Slowed neural processing: slow synaptic nervous system activity, slow reactions, slurred speech, skill deterioration
Memory disruption: disrupted memory formation, suppression of REM sleep, nerve cell death, reduction of new cell birth, impaired synaptic connection growth, brain shrinkage.
Reduced self-awareness and self-control: more likely to space out and not notice, causes myopia: focusing of attention on arousing situations like provocation and distracts attention from inhibitions and future consequences.
Expectancy effects: expectations influence behavior: belief that alcohol will affect them a certain way, behave accordingly, attribute thoughts (often sexual) to the alcohol (even if they were drinking a placebo).
Amplifies sensitivity to colors, sounds, tastes, smells. Relaxes, disinhibits, may produce euphoric high. Impairs motor coordination, perceptual skills, reaction time. Increased risk of anxiety or depression.
Helps relieve nausea or pain from AIDS and cancer.
Disrupts memory formation, interferes with immediate memory recall, brain shrinkage in memory and emotional areas.
Impairs fetal brain development when pregnant.
Can cause cancer, lung damage, pregnancy complications.
Increased risk of psychological disorders.
Biological influences:Heredity, Adopted more susceptible if one or both biological parents have history (alcohol), Identical twins higher risk than fraternal twins (alcohol and marijuana), Boys excitable, impulsive, fearless as youths more likely to drug use later,Certain genes present in individual predisposed, reduction in natural dopamine reward system.
Psychological and social-cultural influences: Feeling that life is meaningless and directionless, Experiences of significant stress or failure and depression, Eating disorders, abuse, School or neighborhood transitions, Coping mechanism, High exposure (media or otherwise) increases likelihood, Cultural or ethnic groups, Residence location, Peer pressure