August 18, 2012
Alcoholism in Society
Define the Problem
Alcoholism, as defined by Merriam Webster dictionary, is “a chronic disorder marked by excessive and usually compulsive drinking of alcohol leading to psychological and physical dependence or addiction” (2012). Many people in today’s society have drinking problems, ranging from sporadic alcohol abuse to total alcohol dependence. Approximately one in every 13 adults either abuse alcohol or are alcoholics (Alcohol Abuse and Dependence, n.d.). More than likely a person who abuses alcohol will eventually become alcohol dependent. It not only affects the individual, but family and ...view middle of the document...
Jodi H. drinks to have fun with friends and to be social but she has personal experience dealing with friends who think drinking is the way to deal with the difficult issues in their lives. (J. H., personal communication, August 18, 2012). Former mental health and substance abuse clinician, Professor J. Shea, counseled people with a vast array of reasons for drinking, including thinking it made them feel better or it helped them to feel in control. (J. Shea, personal communication, August 18, 2012). Some people have higher risk factors to alcoholism than others. Family history, mental health status and social and cultural status are just a few of these risk factors (Mayo Clinic staff, n.d.)
The decision to drink is a choice, alcoholism is not. The reason a person may choose to drink is only one part of the story. Alcoholism is a disease that is greatly dependent on genetics (Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, 2011) Family history plays a huge role in the risk factors for alcoholism.
Identify the Effects on Society
People with this serious addiction have difficult issues in their lives that they believe will be solved if they drink alcohol. In reality it just makes them worse. Many people drink to cope with their feelings of stress and anxiety that is in their everyday lives. Alcohol is legal and readily available. More and more people are turning to it to resolve their problems. People have become so dependent on alcohol that many cannot perform every day activities without it. This is a serious addiction that adversely affects society every day.
According to Jodi H., mistrust and financial problems were directly related to her friends drinking problem. (J. H., personal communication, August 18, 2012). Domestic violence, automobile accidents, sexual assault and birth defects are just a few ways alcoholism can affect society. An unborn child can be affected with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) when a woman drinks during pregnancy. FASDs can cause mental and physical problems in the life of an innocent child. (Alcohol and Public Health, n.d.)
The Mayo Clinic staff states that “excessive drinking can reduce your judgment skills and lower inhibitions, leading to poor choices and dangerous situations or behaviors” (n.d.). Liver disease, heart problems, cancers and neurologic complications are among a few medical conditions that can affect an alcoholic (Mayo Clinic staff, n.d.). As well as the physical effects of long term alcohol use, emotional and financial stability can be impacted. This is true not only for the individual but for family and friends also.
These problems affect society as well. Excessive drinking can also be related to high unemployment rates and vice versa. An individual may lose his job due to alcohol use, or in this unstable economy, an individual may use alcohol to deal with losing his job. Losing a job is such a stressful situation that an individual may find comfort and control in the...