Alcohol considered to be a serious problem

As many 33,000 people in the UK die from alcohol related causes each year- that’s ten times as many people that die on the roads every year. I believe this information should be presented to children at a young age (year five) to reduce the amount of alcohol related illnesses, such as alcoholic liver disease, in young people. By doing so, children will understand from a young age the health implications of excessive consumption of alcohol, and therefore will be able to make more informed decisions in future regarding alcohol consumption.

This means that the number of alcohol related deaths the number of cases of alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour is likely to decline. This should also be presented to my peers as they are in the age that has a major problem in binge drinking this has increased due to a variety of reasons many of these reasons Alcohol is the name for ethanol, chemical compound C2H5OH. Alcohol is made when the glucose, in grains such as barley or fruit such as grapes, are fermented by yeast.

Yeast is neither an animal or plant cell but is in fact a member of the fungi family and this single-celled microorganism is made of a nucleus, cytoplasm, cell membrane, vacuole and a cell wall. The most common yeast is Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is the mainly used in the baking and brewing industry. During fermentation, the yeast anaerobically respires. Anaerobic respiration is the incomplete break down of glucose (which is found in the grains/fruit), without the presence of oxygen and this process occurs in most plant and animal cells however the products of anaerobic respiration vary.

When yeast anaerobically respires they break down the glucose into ethanol and carbon dioxide. Word equation: glucose ethanol + carbon dioxide + energy Chemical equation: C6H12O6 (aq) 2CH3 CH2OH (aq) + 2CO2 (g) This process of fermentation is carried out by various enzymes produced by the yeast cells. The type of grain or fruit used, the length of fermentation and the amount of year used during fermentation all determine the alcohol content and the type of alcohol that is produced.

Alcohol through history and its portrayal in the media No one is completely certain of when the first alcohol was produced, due to the fact that many cultures produced alcoholic beverages. However the “discovery of late Stone Age beer jugs has established the fact that purposely fermented beverages existed at least as early as c. 10,000 BC” (http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/History_of_alcoholic_beverages).

“Brewing dates from the beginning of civilization in ancient Egypt” (Cherrington, 1925, v. 1, p.404) and alcohol was considered to be an important beverage and this fact can be proved by the fact that although many families or local areas had their own gods and goddesses, the worship of Osiris, the god of wine, was uniform throughout the entire country. Similarly, many other nations had their own versions and cultural or religious importance attached to alcohol. Alcohol came to be seen as a spiritual symbol of Christianity due to its importance in the Eucharist and in the Bible (Genesis 9:20) it says that Noah planted a vineyard.

Because of this, its use was spread throughout European (and Christian) countries during the first millennium of the Common Era (C. E) but the use of alcohol was mainly restricted to the wealthy people in society. In the sixteenth century, alcohol was mainly used for medicinal purposes however the beginning of the eighteenth century saw the British Parliament pass a law encouraging the use of grain for distilling spirits. “The nineteenth century brought a change in attitudes and the temperance movement began promoting the moderate use of alcohol” (http://www.drugfreeworld. org/drugfacts/alcohol/a-short-history. html).

As societies grew, alcohol became available to all segments of society. The 19th century’s’ change in attitude meant that alcohol came to be seen as a social problem. This led many areas of the world to create laws making alcohol illegal. In 1920 the US passed a law forbidding the manufacture, import or export or sale of alcohol; however this ban was cancelled in 1933. Today, alcohol is a major industry which gains many millions of pounds in profits and contributing to the US economy (see pie chart below):

In today’s society the moderate consumption of alcohol is considered normal and is widespread throughout the world, a proof of this is how ‘a pint at the pub’ is considered to be an integral part of British life. Many social taboos that once were in place to view drunken behaviour as uncouth and ‘common’, have either vanished or are no longer supported by the majority view. A law encouraging the sale of alcohol and the media portrayal of alcohol consumption as ‘normal’ have played major roles in why today’s society regard alcohol as an almost essential part of social life.

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