The Pros and Cons of Alcohol
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  • The Pros and Cons of Alcohol

    The issue of the positive and negative aspects of the effects of alcohol is as divisive a subject today as it ever has been. This is of course partly due to the fact that while legal, alcohol is often viewed by many in an almost entirely negative light, brought about by the small minority of people unable to enjoy it without causing problem.

    While it tends to be the negative aspects of alcohol consumption that get the most attention and create the most headlines however, there are questionably positive effects as well.

    The main benefit people gain from alcohol is that they feel more confident and sociable, making it easier to interact with people, get their ideas across and make new acquaintances. People perhaps not confident enough to talk to someone they like, introduce themselves, make new friends or even speak out and show their personality will tend to do so more easily having had a moderate amount of alcohol.

    Aside from the social effects on society in general, people being less inhibited from doing things that they ordinarily wouldn’t often simply means that they will have more fun. This can be down to a number of things ranging from a somewhat heightened sense of humor to being more open to new experiences in general and enjoying something that you otherwise wouldn’t have thought of trying while sober.

    Many relationships and even marriages begin after a chance meeting in a bar or nightclub, and while they are by no means unequivocally the best way of meeting people, they do provide a social setting where meeting new people is easy. Something that many societies tend to lack in the modern day with people leading increasingly insular and separate lives than they did in ages past.

    Of course the negative side of this is that it can lead to one night stands that many will regret the next morning, unwanted pregnancies and increased chances of infidelity. These are arguably down to the judgement of individuals as to how much alcohol they should consume and what their underlying, even subconscious intentions are rather than being a direct result of the alcohol itself however.

    The effects of alcohol on health are more of a mixed bag given that depending on what and how much is consumed, alcohol can be a good or bad thing. A glass of red wine per day for example is said to be good for health due to the antioxidants present. Drinking to the point of inebriation by contrast causes vomiting, dehydration and headaches, which although isn’t usually serious is certainly unpleasant. In the longer term abusing alcohol consistently can cause liver damage and eventually even death.

    Many of the potential problems associated with alcohol are down to individual reaction to its effects, and how much is consumed. In general when consumed in moderation alcohol can be largely positive, and avoiding the negatives is often as simple as making sure that you don’t drink too much at once or get mixed up with the wrong kinds of people while you are drinking.

    The most commonly experienced downside of drinking is the hangover, an unpleasant set of symptoms caused largely by the dehydration brought about by drinking. On an individual level, a hangover is usually just a day in bed to recover. On a broader scale, hangovers can cause people to then miss work, costing businesses and so the economy millions every year.

    Certain people can also tend to become belligerent or violent after drinking, and regardless of the situation will end up causing trouble if they drink sufficiently. Others can develop a dependency on alcohol, drinking to the point of oblivion at increasingly frequent intervals and becoming addicted to its effects. Alcoholism like any other addiction can ruin families, increases the crime rate and of course causes numerous deaths every year.

    Many people are unable to use alcohol without developing a compulsion to do so or those that become violent after drinking also eventually end up using medical resources meaning people getting  hurt through no fault of their own have longer to wait for treatment. This on top of the fact that they cause harm through their actions also, either through assaulting others or driving under the influence and causing car crashes.

    Compared to the number of people who enjoy drinking regularly however, the number of people that do tend to cause trouble and suffer negative consequences as a result is invariably a tiny minority. Of course they also tend to receive a lot more attention than the majority of people who can enjoy a drink without becoming dependent, crashing a car, getting into a fight or partaking in a regrettable one night stand. Which tends to give many people an unfairly negative view of alcohol.