Common problems of alcohol intoxication
The urgency of the problem of drunkenness, alcoholism and alcoholic psychoses is determined by both the degree of their prevalence and the versatility of the damage caused (G.V. Morozov, 1983; V.T. Kondrashenko, A.F. Skugarevsky, 1983). Hippocrates called alcohol intoxication voluntary insanity. In ancient China, Egypt, and Sparta, bans were imposed on alcoholic beverages, and those who abused them were severely punished. However, prohibitive measures, in particular the “Prohibition”, introduced during the XIX-XX centuries. in the USA, Russia and other countries, did not give the desired effect.
Currently, the problem of alcohol consumption in many countries has acquired a national character. On the one hand, they have become an indispensable attribute of various festivals, ceremonies, ceremonial meetings, rituals, and on the other hand, they are the direct cause of disturbing public order, falling moral standards, causing economic damage to society, and lowering the level of public health.
As T. A. Lambo (1978) noted, the problem of excessive consumption of alcohol went far beyond the boundaries of alcoholism per se; it places a heavy burden on the state bodies of public health, social welfare and law and order. A report by the WHO research team (Q. Edwards et al., 1978) indicates an increase in the incidence of drunkenness and alcoholism among youth, women in countries previously prosperous in this regard, an increase in the number of accidents in road transport, work and life, and offenses in connection with drunkenness. There is a close relationship between the socio-economic structure of society, the size of production, consumption of alcoholic beverages, national traditions and the severity of the damage.
The widespread use of alcohol in everyday life, the adverse social and medical consequences of its abuse have been the subject of numerous discussions at the national and international levels, in particular on streamlining the terminology of various concepts and phenomena that are directly or indirectly related to this problem (what is considered normal use, abuse and alcoholism, measures of responsibility, etc.).
By its effect on the human body, alcohol can be attributed to toxic substances. With the introduction of alcohol, intoxication usually develops, the severity of which depends on the dose, the way and the rate of its entry into the body, gender, age, and the state of health of the patient. Alcohol has analgesic, euphoric and narcotic effects, therefore, in the past it was used internally during surgical operations to relieve neuropsychic stress and pain. The simultaneous introduction of ethanol into the body causes changes in metabolism (carbohydrate, protein, lipid and water-salt), the functions of the digestive, cardiovascular, respiratory, excretory, central nervous systems. I.N. Pyatnitskaya and V.A. Balyakin (1974) indicate that about 10% of alcohol is excreted from the body through the lungs, kidneys and skin unchanged, and the remaining amount is oxidized by alcohol dehydrogenase and catalase. The widespread use of alcohol is due to its peculiar effect on the well-being of a person – in small and medium doses, it causes an increase in appetite in most people, a sense of serenity or a mood boost, self-confidence, and increased performance. For the sake of these sensations, they also resort to drinking alcohol. In large doses, they inhibit the activity of the central nervous system, up to the development of a coma and a fatal outcome.