Ethanol as a stimulus to risky and auto-aggressive behaviour
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Medical University, Warsaw, Poland
Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Military University of Aviation, Dęblin, Poland
Dorota Lasota   

Warszawski Uniwersytet Medyczny, Poland
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), ethyl alcohol occupies the third place among health risks for the general population, causing damage to health as well as social damage. Ethanol is also considered the greatest risk factor in injuries. Both alcohol and its main metabolite, acetaldehyde, are directly toxic to tissues and lead to several systemic pathologies. Alcohol abuse may also lead to mental health disorders. Although one-in-eight adult Poles abstains from drinking alkohol, 10–20% of adult Poles drink alcohol regularly. It is estimated that this group includes about 900,000 addicts, and over 2,000,000 people who drink alcohol at a risky or harmful level. It affects their occurrence and their consequences Drink- driving is one of the problems most often raised, although alcohol is a documented risk factor in pedestrian accidents. It is also an important risk factor for suicidal behaviour with people under the influence of alcohol choosing more radical and effective methods of committing suicide, such as hanging or ‘throwing themselves under a moving vehicle.’ Only properly selected and consistently taken preventive actions can improve the tragic statistics related to ethanol stimulating risky and auto-aggressive behaviours. It is also necessary to improve the system for reporting such events because only reliable statistics enable proper assessment of the scale of the problem, and the effectiveness of these activities.
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