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The Risks Associated With Alcohol Use And Alcoholism

3843 words - 15 pages

Part One: Alcoholism Today
Alcohol consumption is prevalent in our society; people drink while at parties, sporting events, and at dinner. Drinking is socially acceptable and legal, so there is no surprised that many drink. However, individuals can be deemed deviant if they exceed a certain level of drinking. The deviant receives the label of an alcoholic; to distinguish their behavior is outside the normal values of our society. “Nearly one-third of the US population will meet criteria for alcohol abuse or dependence within their lifetime” (Young, 2011). Alcoholism is considered deviant because the person drinks excessively and frequently disregarding the safety of themselves and others. Society stigmatizes these individual as clinically ill; their behavior is a result of disease which needs to be addressed and treated, in order to provide safety for the public. Alcoholism not only affects the public’s safety however it influences how the individual interacts with others, their ability to perform on the job, and has considerable health related risk. These behaviors and attitudes fuel the drive to treat alcoholics; in hopes that their behavior will go into remission since once an alcoholic always an alcoholic.
Western society is quick to judge a person’s drinking level; an individual must drink but must not consume too much. The values of drinking are heavily rampant in society’s media appearing in television shows, movies, and songs. Society takes these media messages and then internalizes them; creating social behaviors such as drinking games and drinking buddies (Young, 2011). There is no set guidelines to determine that a person is an alcoholic however there are social cues, “At the group level, social norms research establishes that consumption patterns and perceived norms are related, resulting in different norms between fraternity members and nuns. Finally, at the cultural level not only do different societies normalize different consumption patterns, but a single society differs widely over time” (Young, 2011). The subcultures provide much need guideline; because there is expected behavior devoted to each group. Fraternity members would be able to consume considerably more alcohol without being seen as an alcoholic than a nun. This is because society views fraternity boys as heavy partiers, this party atmosphere encourages heavy drinking; whereas nuns are seen as pure followers of God which does not promotes excessive drinking. Societies even change their position on drinking over time; in the United States there was the prohibition period, where consuming any alcohol was considered deviant. The justification was because it hindered a person’s ability to perform on the job, as well as interact with others (Onciu & Pacala, 2013). Work is held in high regard in our culture. Therefore, alcohol should never affect one’s ability to perform while on the job. The law was later repealed because the ineffectiveness to regulate the growing...

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