction and sleep disorders.

2. Alcohol Dependence Syndrome

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Alcohol Dependence Syndrome is defined as a pathological relationship between the individual and alcohol consumption. Some behaviors that characterize this syndrome include the priority of drinking over all other aspects of life, an increase in alcohol tolerance, repeated withdrawal symptoms, subjective perception of the need to drink, and relapse into drinking after withdrawal.

In case of binge drinking, and despite adverse physical and psychological consequences, individuals continue to use alcohol. This abuse is related to situations of consumption, in contraindicated circumstances, whose later effects interfere in school and occupational performance, when it happens in young students, as well as in social or interpersonal relationships. Once these symptoms are identified and evidence of compulsive behaviors, or abstinence and tolerance are observed, a diagnosis of Alcohol Dependence should be considered.

3.Alcohol withdrawal syndrome

The Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome, in turn, results from the adaptation made by the central nervous system to psychoactive substances. It is an acute condition, secondary to the partial or total interruption of alcohol consumption. Its most common clinical manifestations are tremors, nausea, sweating, mood disturbances, nightmares, hallucinations, agitation and anxiety. Esta síndrome de dependência alcóolica está relacionada com o aumento significativo da morbidade e da mortalidade, associadas ao consumo etílico.

The use of alcohol entails physical, intellectual, psychological and social consequences for the dependent. Social problems such as violence, difficulties in interpersonal relationships and professional losses, characterized by absenteeism, delays, reduced productivity and, often, absence from work due to disability are commonly caused by the chronic use of alcohol.


Alcohol is the most consumed legal drug in Portugal. However, according to Portuguese legislation, it can only be purchased and consumed by people over 18 years of age. As it is legal, most people do not appreciate the health risks this drug poses. Alcohol is seen as an indispensable presence at parties and celebrations, often falling into substance abuse.

Don’t get carried away, and if you think you’re at the point where you need help, alwayscounton us. It’s still time to change.


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