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stress causes alcohol vs. marijuana

Alcohol Vs. Marijuana

Alcohol and marijuana are two drugs commonly used and abused in the United States.  Alcohol is the number one abused drug, while marijuana is number one among illegal drugs.  While alcohol remains legal, and marijuana illegal, this does not necessarily mean that the alcohol is better for you.  There have been many arguments where people suggest that marijuana should be legal because alcohol is more deadly.  On the other hand, there are alcoholics who would tell a pothead that smoking weed is bad for you.  Both substances are very bad for your health and should not be heavily used by anyone.
Marijuana has an immediate effect during and for about 2 hours after smoking.  With alcohol, users feel slight effects after just one drink, and recover depending on the amount the person drank, how much they weigh, and how much they had to eat before ingesting the alcohol.  Immediate effects of use are slurred speech, decreased inhibitions, poor judgment, and lack of motor coordination.  Marijuana causes red eyes, dry mouth, increased appetite, slowed reaction, paranoia, hallucinations, decreased social inhibitions, and memory loss.  Drinking heavy amounts of alcohol can lead to a coma or even death.  A person would have to smoke 40,000 times the amount to get high to overdose, so it is practically impossible.  Alcohol is responsible for over 100,000 deaths per year.  Marijuana kills less than 10,000 per year.
Among the deaths caused by alcohol, drinking and driving is number one.  Not only is it number one among alcohol related deaths, it is also one of the main causes of death and injury in the United States.  Alcohol impairs judgment and vision, and causes speeding and reckless driving.  On the other hand, there has been debate over the effect of marijuana on driving.  One study by a computer software company reported that people who smoked a small amount of marijuana drove faster and with fewer collisions in a driving computer game.  Another study said that marijuana causes abnormally slow driving, proneness to distraction, and increases the time it takes to react, therefore greatly impairs your ability to drive.  
Long-term effects of alcohol are liver cirrhosis, stomach ailments, impotence, vitamin deficiency, increased stroke risk, decreased mental performance, heart disease, peptic ulcers, hepatitis, and various forms of cancer.  Alcohols effects on the brain are loss of coordination, poor judgment, slowed reflexes, distorted vision, memory lapses, and even blackouts.  Long-term effects of marijuana are mouth, throat, and lung cancer, increased heart rate, decrease in testosterone levels for men, increased testosterone levels for women, diminished sexual pleasure, increased blood pressure, increased stress, decreased motivation, and respiratory problems.  The THC in marijuana damages the nerve cells in the part of the brain where memories are formed, making it hard to remember things.
Both substances can lead to dependence, especially alcohol.  If one abuses alcohol for to long and becomes dependent, they are considered to be an alcoholic.  There has been debate on whether marijuana is addictive.  Some experts believe that since there are no obvious withdrawal symptoms, it is not considered to be an addictive drug.  Others claim that it is addictive because it takes the place of natural "feel good" chemicals in the brain, so people become physically addicted.  Alcoholism on the other hand, is considered a disease.  Ten percent of people who drink will become alcoholics.  There seems to be a genetic factor associated with alcoholism.  Biological children of alcoholics have a greater chance of becoming alcoholics themselves than a child who is adopted into a family with a history of alcoholism.  If an alcoholic abruptly stops drinking, he will go through withdrawal symptoms known as alcohol withdrawal syndrome.  The symptoms are nausea, tremors, sweating, anxiety, depression, weakness, hallucinations, and even death.
Despite the talk about alcohol abuse and alcoholism, alcohol can actually be good for you.  If one drinks in moderation (2-6 drinks per week in two or more sittings) it can lessen the chance of heart disease by thinning your blood.  There are no known health benefits associated with moderate marijuana use.  Both drugs have serious health effects when used heavily, but it seems that alcohol more detrimental to your health.
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Teen Alcoholism

Teen Alcoholism:  Problems for Americas Youth

In 1991, a study by the United States Surgeon Generals office stated that 8 million out of the 20.7 million young people in grades 7 through 12 drank alcoholic beverages every week.  It went on to say that 454,000 of those youngsters reported weekly binges (Claypool 21).  In the United States and all over the world underage teens are drinking, and it may be because they just dont know about alcohol and its effects (Monroe 56).  Underage or teen drinking is a major problem today that is increasing more and more, and something needs to be done to stop this increase and to control the number of underage drinkers.  
There are many statistics that show just how big this problem is amongst our youth.  One frightening statistic that shows how much this problem has been increasing is that between 1948 and 1988 the percent of teen drinkers increased by 57 percent (Nielsen 47).  Many parents may think that their child may not drink until they are much older, but the average age that teenagers try alcohol is between the ages twelve and sixteen (9).  Also, a 1995 study taken by the University of Michigan stated that 35 out of 100 high school seniors drank 5 or more drinks at one time at least once during their two week survey period (Claypool 10).   A recent poll by the National Association of Student Councils found that alcohol was the leading school problem and 46 percent [of students] said it was the schools most serious problem (Monroe 53).  This may be because alcohol is very dangerous because it is a poisonous drug that can be very addictive (Mitchell 6).
In order to help solve this problem of underage drinking we must first try to understand why teens drink alcohol.  There are many reasons why a young teen may choose to drink alcohol.  A national survey, taken in 1995, showed that 87 percent of parents thought that teens drank because of peer pressure, but 79 percent of teenagers said it was just because they liked the feeling they got when they drank (27).  The main reason and the biggest reason why teens drink would probably have to be peer pressure, but there are many other reasons other than peer pressure why a teen might drink.  
In addition to peer influences, some experts believe that media depiction of alcohol use in print advertising, television and radio commercials, and fictional television programs such as sitcoms and dramatic series glamorizes alcohol to young people and can influence their decision to drink (Mitchell 28).  The media today is very influential, and by viewing alcohol being glamorized some teens think that it is acceptable to drink.  Many teenagers are fascinated by some of the alcohol commercials on television such as the comedic Budweiser ads, and researchers believe that this fascination may lead them to try the product being advertised (30).
Peer pressure is a huge issue for a teenager these days and it affects many decisions a teen might make.  Being a teen can be an awkward situation, and in order to fit in and feel less awkward teens might start to drink, but what they dont know is that it may not be so easy to stop (Landau 52).  Some teens would do anything to be cool so if the cool teens told them drink, they might just be pressured into doing so as well (Nielsen 53).
Many times peer pressure and social situations seem to be similar in that they both can cause a teenager to do something they normally wouldnt do. The only difference is that with peer pressure he or she is forced to make a decision and with social situations, the teen makes the decision. A teens social environment can also lead him to start drinking.  For example, a teen might try drinking in order to loosen up or to be less shy, and if he thinks that he did loosen up he might want to do it again (Mitchell 25).  Many social situations such as a party or school function may present the opportunity to drink, and if teens see that everybody else is drinking they might do ... more

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  • S: Alcoholism S: Alcoholism Alcoholism What is Alcoholism? The definition of alcoholism can be described as a chronic illness, which is marked by uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages that interferes with physical or mental health, and social, family or occupational responsibilities. This dependence on alcohol has only been diagnosed as a medical disorder recently in the medical field. Like many other diseases, it has a predictable course and is influenced environmentally and sometimes genetically. The disease ca...
  • T: alcohol vs. marijuana T: alcohol vs. marijuana alcohol vs. marijuana Alcohol Vs. Marijuana Alcohol and marijuana are two drugs commonly used and abused in the United States. Alcohol is the number one abused drug, while marijuana is number one among illegal drugs. While alcohol remains legal, and marijuana illegal, this does not necessarily mean that the alcohol is better for you. There have been many arguments where people suggest that marijuana should be legal because alcohol is more deadly. On the other hand, there are alcoholics who would...
  • R: Teen Alcoholism R: Teen Alcoholism Teen Alcoholism Teen Alcoholism: Problems for Americas Youth In 1991, a study by the United States Surgeon Generals office stated that 8 million out of the 20.7 million young people in grades 7 through 12 drank alcoholic beverages every week. It went on to say that 454,000 of those youngsters reported weekly binges (Claypool 21). In the United States and all over the world underage teens are drinking, and it may be because they just dont know about alcohol and its effects (Monroe ...
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  • S: drug effects S: drug effects drug effects Alcohol Vs. Marijuana Alcohol and marijuana are two drugs commonly used and abused in the United States. Alcohol is the number one abused drug, while marijuana is number one among illegal drugs. While alcohol remains legal, and marijuana illegal, this does not necessarily mean that the alcohol is better for you. There have been many arguments where people suggest that marijuana should be legal because alcohol is more deadly. On the other hand, there are alcoholics who would tell a p...
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  • Alcoholism Alcoholism Alcoholism What is Alcoholism? The definition of alcoholism can be described as a chronic illness, which is marked by uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages that interferes with physical or mental health, and social, family or occupational responsibilities. This dependence on alcohol has only been diagnosed as a medical disorder recently in the medical field. Like many other diseases, it has a predictable course and is influenced environmentally and sometimes genetically. The disease ca...
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