Effect of Alcohol, Tobacco and Marijuana on the Human Body


Marijuana, alcohol and tobacco are some of the most abused legal and illegal drugs. They are normally classified among the gateway drugs which are most commonly used by teens and adolescence as they introduce themselves to the world of drugs. The level of use of the three drugs is considerably high, despite constant warning of their negative effect in the body. The three are documented among the high causes of preventable deaths through accidents, and diseases that include cancer among others. The use of three drugs introduces new chemical substances in the body system interfering with natural functionality of the body in different ways. This may result to development of various medical conditions that weakens a person based on the rate of use. Some of these conditions worsen as the level of intake increases resulting to premature death of the user. This paper focuses on evaluating the impact of marijuana, alcohol and tobacco have on the human body. The paper evaluates both negative and positive effects that each of the three may have on human body

Effect of Alcohol on Human Body

Alcohol is one of the most highly abused legal drugs in the world. It is normally regard as a getaway drug tried by adolescence kids and teenagers. Alcohol contains some short-term and immediate physic impacts on the entire body that include sexual functions, the brain, sleep control, pancreas and guts, circulation and heart. However, the most immediate and obvious impacts of alcohol are on the brain. Alcohol blocks or slows down many functions of brain. The first effect may include inhabitation or tension reduction, making the alcohol user to feel more excited or relaxed. Nevertheless, as alcohol intake increases, these impacts are counterbalanced by reduced pleasant impacts that include vomiting and nausea, drowsiness, slowed thought process, loss of balance, slurred speech, poor coordination, slurred speech and slow reaction time (Australian Government 1). Alcohol acts as a depressant of the central nervous system. It results to respiratory arrest, depression, and death at high blood levels.

Heavy chronic use of alcohol can result to blood abnormalities resulting to low platelets and anaemia. Excessive use of alcohol in addition suppresses immunity, making it hard for the body to counter both bacterial and viral infections. This makes heavy alcohol users to be prone to various infections including pneumonia, tuberculosis, hepatitis C, and meningitis among others. A high alcohol level in the blood impairs muscles coordination and thought processes of the brain, resulting to walking difficulties and clumsiness. Moderate use of alcohol might safeguard against osteoporosis. Nevertheless, excessive use can interferes with bone formation and calcium absorption in the body resulting to osteoporosis. Heavy chronic use of alcohol is also related to muscles weakness and wasting, gout and a painful situation where bone tissues die. Chronic use of alcohol can cause liver damage, resulting to alcoholic liver disease. The disease can be minor such as fatty liver to serious ones that include cirrhosis or acute alcoholic hepatitis. Heavy alcohol use has also been associated to oropharynx cancer, breast cancer, esophagus cancer, rectum cancer and cancer of large intestines. Alcohol can also yield to diseases and malnutrition as a result of low levels of nutrients and vitamins in the gut (HPA 10-17).

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Alcohol use also has some benefits to the body. Research has demonstrated that alcohol contains physiological impacts on coronary heart disease. Alcohol intake increases blood HDL cholesterol that is said to eliminate cholesterol from the walls of the arterial, enhancing the fluid movement back to the liver, thus safeguarding against atherosclerosis. Alcohol also lowers coronary heart disease risk via antithrombotic mechanism, which involves prevention of coagulation of the blood. Alcohol has been determined to reduce plasma fibrinogen concentration, lowering aggregability of platelet. Nevertheless, research has also established a relation between serum triglycerides and alcohol intake, where by alcohol is said to increase triglycerides level in the blood augmenting coronary heart diseases (Gronbaek 409).

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Effect of Tobacco on Human Body

Tobacco is documented as the principal cause of avoidable cancers. WHO approximated that about 1.27 billion users of tobacco across the globe. Consumption of tobacco accounts for about 5.4 million deaths every year, and about one billion individual might die in the current century if international consumption of tobacco will not change (Mishra et al. 24). The harmful impact of tobacco smoking are well recorded for both smokers and individuals exposed to passive smoking. Tobacco exposes smokers to inhalation of more than 4000 chemicals that incorporates well known poisons that includes hydrogen cyanide, arsenic, and carbon monoxide, augments the risk of cancer, lung diseases and heart diseases. About half of all long-term smokers are likely to die prematurely as a result of a condition that is directly initiated by these toxicants (OSHA 1).

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Tobacco smoking might harm various human body parts and cause a wide range of diseases, a number that can be very fatal. Smoking in addition can worsen a number of other illnesses. Compared to non-smokers, smokers have been found to have a great danger of experiencing respiratory diseases. Tobacco smoke can result to significant respiratory illnesses that include sinuses and nose. Tobacco smoke irreversibly and severely damages the tissues making lungs of smokers are susceptible to various infections. One of the most probable conditions initiated by smoking is chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) that causes constricting of the airways and sustained inflammation. Other possible conditions include emphysema which involves the formation of holes in the lung tissues. This result to chronic bronchitis that is mostly responsible of smoker’s cough. COPD frequently causes loss of fitness and breath shortage since the lungs are not able to supply enough oxygen to the body. At least about 85% of cases of COPD and emphysema are attributable to smoking. Smokers also experience more cases of lungs infections that include pneumonia and bronchitis (OSHA 2).

Tobacco contains a lot of nicotine which is a plant alkaloid that is commonly found in tobacco plant. Nicotine is the principle tobacco constituent accountable for its addictive traits. Nicotine contains dose-dependent pharmacological impacts, with both depressant and stimulant action. The nicotine effect on the central nervous system (CNS) as well as it peripheral stimulating impacts are arbitrated to the release of various neurotransmitters that include adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), acetylcholine, serotonin, beta-endorphin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Distinguished nicotine stimulant activities effects include enhanced cognitive function and mental alertness, peripheral vasoconstriction, increased cardiac output, elevated blood pressure, and tachycardia. Nicotine depressant effects include anxiety reduction and muscle relaxation. Use of nicotine creates a feeling of relaxation and pleasure. In hooked on smokers, the desire to smoke cigarettes relates with a low level of blood nicotine. Cigarette nicotine is carried on tar particles that are inhaled to the lungs. Rapid absorption of nicotine into the pulmonary circulation is facilitated by large surface area of alveolar. This high absorption of nicotine plays a great role in initiating different health issues (Onor4).

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Tobacco is also responsible for different types of cancer. Carcinogens from tobacco smoke bind to the DNA of a smoker resulting to genemutation and DNA damage. These genetic alterations result to uncontrolled growth of cell and constrain normal mechanism which restricts cell spread and growth yielding to cancer. Tobacco smoking has been related to lung, rectum, head, colon, neck, esophagus, liver, cervix, and bladder cancer (Onor 6). A casual association has also been established between tobacco intake and cardiovascular incidences. Tobacco smoking has been related to modified lipid metabolism, dysfunction of endothelial, inflammation, prothrombotic effects, increased myocardial blood and oxygen demand, decreased myocardial oxygen and blood supply, and resistance of insulin. Passive and direct tobacco smoking are said to be the main causes of peripheral arterial disease, coronary heart disease, aortic aneurysm, and stroke (Onor6). Tobacco intake has also been associated to various reproductive abnormalities. Carbon monoxide found in tobacco binds to hemoglobin, denying oxygen to fetus, yielding to low birth weight. Tobacco also contains a number of toxins that include lead, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, cadmium, and mercury which are said to result to infant death syndrome, reduced women fertility. Smoking is also related to ectopic pregnancies, orofacial and men erectile dysfunction (Onor 7).

Effect of Marijuana on Human Body

Marijuana is one of the most commonly abused substances in the United States. Marijuana is mostly used by people to get ‘high’ which is an experience of perception alteration, relaxation, and euphoria, and ordinary sensory experience intensification. The ‘high’ feeling might be characterized by talkativeness and infectious laughter. Among the most normally unpleasant cannabis effects include depressive feelings, pain reaction and anxiety.Marijuana has over 400 chemical compounds and among them,effects of Marijuana are basically credited to δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the primary psychoactive cannabis plant ingredient. THC binds to receptors of cannabinoid that are omnipresent in the brain. As a result, THC exposure results to neural modifications impacting different cognitive processes. These alterations have been found to be long-lasting, proposing that neural changes as a result marijuana use might impact neural architecture (Filbey 16914).

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The use of marijuana is related with a number of effects on the human body. According to Volkow et al(2220), marijuana use results to both long-term and short-term effects on human body. Marijuana results to weakened short-term memory, which makes it hard to retain information and to learn. It also results to impaired coordination of motor, altered judgment and when taken in high dosage it results to psychosis and paranoia. This demonstrates great impact of marijuana use in human brains especially in parts responsible of controlling motors, storing memory and reasoning. The THC in marijuana is said to mess with basal ganglia and cerebellum areas of brain that control reaction time, regulate balance, coordination, and posture. Heavy use of marijuana can result to addition, cognitive impairment, and change in brain development.

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The use of marijuana is related to large airways inflammation, increased resistance of airway, and hyperinflation of lung, demonstrating that regular marijuana use is highly likely to result to chronic bronchitis. Smokers of marijuana also demonstrate the possibility of compromised respirator system immunologic competence. This is demonstrated by increased rates of pneumonia and respiratory infections among marijuana users. Use of marijuana has also been related to vascular conditions which augment the dangers of transient ischemic attacks, stroke, and myocardial infarction during intoxication of marijuana. The use of marijuana can result to acute cardiovascular effects including blood pressure and up to 50% increase in heart rate. The real mechanisms fundamental to marijuana effects on cerebrovascular and cardiovascular systems are multifaceted and not effectively understood.

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Nevertheless, the direct impacts of cannabinoids on different target receptors, for instance arterial blood vessels CB1 receptors, and the indirect impacts on vasoactive compounds might assist in explaining marijuana detrimental impacts on coronary microcirculation and vascular resistance (Volkow et al. 2222).Marijuana at a very high dosage can result to hypothermia, bradycardia, peripheral vasoconstriction, drowsiness, miosis, hypotension and ataxia. In addition to this, marijuana has been found to reduce sperm motility, sperm count, and plasma testosterone. Men who use marijuana are noted to have alterations in characteristics of ejaculate semen, which could clarify the relation between marijuana use and infertility (Nkyi165).


Marijuana, alcohol and tobacco are among the three highly abused drugs by all in the society. Based on the analysis each of the three has both short-term and reversible effect on the body, as well as long-term irreversible or hard to treat conditions. Based on the analysis, marijuana and alcohol have high immediate effect on the brains, which result to general change of behaviors. Although this may be among what the user anticipated to achieve by the drugs intake, the three drugs are highly addictive and hence influencing users to increase their level of intake with time. This mostly results to the development of advanced health conditions that are not pleasing to the users and that accounts for high rate of preventable deaths as a results of health conditions directly related to the three drugs. Drugs such as alcohol and marijuana also have positive medical outcomes. However, the outcome is negligible compared to the damaged caused. Moreover, their addictive nature makes it hard to restrict their use within the profitable range. Thus, doing without them would be highly profitable to the society, compared to handling the negative effects they create on our bodies.

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