The Health Triangle

A useful model for understanding the nature and extent of drug-related difficulties is the Health Triangle. The Health triangle is a triangle that discusses the different issues when talking about a health subject or in this case alcohol. This triangle has 3 points: Physical, Social and Mental. This model can be used to form resolutions to a problem or it can be just a way to inform people of a certain issue.

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Physical
Alcohol’s affect on our body, mainly our health.

Alcohol has many different physical affects on our body. Some of these (depending on how much we drink) lasts for a short amount of time, these are called the short term effects. These last only for a short time but others can develop and worsen throughout your whole life. When they do worsen, they are called the long term effects.

The Short Term Effects

This table below shows the effects that alcohol has on our body:

Grams % Effect
0.05g % Talkative, relaxed and more confident.
0.05-0.08g % Talkative, Acts +Feels Self Confident, Judgment+ Movement Impaired, Inhibitions Reduced.
0.08-0.15g% Speech Blurred, Balance + Co-ordination Impaired, Reflexes Slowed, Visual Attentions Impaired, Unstable Emotions, Nausea/ Vomiting.
.15-.3g% Unable to Walk, Sleepy, Laboured Breathing, Dementia, Loss of Bladder Control, Unconsciousness.
0.3g% or above Death or Coma

As we can see, the higher the blood alcohol level the higher the damage done to your body.

The Long Term Effects

The long term effects develop over time and cause many many problems. The long term effects are damaging to the brain,heart and gastrointestinal system the most. They also affect the metabolism of a person and the blood.

1. The Brain Goes through:

• Brain Damage
•Depression–the constant feeling of sadness.
•Epilepsy–a neurological disruption that causes seizures.
•Insomnia (nightmares)

2. The Heart Goes Through:

inside the human body organs

•Hyper tension–high blood pressure.
•Arrhythmias — problems with the way the heart is beating.
•Cardiomyopathy–chronic disease with the heart muscle
•Beri Beri Heart Disease–heart failures

3. The GIT (gastrointestinal system) goes through:

•Liver Disease
•Pancreatic Disease
•Acute gastritis–inflamation of the lining of the stomach
•Stomach ulcers
4. The metabolism is affected:
•Gout–a form of arthritis
•Obesity
•Hyperlipidemia–excessive amounts of fat in the blood
•Osteoporosis–loss of tissue causing fragility in bones
5. The Blood is affected by:
•Macrocytosis–the enlargement of red blood cells
•Leucopenia–decreasing amount of white blood cells
•Thrombocytopenia–a cause of blood clotting

Social

The social point of the triangle discusses alcohol’s affects on our social life meaning our relationships with our loved ones.

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The loss of inhibition caused by the consumption of alcohol can cause, in some cases, violence. You can find in countless movies and news broadcasts scenes or images of people fighting due to intoxication. In some cases, when you are drunk, you will begin to show signs of aggression and violence towards the people you love. This type of behaviour can result to the fall of friendships and in some case, marriages.
Your loss of decision making skills experienced when intoxicated may cause you to make bad decisions and be insensitive. You may be unaware of it but at the state of intoxication, you might have insulted a loved one by crude remarks. This causes a harm in the relationship and depending on the severity of these remarks, you may lose a friend or partner.
You are usually unaware of your actions when intoxicated therefore you will do everything ‘to have fun’. Because your good judgement isn’t there, you might do things that you wouldn’t do while you still have consciousness. This can cause embarrassment to yourselves and others. This can strain relationships as some people might not want to be associated with you because of what you have done.

How alcohol affects people differently

How alcohol affects people differently

Emotional
This discusses the harms of alcohol to a person’s mental wellbeing and their emotions.
Alcohol has a variety of mental effects including:
  • Depression: Because alcohol is a depressant, it will cause you to be happy when drunk but in sobriety, it will make you depressed. Being depressed means that you feel sad all the time and you are more fatigued, distracted and you have less self-esteem. This depression when not treated properly can be extremely harmful and may cause suicide or self-harm in extreme cases.
  • Anxiety: Alcohol decreases activity in the brain’s nervous system. That combined with the physical stresses that alcohol causes can cause anxiety. Anxiety is when you constantly feel angry, aggravated, irritated or just annoyed all the time. This, as
    previously mentioned, can cause break downs of relationships and lead to depression.
  • mental-healthMood Swings: We know alcohol causes the brain to slow down. Alcohol also causes serotonin levels (the chemical responsible for sending out mood signals to your brain) to decrease. This means that your brain and your body will be out of sync with its mood and emotions. This can cause severe mood swings such the constant change of emotion.

 

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