Alcohol use is the acceptable drug in our society, so that many people who would never use an illegal drug use alcohol. If controlled and used lightly, the effects are minimal and may be beneficial. Young people addict to alcohol far faster than adults, and the effects are much stronger. Their bodies begin to need alcohol as a flight from feelings or problems, and their need grows at a far faster pace.
Alcohol can be considered a gateway drug if the person becomes addicted to alcohol and to the lifestyle. They begin to lose their straight friends as they ever up the days they use. Often the weekend is the start, but soon they add days until it is everyday. Alcohol becomes the food they eat which plays havoc with their bodies.
Behaviorally, they can carry on with school or jobs for a while, but the alcohol soon destroys that as they are not often sober. The lifestyle outcome is often jail. They lose their families. Their health becomes precarious as the sugar in alcohol often leads to diabetes. Their liver is affected also often to the point of death. Hallucinations are common in the last stages of addiction.