Unit 4 Understanding and Avoiding Hazardous Substances Copyright Goodheart-Willcox Co., Inc. 290 Government Approaches The government seeks to make it difficult for young people to access alcohol. One of the most obvious and effective government approaches to preventing alcohol-use disorders is setting the minimum legal drinking age at 21. Forbidding people who are younger than 21 years of age from purchasing alcohol makes it more difficult for young people to have access to alcohol. Similarly, making it illegal to use a fake ID to purchase alcohol reduces alcohol use among young people. Other public policy approaches also exist to limit access to alcohol. For example, in some states, people cannot buy alcohol on Sundays or in grocery and convenience stores. States may also raise the sales tax on alcohol, which makes buying alcohol more expensive. The government does create some educational materials about alcohol use. Some drinking prevention programs focus on the negative effects of alcohol use. You have probably seen television and magazines ads that portray the negative consequences of drunk driving. Public policies may also place limits on alcohol advertisements, including the hours in which such ads can appear on television and what they can include. These policies seek to prevent young people from seeing alcohol advertisements. Treating Alcohol-Use Disorders People with severe alcohol-use disorders are often physically and psychologically addicted to alcohol. Although breaking this addiction is difficult, there are a number of strategies that can help people quit drinking (Figure 9.17). Detoxification One of the first steps in recovery from an alcohol-use disorder is detoxification. This is the process of completely stopping all alcohol use to remove the substance from the body. Detoxification is a necessary step in recovering from a physical addiction to alcohol. This process, which is sometimes called drying out, may take up to a month. The process may or may not include time spent in the hospital. Detoxification can include severe withdrawal symptoms, such as intense anxiety, tremors, and hallucinations. A doctor may prescribe medications to lessen these symptoms. Top to bottom: PR Image Factory/Shutterstock.com Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com leungchopan/Shutterstock.com Figure 9.17 O vercoming an addiction to alcohol is not easy, but with support recovery may seem more possible. Addiction Treatment Strategies Support Groups Self-Management Strategies Detoxification
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