Alcohol : A blight on society.

I live in a country where alcohol is seen as an essential part of any social activity. It is generally not possible to take part in any event, private or public, without masses of the stuff being consumed, leaving many people unable to care for themselves afterwards. It is a blight on society and family life in general where generations have passed on their drinking habits to their children who now, as adults, consume even more. I have my own bitter experience of the effects of alcohol on a family. My grandfather, uncle and stepfather all died early from the effects of heavy drinking. While it is nice to have a tipple socially with friends, some people cannot draw a line in the sand and say enough. It is either none or a lot and mostly a lot.

Over the years as a therapist, I have seen the rise in alcohol abuse among patients and in the environment around them. Many of them can only feel good when they can escape their problems through a drunken haze. Many of them deny they have a problem with drinking and some of them deny that they drink at all. It has become a habit and an ingrained one at that. I have also seen how alcohol abuse can ravage the mind, body and spirit, cause severe health and mental problems and lead to inappropriate behavior such as promiscuity, aggression and drink driving. All usually justified by stating “I wouldn’t have done this when I was sober!” or something of the like. This is the major problem : It becomes totally routine to drink and justify it, leading to an increase in consumption to get the same effect.

Not only is this a drain on families but also on society in general. The National Institute of Drug and Alcohol Abuse in America states that the costs of healthcare, related crime, lost productivity, etc of drug and alcohol abuse in 2013 was around 600 billion dollars…for alcohol alone 275 billion dollars. These are staggering sums, more than some countries have available generally. In Germany, the number of alcohol poisoning incidents jumped by 112 percent between 2000 and 2009, rising 194 percent among people aged 20 to 25. In 2012, a record in Germany was set for the number of under-19 hospitalized for alcohol abuse. The impact on society is incredible but still we are encouraged through the media to drink. Glossy adverts showing healthy looking people drinking and enjoying themselves is not reality but this is the reality we are sold.

Alcohol use can make mild social problems worse by causing people to be more irritable and likely to argue and by affecting judgment and control of behavior. Alcohol use can also be the topic of arguments. Misuse of alcohol can lead to a number of moderate and serious social problems including:

  • losing friends;
  • losing jobs;
  • child abuse and domestic violence;
  • separation of family members; and
  • divorce.

These things also happen without alcohol involved but add it and it certainly does not help. Until the governments in charge and REALLY control the use and sale of alcohol AND deal with the social problems that can cause alcohol abuse, the problem will not get better.

What is an alcoholic?

How much you drink can influence your chances of becoming dependent. Those at risk for developing alcoholism include:

  • Men who have 15 or more drinks a week
  • Women who have 12 or more drinks a week
  • Anyone who has five or more drinks per occasion at least once a week

One drink is defined as a 12-ounce bottle of beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or a 1 1/2-ounce shot of liquor.

You have an increased risk for alcohol abuse and dependence if you have a parent with alcoholism.

You may also be more likely to abuse alcohol or become dependent if you:

  • Are a young adult under peer pressure
  • Have depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, or schizophrenia
  • Have easy access to alcohol
  • Have low self-esteem
  • Have problems with relationships
  • Live a stressful lifestyle
  • Live in a culture alcohol use is more common and accepted

Dr. Nicholas Jenner is a Counseling psychologist in private practice working with individuals,couples,  groups and companies globally. Online therapy is, in his experience, effective for treating a number of major conditions. Are you having issues that you need to talk through? He has a range of plans that can help you get the help you need.  Online Therapy details : Here ……

  12 comments for “Alcohol : A blight on society.

  1. January 21, 2014 at 6:27 am

    You make incredibly powerful points in this argument. I thoroughly enjoyed the honesty of your words and opinions – it is not often that such a piece is promulgated.
    I think many of us have experienced the ramifications of alcoholism, through either a personal occurrence, familial connection or from watching friends ingest enormous quantities of the liquid.
    I agree with your opinion that this behavior, to drink, and drink massively, is ingrained upon society, and dominates a wealth of younger generations and is no doubt doomed to consume future generations to come. I imagine that until the law catches up with those who believe it to be the social norm to become incredibly intoxicated on an almost daily basis, that the occurrences which flood our society will prevail.
    In Australia, drunken violence has become an epidemic, with three people being killed in the past week from drunken actions. A new law has been instigated in Sydney alone which authorises that drinks cannot be served in clubs after 3am, and additional patrons are barred from entering clubs at approximately around the same time. However I believe these laws are too lenient. I think governments fear doing the most drastic of actions – maybe the prohibition had it right after all though.
    Although I enjoy a glass of wine a day, and sometimes even a little bit extra, I cannot imagine a moment when people of today will ever believe that excessive drinking is not fundamentally entertaining, which is heinously troubling, for the addictive beverage ruins more than it saves.

    • January 21, 2014 at 6:36 am

      It will certainly take a superhuman effort to turn the tide. One which needs a global and governmental push. However, we can all do our part on a personal and local level. That is where revolutions usually take root. Thanks for the comment.

  2. January 21, 2014 at 6:29 am

    We face a similar problem here in Australia, with alcohol-fuelled violence a hot topic at the moment, and our emergency rooms clogged with alcohol-related admissions. When I was teaching, I was shocked at how young kids were starting to drink, and how much they were consuming – their poor brains! We face an uphill battle to overcome an entrenched drinking culture.

    • January 21, 2014 at 6:33 am

      As parents, we all have a responsibility to inform and warm our children about many things, alcohol being one of them. However, when it is seen in a family as “not a problem”, it can easily be considered “normal” to children. This is the attitude that they take into adulthood. Thanks for the comment:

  3. January 21, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Hi Dr. Jenner!
    I really appreciate your viewpoint on the drinking of alcohol. Here in Canada all over the USA, it’s pushed as the legal drug of choice. As one who watched my father go through the throes of alcoholism and its detrimental effects on not only his own health, but on our family’s wellbeing, I became addicted to alcohol as a young teenager. Thankfully, I quit drinking almost 30 years ago, but my abstinence typically seems to bother most people who do drink …perhaps they’ve thought about quitting but can’t. It reminds me of cigarette addiction, as society still looks up to those who toast with champagne and make drinking look fun and glamorous.
    Have a great week! 🙂

    • January 22, 2014 at 3:30 am

      Hi Gloria…Hope you are well. Thanks for the comment. I have similar experiences to you and yes when I tell people I don’t want a beer or a drink, they look at you like you are ill. Just shows how ingrained this is. Have a nice week!!

  4. January 22, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    My father was a heavy drinker and every week-end was a nightmare. Violence between my parents was something my brother and I witnessed on those same week-ends. I don’t know what country you’re in but here in the US it’s the same. Believe it or not, I think I had one drink when I was twenty something and have never had another one. (I’m in my sixties.) I knew the dangers firsthand. My husband was brough up in the same circumstances. He drank some in his twenties but once we got married, that stopped for him, too. We are fortunate in that we were able to overcome our backgrounds. If it were up to me, I’d reintroduce prohibition!
    (Haven’t visited you much lately as I’ve moved my blog to a new home and have given it a new name. You probably don’t remember but about one and half years ago you commented on my blog. I had only been blogging for awhile and was ready to give up blogging when you commented. It was a boost in the arm. I’m still blogging and feel very good about it. You should feel a hug coming your way. 🙂

    • January 23, 2014 at 3:29 am

      Nice to hear from you again and I am really pleased you carried on blogging!!

  5. January 27, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    Thank you for this article. As a person in recovery myself, I could add one hundred other insidious aspects of this legal drug. I am not “Anti-alcohol” but i am definitely very clear on the lack of boundaries our societies have set up, and how we allow socio-political and economic gains to supercede the health of our youth and adults who are affected, or who would eventually be affected by this drug. I think education on the truth behind the effects on the body, brain and society is also lacking. How would we expect persons to think or live otherwise with these pressing factors? Besides, when something feels good superficially, why would people want to stop?;-) That is, until something dire happens and the anvil drops on the head at last, but then it is too late…

  6. January 29, 2014 at 12:03 am

    Thank you for your post. I used alcohol for many years to try to treat my depression, which of course only made it worse. Both my parents were alcoholics, along with my sister, and I was introduced to it after I tried to commit suicide as a teenager. One of my older brothers did kill himself. After my father died when I was six, my mother regularly drank and lamented how life used to be good. It was horrible having to listen to her cry night after night for years, lost in her wine, oblivious to the pain she was causing us. My mother finally stopped drinking a few years ago when it began to affect her health, but the damage had been done in other ways: she wasted many years, and my childhood. My mother is very anti-marijuana and other drugs, self-righteously so, and it never crosses her mind that the alcohol she consumed was just as damaging as any illegal street drug.

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