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
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 ……