Drinking Culture and Alcoholism

Topics: Alcoholism, Drinking culture, Alcoholic beverage Pages: 5 (1789 words) Published: October 16, 2013

How does one become an alcoholic? One can assume that many people have asked themselves that same exact question. The truth is there are many reasons why someone can develop a drinking problem. A better question would be why would someone want to go down that road when they know the harms of alcoholism? This essay will cover the reasons why people develop drinking problems and why they struggle to look for help. I speculate that the main reason why people develop a problem with alcoholism is because they use it as a way to escape from their problems. I also speculate that they deny having a problem with alcoholism because they are just too addicted to how alcohol makes them feel.

One of the first things that should be covered about alcoholism is that anybody can develop a problem with it. Often society portrays the image that only low-income people or homeless people have drinking problems. Although that can be true they are definitely not the only ones. In the article “How Alcoholism Works” by Stephanie Watson, she notes, “in the United States alone, alcoholism affects millions of people and costs the country billions of dollars each year” (Watson). Alcoholism doesn’t only affect the people of the United States, but also affects people all over the world. The main reasons why someone can develop problems with alcoholism are “a combination of genetic, physiological, psychological and social factors” (Watson). Keep in mind that those reasons alone might not bring someone to develop alcoholism, but like the statement points out, is when they combine with each other that the problem has a higher chance of developing.

The most important reason for developing alcoholism might be the psychological factor. People are constantly stressed in today`s world. The pressure of having to deal with school, work, family and many other things take a lot out of a person. When that stress becomes unbearable, some turn to alcohol for that temporary fix. The problem comes when this scenario becomes a habit. It may not turn the individual into an alcoholic, depending on how much they are drinking, but any habit involving alcohol can be harmful to the human body. The main problem with this scenario is when the person is drinking an excessive amount and then they develop the need to drink in order to face life. This is when it is clear that the individual has developed a problem with alcohol.

Low self-esteem is another psychological problem that drives people to drink. In the journal, Psychiatric Treatment of Alcoholism by Sidney Vogel, he claims, “most psychiatrists stress the lack of self-esteem, whatever its origin, as a most important reason for addictive drinking” (103). Often people turn to alcohol when they don`t feel accepted by society for the way that they are. Again, this method of drinking is used to forget feelings that are too hard to deal with. Together with the social aspect, some people sometimes drink before a date to feel less nervous. It may not seem harmful at first but the body picks up on the feeling of how easy it felt to have that drink in order to deal with the situation. Soon enough the body may want to use alcohol not only for dates, but also for other situations that makes the individual nervous or anxious.

A learned trait is another psychological aspect that can help people develop a drinking problem. People that come from families where they were brought up watching a family member drink a lot can go in two directions. The first direction is that they can develop a hatred for alcohol for the harms that it caused their loved one. The second is the most unfortunate one, which is caused by when the individual becomes used to watching someone close to them drink so much that it doesn`t even seem wrong anymore. This situation drives them to believe that drinking is not a big deal, and therefore they too can develop a drinking problem.

The genetic factor is also very important to better understand...

Cited: Watson, Stephanie. How Alcoholism Works. HowStuffWorks.com, 2005. Web. 14 Mar. 2013.
Vogel, Sidney. “Psychiatric Treatment of Alcoholism.” Understanding Alcoholism 315 (1958): 99-107. Print.
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