Alcohol and Alcoholism Binge Drinking Exploratory Term Paper

Total Length: 1012 words ( 3 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 5

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I began my research with an open mind. Alcohol was a huge topic, and I needed to narrow it down and come up with something meaningful to research. As I looked at the different aspects of drinking habits, one issue kept resurfacing that drew my attention. That issue was the long-term effects of drinking on the individual. I was interested in binge drinking, as well as heavy drinking sustained over time. Although I could not come at this from a physiology or medical point-of-view, I did hope to address some of the medical issues that will arise when researching alcohol, such as liver damage and liver disease. Ultimately, I developed a working research question I could use to guide my research and hone the issues. The research question I am currently using to conduct my research is, "How does alcohol as a whole affect the body in short- and long-term circumstances?"

This exploratory research question has already been yielding a vast wealth of references and resources. I started off by reading general articles on the topic of the short-term and long-term damages that alcohol can cause the body. I went to the websites of reputable organizations, avoiding websites with information that was unreliable. Some of the first websites I visited included the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, and the Mayo Clinic. These websites had a stupendous amount of information about alcohol and the effects on the body. The resources will help guide my thinking on the paper, because they are unbiased and thorough.
Information about symptoms of liver disease, and of alcoholism, are combined with specific and targeted interventions to treat the problem.

After the initial exploration, I started to read some more detailed reports about the effects that alcohol has on the body. This included an article called "Drinking (Alcoholic Beverages)." It was found in the Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context, from October of 2012. This article was also objective in nature, providing me with further quantitative data to help me substantiate my research question with numerical information. Charts, and other visual data helped me to see what the effects of alcohol were on the body, and helped me come up with a proposed solution to that problem later. Interestingly, the Opposing Viewpoints article concluded that drinking in moderation was actually good for the body and healthy. The benefits of moderate drinking actually outweigh the costs, which means that alcohol itself is not the problem. Problem drinking, such as binge drinking, is the problem.

A story on ABC's 20/20 entitled "Intoxication Nation" caught my attention next. This television show was very disturbing to watch. I learned a lot about the extent to which people go to intoxicate themselves. There are parties called "blackout parties," in which the participants purposely drink so much that they lose consciousness. The problem of binge drinking has become an epidemic that is using up valuable law enforcement resources.

The United States seems to have a special relationship with alcohol. I learned this as I delved….....

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