Alcohol abuse continues to be the most serious drug problem on college campuses throughout the United States. Every year, drinking kills more than 1,700 students and injures about 500,000 more; it is also a factor in 600,000 assaults and 100,000 rapes on college campuses. Enzyme-mediated metabolic pathways break down the toxic ethanol in alcoholic beverages. Ethanol kills liver cells and interferes with normal metabolic processes. Long-term heavy drinking causes alcoholic hepatitis, inflammation, and destruction of liver tissue, and cirrhosis. Cirrhosis prevents the liver from removing drugs and other toxins from the blood, so they accumulate in the brain where they impair mental functioning, and alter personality. Restricted blood flow through the liver increases susceptibility to diabetes, liver cancer, and death.
Important Concepts from Chapter 3 of the course text:
- Introduction: Ethyl Alcohol Liver cells detoxify most of the alcohol a person drinks, but in the long run this process may lead to alcohol-related hepatitis and cirrhosis. Long-term heavy use also damages memory, reflexes, and other functions. Binge drinking can stop the heart.
- Section 3.13: Metabolism Series of enzymatic reactions in cells (metabolism) help cells acquire and use energy as they build, break down, or remodel organic molecules. Metabolism requires enzymes. Each kind of enzyme recognizes specific reactants, or substrates, and alters them in a specific way. Each enzyme functions best in a particular range of conditions that reflect the environment in which it evolved. Metabolic pathways can involve thousands of molecules and be quite complex.
After viewing the Read items on alcohol in the Learn section, briefly describe three health risks and/or negative physical effects of heavy drinking. For each thread, students must support their assertions with at least two scholarly references. Is it a sin for a Christian to drink excessively? Why or why not (provide Biblical references)? The initial post should demonstrate a biblical understanding of human behavior.
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