Alcoholism As A Standard Disease Essay

Alcoholism As A Standard Disease Essay

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Alcoholism is a broad term used to define excessive and compulsive drinking of alcoholic substances (Merriam-Webster, 2015). Alcoholism or alcohol use disorder is difficult to measure quantitatively due to the varying definitions of what alcoholism is in alcohol research (Bucholz & Robins, 1989). Furthermore, the differentiation between what is moderate and excessive alcohol consumption varies widely depending on the individual. Alcoholism does not naturally divide individuals into alcoholics or non-alcoholics based on a set model. Consequently, the categorization of alcoholism as a disease is a heated debate among sociologists. Some sociologists argue against the treatment of alcoholism as a standard disease, because alcoholism does not meet the standard criteria for a disease, as the consumption of the caustic agent is voluntary (Bucholz & Robins, 1989).
Regardless of the type of categorization of alcoholism, the effects of alcoholism are seen throughout American society as about 18 million Americans abuse alcohol (Friedman, 2014). Excessive alcohol usage and consumption contributes approximately 88,000 deaths in the United States in one year (CDC, 2014). Additionally, there is no universal treatment or cure for alcoholism. There are challenges in establishing a treatment plan for individuals with alcoholism due to the multitude of underlying causes and potential explanations of the cause of the disease (Friedman, 2014). This sociological paper specifically examines the relationship between economic status and income on alcoholism. The question to be answered in this paper is whether or not income and economics have a substantial effect on the likelihood of alcoholism in individuals.
Income and economic status were selected ...


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...uestion surrounding economic conditions and alcoholism. The sociological approach behind all the studies is the representation of symptoms of alcoholism through multiple variables. Dee and Pearlin & Radabaugh’s study both implemented the measurement of alcohol use through 4 different variables and criteria. While, the Henderson et al. study used 7 different criteria. All of the studies tried to compensate for the multifaceted nature of alcoholism. Each of the studies had a unique approach to the sociological question surrounding economics and alcoholism. Although alcohol abuse is generally reported to be high in the lowest social class, the significant in the relationship between these two is still debated (Bucholz & Robins, 1989). This debate is due to the fact that alcoholism is influenced by a plethora of factors with economic conditions only being a small factor.

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