Mr. Wilkes is an alcoholic. His assessment that he can stop “any time” is inaccurate. Men should consume no more than fourteen drinks total per week. In addition, men should consume no more than four drinks on any one day. He is a heavy drinker (Moderate and binge drinking, n.d.). His alcohol intake has increased at a significant level due to the stressors in his life. Currently, his stressors include family stress and the significant stress caused by his unemployment. Prior to this, his stress occurred as he was concerned about his employment situation at work. The economic downturn has increased stress for many individuals. Mr. Wilkes is one of them. Alcohol actually increases the stress in a person’s life; it becomes another stressor. For this reason, individuals tend to increase their alcohol intake as a response. This becomes a vicious cycle (Barnett, 2013).
As a result of his alcohol intake, Mr. Wilkes’ liver will begin to experience adverse outcomes. These include a decrease in the liver’s ability to filter toxins. Liver cells die and are replaced with new cells. However, with chronic alcohol use, the liver loses its ability to regenerate. In addition, the cells within it develop large amounts of fats within them. This is fatty liver disease. Over time, the liver develops scarring or cirrhosis. The liver is not the only organ impacted by chronic alcohol use. Mr. Wilkes’ stomach concerns are also the result of his heavy drinking. Alcohol use creates gastrointestinal disease as well. This includes pancreatic disease. The pancreas is necessary to produce enzymes for digestion. Without these enzymes, absorption of nutrients decreases. It also results in stomach problems in individuals, increasing the risk for ulcer formation. His risk for trauma has increased as well. Alcohol impairs judgment in individuals. Mr. Wilkes may make poor choices in life as a result. This includes driving while under the influence of alcohol. He may also make risky decisions around the house, such as using tools and other dangerous items (Alcohol use and dependence, 2011).
- Alcohol use and dependence. (2011, February 22). WebMD. Retrieved November 29, 2013, from: http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/alcohol-abuse/alcohol-abuse-and-dependence-what-happens
- Barnett, B. (2013, September 24). Does drinking reduce my stress? CNN. Retrieved November 29, 2013, from: http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/24/health/drinking-reduces-stress-upwave/
- Moderate and binge drinking. (n.d.). National Institutes of Health. Retrieved November 29, 2013, from: http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/moderate-binge-drinking