Prior to the discussion of the gender differences in alcoholism and its treatment, the definitions of who is an alcoholic is necessary.
Alcohol abuse is a rising concern in today’s world. More than 80,000 Americans die each year due to alcohol related incidents, making alcohol the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States.
In the United States alone, nearly 18 million people have an addiction to alcohol. This drug can be a mild to chronic addiction and sometimes can turn out fatal for some people (Chakraburtty). Almost 100,000 people have died from overusing this drug (Chakraburtty). Alcoholism and alcohol abuse is not only damaging emotionally, physically, and mentally to the person who is doing it, but to the people around them as well.
Over time, alcoholism has been viewed in a multitude of distinct ways. Alcoholism is known as the physical dependence on alcohol, which may start to negatively change the addict’s life. Most people believe that alcoholism is a chronic disease and there are also some whom believe that it is simply an addiction that has gone way too far. Alcohol is a common substance that has been linked to numerous addictions, whether it’s binge drinking, alcohol abuse or the dependence on alcohol. Due to the immense amount of alcohol dependency, it is highly possible that it may in fact be a disease. For this complex disease to be known, it is important that others don’t suffer the harsh effects of alcoholism. The negative effects of alcoholism may lead to
Alcoholism, as opposed to merely excessive or irresponsible drinking, has been thought of as a symptom of psychological or social stress or as a learned, maladaptive coping behaviour. More recently, and probably more accurately, it has come to be viewed as a complex disease in its own right. Alcoholism usually develops over a period of years. Alcohol comes to be used more as a mood-changing drug than as a foodstuff or beverage served as a part of social custom or religious ritual.
Alcoholism is a mental illness that is very destructive not only to an individual that has it, but also to the people that surround him or her and the community. It is a “chronic disease, progressive, and often fatal”, according to James D. Torr, author of the book called Alcoholism (19). Alcohol, when consumed, causes the person to feel pleasure and other desired effects, because of the chemicals it contains. The continuation of consuming alcohol causes the brain and the body to develop tolerance or addiction which leads to alcohol dependence or alcoholism.
One of the largest debates in the study of alcoholism is the etiology of the disorder. The prevailing theory today seems to be that alcoholism is a disease, a biological affliction that can only be ameliorated by abstinence or medication. However, there are those who believe alcoholism has its roots in environmental influences and that the disorder is a maladaptive pattern of behavior. The two main methods currently employed for treating alcoholism reflect the foundations of the two main theories.
Frey and Schonbeck explain that it is estimated that over 76 million people worldwide are affected by alcohol abuse or dependence. The chance of having an alcoholic in one’s life is very high. Children that grow up in an environment with an alcoholic may increase that child’s chance of becoming an alcoholic themselves. In the United States, the most commonly abused drug among youth is alcohol. Even though the legal drinking age is 21, nearly 20% of all alcohol consumed in the United States is by people under the legal age (83). In fact, when youth start drinking at social events in their teenage years, they are greatly increasing their risk of developing alcohol problems (85). Alcoholism can affect people of all ages. Furthermore, some experts try to differentiate between alcoholics and social drinkers. Typically, they base this off of five categories. Social drinkers do not drink alone. They consume minimal amounts of alcohol during social functions. Situational drinkers may not ever drink unless they are stressed out. These drinkers are more likely to drink by themselves. Problem drinkers can be described as a drinker that alcohol has caused problems in their life. However, they usually respond to advice given by others. Binge drinkers are out of control in their alcohol consumption. They may drink until they pass out or worse. Alcoholic drinkers have found that their lives have become unmanageable and that they are completely powerless over alcohol (84). Alcoholics should be cautious of their surroundings to prevent
the constant exposure to the behavior of the alcoholic. The negative social consequences of alcohol consumption and stressful life events may trigger psychological, biological, behavioral responses, which interact to diminish the individual’s ability to adapt leading to emotional distress reaction and thereby increasing the likelihood of psychological
Someone who is struggling with alcoholism does not see his problem as a concern. This is due to denial or shame, so he tends to ignore the issue. Some may believe that nurture was at fault. The person may have grown up in an abusive environment, so consuming alcohol could have been a coping mechanism. Others may believe that human nature was at fault. The person could have inherited drinking from a family member, most likely their parents. Psychologists, scientists, and behaviorist all have different assumptions on why people are the way they are (McLeod). Mill and Wilson take their own sides on this debate.
As with any behavioral disorder, some people are predisposed to it, but there are also strong cultural and environmental influences. Alcoholism is associated with many poor health outcomes. Alcoholism can be tricky to define, in part due to cultural variability in what is acceptable, both behaviorally and in the attribution of illness. When the words “substance abuse” are heard, most frequently the thought of using marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or some other illegal drug pops into mind. Alcohol, however, can be abused in the same manner as illegal drugs. Abnormal craving for alcohol can be averted using many techniques, even including drug therapy. Worldwide there are over two million people who consume alcohol. In the United States alone, beer, wine and liquor, are purchased in excess of tens of billions of dollars per year(Comer, 2014). Alcoholism does not discriminate. It affects men and women; however it is seen more commonly in
Alcohol dependence is also called alcoholism. A central characteristic of alcohol dependence is the often overpowering desire to consume alcohol. Patients experience difficulties in controlling the consumption of alcohol and continue drinking alcohol despite harmful consequences. Problem drinking has multiple causes, with genetic, physiological, psychological and social factors all playing a role. Not every individual is equally affected by each cause. For some alcohol abusers, psychological traits such as impulsiveness, low self-esteem, and a need for approval prompt inappropriate drinking. Alcoholism is a multifactorial trait because there are a lot of environmental and genetic factors that influence this trait.
There are many problems caused by alcoholism, but what causes alcoholism? Sandra Alters of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Illicit Drugs believes, “The development of alcoholism is the result of a complex mix of biological, psychological, and social factors” (18). The list of health related issues are extensive and include: liver disease, liver cirrhosis, kidney di...
Alcoholism is defined as a destructive addiction to alcohol while alcohol abuse is defined as a destructive abuse of alcohol. Alcoholism is the most severe form of alcohol abuse but there are many different factors that contribute to a person becoming an alcoholic. Alcoholism is genetic but usually influenced by someone’s environment growing up and their present environment. Having a abusive childhood or a hard life in general can trigger feelings that turn into a need to drink. An alcoholic can not control his/her intake of alcohol because he/she does not have control over it. There are many signs and symptoms to determine if someone is in fact an al...