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Alcohol Essay, Research Paper
Alcohol abuse is a very dangerous condition in that it can cause many
problems in a persons life and affect many aspects of their lifestyle.
Alcoholism (or alcohol abuse) somehow effects everyone’s life at some point
in time; through a parent, a sibling, a friend, or even personal encounters.
Alcohol abuse, as a medical diagnosis, refers to a pattern of behavior
characterized by excessive alcohol consumption. This consumption can occur
at regular intervals, regular weekend intervals, or during binges, which are
considered as being intoxicated for at least two successive days. Difficulty in
stopping, reducing the amount of alcohol use, and impaired
social/occupational role functioning are all characteristics of alcohol abuse. A
number of theories in the medical feild are used to explain alcohol abuse.
These are the biologic-genetic model, learning/social model, the
psychodynamic model, and the multidimensional model .Each different model,
for alcoholism have varied explanations as to how and why people use and
abuse alcohol. The biologic-genetic model states that there is a specific
genetic vulnerability for alcoholism. There has been extensive studies on
factors in the genes that could determine or influence the use of alcohol from
generation to generation. However, these studies have shown no hard
evidence for an association between alcoholism and inherited factors. The
learning and social model proposes that alcoholism is a process that is slowly
developed within a social situation or atmosphere. This model of alcoholism
has also been researched by using both human and animal subjects. A
conditioning model of alcohol tolerance has demonstrated that specific cues
from the environment such as odor, sight, and taste, produce a stimulus that
results in alcohol consumption. If ethanol, the addictive ingredient in alcohol ,
is not supplied, a psychological compensatory response called a craving is
produced. The psychodynamic model of alcoholism proposes that
problematic child rearing practices produce psychosexual maldevelopment
and dependence/independece conflicts. It is believed that while habitual
alcohol use is in process, the habitual drinker may use behavior such as
exaggeration, denial, rationalization, and affiliation with socially deviant
groups. Results of these behaviors may include decreased work efficiency,
job loss, alienation of friends and family, or even hospitalization. The
multidimensional model of alcoholism combines the interaction of biological,
behavioral, and sociocultural factors. These three factors contribute together
to make the strongest model, in which most alcoholics fit. The biological
model relates to the progression from occasional initial relief drinking, to the
increase of tolerance, and from loss of memory during heavy drinking periods
to an urgency of drinking. The behavioral model is helpful in the identification
of high-risk situations, in which alcoholics are most likely to be ritualistally
drinking. Sociocultural factors are present in peer interaction around drinking
as a primary activity for entertainment. This can lead to the preference of
drinking for social interaction. Ideas such as this are influenced greatly, and
shaped by media through commercials, television portrayal of alcohol use as
a coping skill, and the belief that the use of alcohol to reduce life’s stress is
socially acceptable. Another area in which alcohol is looked at as all right,
comes during the aging process. The death of a spouse, job relocation,
retirement, or loss of health put older people at risk of alcoholism and is
identified as having late-onset alcoholism. Alcoholism can be divided into
several subtypes. Gamma alcoholism applies to binge drinkers who alternate
periods of sobriety and drunkenness. An example of gamma alcoholism
would be a college student who engages in heavy binge drinking. In contrast,
beta alcoholism is manifested by physical complications of chronic alcohol
use such as cirrhosis, weakening of the liver, heart, stomach, and esophagus.
An example of a beta alcoholic would be a housewife who is a maintenance
drinker and experiences withdrawal symptoms. A number of issues also
arises among characteristics of alcoholism. Behavioral problems are often
visible signs. Poor school grades, rambling speech, disciplinary problems,
excessive fighting, truancy, vandalism, and hyperactivity are all possible signs
of alcoholism. Alcoholism is a disease that is very serious and complicated.
The curing of alcoholism is a difficult process which requires accepting the
presence of the condition, self realization, and support. As a person begins to
achieve control over their drinking problem, by implementing new coping
strategies, and increasing a sense of competence and hope, a new phase of
life is entered.
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