Alcoholism The Socially Acceptable But Deadly Addiction
GenPsych July 2018
Alcoholism for some reason is an accepted yet awful addiction. Alcohol is so ingrained in society that alcoholism is acceptable to a degree. When someone has a drug addiction, it’s considered life-threatening. When someone is addicted to alcohol, it’s not seen the same way. Americans have accepted the concept of social drinking and alcohol consumption as normal.
Alcoholism is the most severe form of alcohol consumption. Alcoholism goes way beyond social drinking into the realm of actual addiction. Alcohol addiction can be a deadly and inescapable habit that is very difficult to stop. It becomes a crutch and debilitating habit which follows a person anywhere they go, and the number of addicts continues to grow. Alcohol abuse is becoming a socially accepted activity in the United States.
Why is Alcohol Abuse is Acceptable?
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines excessive drinking as more than five drinks a day for a woman and more than 6 for a man. Estimates show that 8% of men and 4% of women in the U.S. have an alcohol addiction problem. Because alcohol consumption is so typical, we become blind to those people who have an actual drinking problem.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism claims that 86% of Americans over eighteen have had an alcoholic drink, 70% have had a drink in the past year, and 60% percent in the past month. However, only 8% of adult men and 4% of adult women have a drinking problem. So according to these numbers, drinking alcohol is a cultural pastime, yet is only dangerous to a small percentage of people.
Compare this to drug abuse. Have 60% of Americans eighteen or older abused drugs in the last month? Not even close. There is a vast disparity in how Americans view the problems of alcohol and drug abuse. Drug use is not socially acceptable. People rally and join together to fight drug abuse but merely shrug off alcohol abuse.
Alcoholism is Unacceptable
Alcohol addiction in the U.S. is a terrible and expensive epidemic which costs our country $249,000,000,000 every year with 75% of all the alcohol consumption coming from only 25% of those who drink. An estimated 88,000 Americans die from alcohol every year. This socially acceptable activity kills more Americans than all forms of drug abuse combined.
More than 10% of U.S. children grow up with at least one parent with an alcohol problem, which increases that child’s chances of having an alcohol problem by 400%. Science has proven that underage drinking can interfere with normal adolescent brain development, having the potential to negatively impacting young people for their entire life.
It would take an entire book to describe all the harmful effects of alcohol abuse. This article is merely a brief look at some of the data from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to showcase how harmful the habit is, and why we must not accept alcohol abuse. If we allow these habits to grow, our society and quality of life will suffer. Whether we engage in social drinking or not, a public stand must be taken against alcohol abuse the widespread acceptance.
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