Essay on Alcohol Misuse

Published: 2021/12/15
Number of words: 792

What are the potential implications for public health management of the factors that influence absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination of alcohol?

Having an insight into the metabolism process of alcohol is essential in understanding how the body discerns all the factors that influence the process. The metabolism process of alcohol impacts the metabolism of foods and hormones that affect public health. One of the factors that influence the absorption and metabolism of alcohol is food in terms of its availability and the type available in the gastrointestinal tract when alcohol is consumed (Visontay et al., 2021). The absorption of alcohol depends on the rate at which the stomach empties its contents, where a high dietary fat content will require a longer period to be emptied. The food content affects an individual’s body weight though alcohol consumption does not directly lead to weight gain. Alcohol metabolism also affects sex hormones by altering the hormonal balance in both men and women.

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The current BAC for control in public settings and driving, how strong is its scientific basis, and what are its limitations 

There is quite strong evidence that an individual’s driving ability is affected by alcohol in the blood. According to Yadav & Velaga (2020), drivers with a BAC level between 0.02 and 0.05 are three times likely to die in a crashed vehicle. This risk doubles with a BAC level of 0.05-0.08 and 11 times with a level of 0.08-0.10. according to Yadav & Velaga (2019), lowering the BAC limit from 0.10 to 0.08 significantly reduces road traffic fatalities and injuries. On the other side, the evaluation of the effectiveness of BAC laws has various limitations. The interventions are quite complex, while the methodologies are also quite difficult. It is thus quite difficult attributing the reduction in injuries that are related to alcohol to BAC.

What are the methodologic approaches in the GBD study to estimate alcohol consumption, and what are their advantages and potential limitations or bias?

Globally, approximately 6% of deaths are alcohol-related. There are various Mathematical models used to estimate disease burden and the cost-effectiveness of the interventions in place to address the burden. The models used in the GBD study include the disease burden and the economic evaluations of the interventions. The models can be chosen as per the convenience, availability of existing data, burden of the work and the economic and health outcomes (Mellor, Hanna-Khalil & Carson, 2020). The methods are advantageous in presenting changes and comparing the illnesses attributed to alcohol. The major limitation and bias associated with the methods are that it is more effective in revealing increased burdens in women than men.

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How strong do you think is this result, and what could explain this?

Alcohol is a harmful factor that cuts across the disease burden linked to the high consumption of alcohol. Alcohol consumption is strongly linked to over 200 injuries and diseases such as road traffic accidents, liver cirrhosis, cancer, stroke, infectious diseases and alcoholic cardiomyopathy. According to the GBD study, alcohol consumption shows some level of tolerance to heart disease and diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs since alcohol inhibits the production of insulin that should regulate glucose levels. The condition is also directly linked to other complications such as heart attack and kidney failure. Alcohol consumption is also linked to a limited proportion with an increase in tuberculosis and cancer burden of diseases.

The set of recommendations to confront the public health policy influence of the alcohol industry.

In the set of recommendations to reduce harmful alcohol consumption and improve social and health outcomes, the most realistic one that I would consider is leadership, awareness and commitment. This policy is usually accompanied by a set of action, sustainable implementation and evaluation mechanisms. The least preferred policy would be the pricing policy since just a few people will be sensitive to the price of the drinks.


Mellor, D. D., Hanna-Khalil, B., & Carson, R. (2020). A review of the potential health benefits of low alcohol and alcohol-free beer: Effects of ingredients and craft brewing processes on potentially bioactive metabolites. Beverages6(2), 25.

Visontay, R., Sunderland, M., Slade, T., Wilson, J., & Mewton, L. (2021). Are there non-linear relationships between alcohol consumption and long-term health? Protocol for a systematic review of observational studies employing approaches to improve causal inference. BMJ Open11(3), e043985.

Yadav, A. K., & Velaga, N. R. (2019). Effect of alcohol use on accelerating and braking behaviours of drivers. Traffic injury prevention20(4), 353-358.

Yadav, A. K., & Velaga, N. R. (2020). Alcohol-impaired driving in rural and urban road environments: Effect on speeding behaviour and crash probabilities. Accident Analysis & Prevention140, 105512.

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