Alcohol And Its Effect On Human Body

Project and Seminar Material for Science Laboratory Technology SLT

Alcohol And Its Effect On Human Body


This study examined biological, psychological and socio-economic consequences of alcoholism among adolescent using Yaba psychiatric Hospital as case study. The purpose was to investigate the degree of relationship among some identified variables.

This study was conducted through the survey method which involved the construction of questionnaire with stratified and simple randomly techniques. Also, I attempted to reveal ways of ensuring adequate involvement and participation of the government and the general society to solve the problem of alcoholism and it’s effect on human body.

Furthermore, the test of hypotheses confirmed that there is significant relationship between alcoholic’s home and the source of introduction to alcoholism, there is significant relationship between socio-economic of the alcoholics and the use of alcohol, there is significant relationship between alcoholics influence with other peers and the use of alcohol, there is significant relationship between stressful condition and the use of alcohol, and there is a significant relationship between alcoholics age and access to alcohol. It was known that a number of problems and factors influence adolescent to take alcohol.

Based on this finding, conclusions and recommendations were made.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Alcoholism is a disease of a two fold nature, an allergy of the body and an obsession of the mind (Duke 2006). It is an age-old public health and social problem. Alcohol is no respecter of economic status, social and business standing or intelligence. Neither rich nor poor, learned nor unlettered, all found themselves for the same destruction. Some people enjoy a social drinking with no apparent harm to themselves or others. Occasions for drinking alcohol can come more frequently as a result of a hard day, worries and pressure, bad news, good news etc. Those who drinks think they can drink to excess without anyone knowing it. Everyone knows it. The only one they are fooling is themselves. They rationalize and excuse their conduct beyond all reason. Those who are alcoholic dependants experiences intolerable cold sweats, jumpy nerves and lack of sleep physically, while mentally they are bewildered with fears and tensions, the complete change in attitude and outlook. Dishonest thinking, prejudice, ego, antagonism towards anyone and everyone who dares to cross him/her are the characteristics of alcoholic dependants. Vanity and a critical attitude are character defects that gradually creep in and become a part of his/her life. Living with fear and tension inevitably results in waiting to ease that tension, which alcohol seems to do temporarily.

Physicians who are familiar with alcoholism agreed that there is no such thing as making a normal drinker out of an alcoholic. Science may one day accomplish this, but it hasn’t done so yet.

– If a person has cancer all are sorry for him and no one is angry or hurt. But not so with the alcoholic illness, for with it there goes annihilation of all the things worthwhile in life. It engulfs all whose lives touch the sufferer’s. It brings misunderstanding, fierce resentment, financial insecurity, disgusted friends and employers, warped lives of blameless children, sad wives and parents, anyone can increase the list. For me, as for most alcoholics, it was “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you die”. There are many things worse than dying, but is there any death worse than the progressive, self-induce slow suicide of the practicing alcoholic?. The alcoholic suffers death many times over. Alcohol wrings the gut out of life, eats into the brain in such a way as to make the alcoholic blind to the truth. Thus, the

Abuse of alcohol continues to be one of the most significant medical, social and economic problems facing mankind. Alcoholism related problems affect practically all nations, all classes of the society, people in all types of jobs and all ages. In fact, alcoholism has been described as an “equal opportunity afflation”. Since creation of man, alcohols have always been needed to rectify the physical discomfort of man. However, the use of alcohol indiscriminately brings about a bad effect on the human body. These bad effects which was originally conceived, as the problem of selected few is today becoming a “disease” of a sizeable proportion of our citizens especially youths. The problem is so grave that it has extended beyond the usual characteristics profile of abusers being male, adult and urban based to now include females, youngsters and those who live in the rural areas (Folawiyo, 1988). Alcoholism is an important factor in distribution of family and social relationship accidents, crimes, violence, disease and illness. Societies pay a heavy toll for alcoholism in economic as well as in human terms. The history of alcoholism in Nigeria is a catalogue of changes determined by factors such as civil changes, rapid urbanization with the disintegration of family social network, drug availability and lately economic depression (Guardian Newspaper of 4th March, 1993).

The rapid industrialization and urbanization witnessed in 1970s led to the multiplication of breweries and production of all sort of alcoholic beverages of various contents, couple with thriving allowing easy access to alcohol and then endangering the life of the abusers. Alcoholism blocks meaningful use of time, energy and creative thinking. It destroys a person’s ambition to become great, thereby making him unproductive and a liability to the society. It is therefore not surprising that virtually all countries (including Nigeria) have put in place programmes for combating alcoholism and related problems (Folawiyo, 1988).

In pharmacology, alcohol specifically ethanol is a nervous system suppressive. Invariably when ingested interacts with a living organism and brings about noticeable changes in the way the body functions, or when it is used with the intent or purpose of bringing about such changes (Cook, 2006).

In Africa as in the rest of the world people use alcohol specifically ethanol to alter or enhance their mood based on a variety of need that fall broadly into two categories

The need to feel better, to alleviate real or imagined pain.

Appetite and desire for pleasure or entertainment.

The rich may turn to alcoholism for entertainment or relief from boredom, while the poor are more likely to use alcohol to escape from their unfortunate situation (Folawiyo, 1988).

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The causes of alcoholism are complex and multifunctional, including social, economic and educational factors. The problem of alcoholism has risen rapidly over the years and is still on the increase. There are many reasons for the increase in alcoholism throughout the region certainly the main factor is the stress of economic hardship coupled with the breakdown of traditional systems of community and family support which they need in healthier ways.

In Nigeria this breakdown is much because of economic hardship and unemployment problem. Many youths turn to alcoholism as an action to the experience of broken dreams. Alcohol offers temporary relief for them.

This can be buttressed by the day-to-day outcry by organizations through various seminars, campaigns, and workshops organized often by the minister of health and social welfare and also the ministry of education, even the Non-Governmental organization (NGO). One of the social problems in Nigeria health sector today is the management of alcoholics and its social consequences, on the abusers and society at large. Alcoholics tend to become more of a nuisance to friends, relatives and society. There is no doubt that alcoholics constitute part of the nation’s labour force, which reflects a negative implication on the nation’s economy.

Omotosho (1985) declared that, the misuse of alcohol by teenagers, young men and women is the greatest single evil in the country today. He explained that the situation is extremely dangerous to the survival of the nation. In fact, alcoholism Have become one of the central problem of our time, that parents teacher, various bodies like doctors, nurses, social workers, counsellors, psychologists, exercise physiologists as well as government and clergymen are now disturbed more than ever before by an alarming and rapid rate at which our youths in particular are being drawn in the cub-culture of alcoholism.

Alcoholism have been known to ruin the career of many promising stars like actors, actresses, musicians, athletes and intellectuals who would have made meaningful contributions to the society. Many lives are lost yearly due to the effect of alcohol used as pleasure and entertainment. However, when alcohol is used according to accepted medical practice or prescription gives the desired therapeutic response and when inappropriately used, it results in immediate or delayed adverse effects and even worsen a pre-existing disease condition.

Also, other step towards ensuring a free society is the setting up of a Narcotic, alcohol and drugs abuse control unit by the federal ministry of health. The units charged with the responsibility of educating the public most especially youths.

1.3 Statement of Hypotheses

  1. There is significant relationship between abusers and the source of introduction to alcoholism.
  2. There is significant relationship between socio-economy of alcoholics and the use of alcohol.
  3. There is significant relationship between abuser’s influence with other peers and the use of alcohol.
  4. There is significant relationship between stressed condition and the use of alcohol.
  5. There is significant relationship between abuser’s age and access to alcohol.

1.4 Significance of Study

The significance of this study is to know why adolescents takes alcohol and the sociological, biological and psychological consequences on the abuser and society. It will find out the causes of alcoholism among the adolescents. The study will facilitate and aid advance research on socio-economic consequences of alcoholism among adolescents. Also it will be used as an eye opener to the people on the potential benefits, limitations and risks associated with alcoholism thus serve as an avenue for enlightment of the inherent danger of alcoholism and make necessary possible solution.

Finally it will be used as a health policy to reduce the intake of alcohol among adolescents.

1.5 Objectives of the Study

Considering the effort of both the state, federal, ministries and even families on how to curb the menace of alcoholism among youth and adolescent through various seminars and symposium.

Therefore the main objectives of this study are:

  1. To find out the causes and effects of alcohol in the human body.
  2. To examine the factors that are responsible for the use of alcohol among adolescent.
  3. To suggest ways of ensuring adequate involvement and participation of individual, government and general public on reducing alcoholism.
  4. To determine if socio-economic consequence on the adolescents lead to alcoholism.

1.6 Limitation to the Study

This study will be limited to the alcoholic inmate in psychiatric hospital, Yaba. This research work will focus on patients on admission, who are already calm and stable and could respond to any question positively. Also due to financial constraints, time available and attitude of respondents towards the questionnaire, the researcher will limit to only psychiatric hospital Yaba and it will not include other psychiatric hospitals within the state.

1.7 Operational Definition of Terms

Antidiurectic Hormone (ADH):

A hormone, released by the pituitary gland that increases the reabsorption of water by the kidney thus preventing excessive loss of water from the body.




A condition in which the liver responds to injury or death of some of its cells.


A false perception of something that is not really there.

Hepatic Cell:

Relating to the liver


Inflammation of the liver caused by viruses, toxic substances, or immunological abnormalities.


The sum of all the chemical and physical changes that take place within the body and enable its continued growth and functioning.


A chemical substance released from nerve endings to transmit impulses across synapses to other nerves and across the minute gaps between the nerves and the muscles or glands that they supply.


It is used synonymously. The group includes apormorphine, codeine, morphine, and papaverine. Opiates depress the central nervous system. They relieve pain, suppress coughing and stimulate vomiting.


The science of the properties of drugs and their effects on the body.


Medicine that is ineffective but may help to relieve a condition because the patient has faith in its powers

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendation


Drug is a substance that affects the function of a living cell, which is used to cure and prevent the occurrence of illness. A drug becomes a “medicine” when it is used to save life, it becomes “poison” when it causes death, it becomes “mis-use” when people indulge in self-medication to cure illness and it becomes “abuse” when it is used indiscriminately. Due to the habitual use of drugs, drug addicts especially youths cannot do without it and it has been a problem to our country Nigeria and the world in general.

The impact of drug abuse among the Nigerian youths has been a stigma to the society. The effects of drug abuse especially among our youths and society are so devastating. Many of the Nigerian youths depend on one form of drug or the other. The rate at which youths abuse drugs is so alarming and worrisome. Many youths have tried one drug or the other and many of them are drug abusers today. The family, church, community, school, Nigerian government have role to play in controlling drug abuse in Nigeria, Bamaiyi (1997:14) had this to say:

Certification or no certification, Nigeria must continue the drug war. In this hide and seek game, our primary objective is to salvage the nation from the scourge of hard drug.

Proverbs chapter 14 verse 12 says “there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death”. In this regard, youths should reject drug abuse because it may seem good to them but it leads to doom.

Finally the researcher is pleading that all hands should be on deck to make sure that drug abuse is eradicated or curbed in our country Nigeria so that our youths should be useful to themselves, their individual families and our country Nigeria as a whole.

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