Alcohol consumption is one of the most relevant public health problems in many countries around the world, including Spain. Alcohol can not only cause dependence, but also increases the risk of numerous diseases (including liver cirrhosis and various types of cancer) and is related, for example, to traffic accidents, violence and risky sexual behaviour.
In Spain, the data on alcohol consumption is especially worrying in adolescence. Young Spanish people start at a very early age (around 13 years old) and also in recent times they have developed a way of drinking that is closely linked to the recreational dimension of alcohol and the rapid achievement of its psychoactive effects through the ingestion of intensive distillate.
Regarding the consequences of consumption, it can be stated that they affect at all ages. For drug-exposed infants during the gestation period and its permanence in the uterus, regardless of the typology of the substance, can cause premature birth and with problems of weight. It can also influence the intellectual development of children and also in their behaviour as they get older.
Regarding adolescent drug users, it is stated that they often have bad behaviours, poor academic performance and many of them end up dropping out of school. There is an increased risk of facing unborn pregnancies desired, to be affected by violent behaviour and to acquire diseases of infectious character.
On the other hand, in relation to adults addicted to drugs, they usually have difficulties to think clearly, as well as to remember and pay attention. Also, social relations are conditioned, since drugs influence the behaviour of adults, being the same poor. As a result of addictions, work performance is also affected, since on many occasions responsibilities are avoided. Among adults, there are parents who are regular consumers, who have chaotic family ties, where negligence and neglect of their closest ties can be observed. Situations such as the above, give rise to children who grow up in this environment do not develop properly, so it can give an early consumption in them.
A consequence of the stress that drug use promotes, can lead to chronic kidney failure. Drug use causes organic problems of health such as gastrointestinal infections and at the mental level psychiatric disorders and dementia, among other pathologies.
From my personal experience since I am really young, I’ve been exposed to the consumption of alcohol as a social activity which I’ve normalised as a recreative activity when partying and going out with friends. However, when I think how dangerous it is this normalization, I do consider that governments should be more conscious about this issue and promote measures that reduce the consumption.