Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Alcoholism, Alcohol Abuse, Alcohol, Social Issues, Drinking, Sociology, Health, Addiction

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/10/11


Alcohol dependence is referred to as alcoholism. It is characterized by excessive drinking and constant preoccupation with alcohol . The consistent excessive consumption of alcohol results on severe dependence despite the physical and psychological detrimental effects . Alcoholism affects the social, physical and psychological wellness of individual. The reasons behind alcoholism vary from genetic factors, environmental factors such as peer pressure and influence, and depression .

What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism begins with simple alcohol consumption to severe dependence on alcohol. According to Medical News Today (2014), alcoholism is a chronic, progressive disease that causes obsession with alcohol, and the loss of control over the person’s alcoholic intake. Every alcoholic has a starting point and the reason behind the behavior. There are many reasons behind different people’s alcoholism.
Alcoholism is a global concern whereby one in every thirteen people is an alcoholic in the U. K. In the United States, problem drinkers constitute 15% of the population. About 10% of the male drinkers and 5% of the female drinkers are alcoholics . Alcoholism can be determined by the person’s behavior. For instance, alcoholics tend to sacrifice critical financial needs for the sake of the purchase of alcoholic beverages. Depending on the environment, an alcoholic could be traced by their attempt to drink in secret. They also lose track of the amount of alcohol they consume, and the restraint towards alcohol is limited. Chronic alcoholics also shake when they don’t drink.
There is the tendency for alcoholics to practice binge drinking. Binge drinking is the consumption of large amounts of alcohol at a go. It is considered so when a man consumes more than eight units of alcohol, or when a woman consumes more than six units. That means the consumption of four drinks by women or five by men within two hours . Binge drinking is more risky that continuous consumption of small amounts of alcohol.

Genetic Factors

According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (2008), the likelihood of developing alcoholism is partially influenced people’s genes. Some people have resistant genes that result in adverse effect upon the consumption of alcohol. For instance, some Asians possess a gene that causes nausea upon the consumption of alcohol because they alter their metabolism rates. On the other hand, some individuals are extremely tolerant to alcohol.
Research proves that people whose parents are alcoholics are eight times more likely to develop alcoholism. However, the reasons why most people whose families have a history of alcoholism become alcoholics because their coping skills are poor . All human beings are predisposed to addiction. Addiction rewires the brain in that treatment should not only involve the physical restraint. Alcoholism affects the frontal lobe that is involved in higher-level thinking. It also affects the hippocampus, the part that is responsible for learning . Young children and adolescents whose brains are still under development are at the highest risk in relation to the effect of alcohol on the brain.
It requires social support, psychological therapy to treat the effects of immediate withdrawal from an addiction and the effects of immediate withdrawal. Sometimes, even medical intervention is mandatory.
Alcoholism is also affected by genetics whereby cross addictions occur. Cross addictions take place whereby an addiction to one drug or substance exposes the individual to the risk of the addiction to another .

Environmental Factors

A child that is brought up by alcoholic parents is likely to be socialized into alcoholism. In such instances, the person views alcohol as any other drink that could be consumed by anybody. In most cases, people that grow up around alcoholics also take their first alcohol sip at a very young age. As a result, their inhibition is lowered and their vulnerability to alcoholism is increased. The social circle of a person also determines their alcoholic behavior.
The age at which the first alcoholic was consumed also determines the vulnerability to alcoholism. Studies reveal that people who first took alcohol before they were fifteen were more likely to develop alcohol problems later in their life .
The social media seems to hail drunkenness and reckless behavior that is associated with alcoholism. It does so through movies that feature alcoholics and advertisements of alcoholic beverages. Several countries banned the advertising of alcoholic beverages in the United States and the developing world. The Royal College of Physicians advocated for the ban of the alcoholic-drinks advertisements to the European Union .

The Effects of Alcoholism

Alcoholism results in detrimental results of the physical, social and psychological wellbeing of an individual. Binge drinking leads to an increased heart rate, the gag reflex and the possibility of a coma or death. In addition to that, alcohol poisoning is possible. Alcoholics also acquire physical injuries during their drunken state. Some of the injuries they never recover from.
Alcoholism also leads to criminal behavior that leads to legal consequences. In addition to that, there are social consequences that come along with alcoholism. Some of them lead to embarrassing behavior that leaves the person humiliated and with diminished self-esteem. The personal and professional relationships are also affected whereby many alcoholics lose their jobs and break their marriages.
When the alcoholic behavior is continues, the person may develop serious psychological problems that result from the accumulated social problems. Cases of suicide among alcoholics are prevalent . It is worse whereby the alcoholic has another psychiatric condition that requires medical attention.
It is difficult to determine the psychological disorder that the alcoholic is suffering from. Alcohol alters the composition of the neurotransmitter in the brain. It also causes anxiety and mood disorders. The psychiatric disorders caused by alcoholism include the bipolar disorder, a condition that is characterized by the fluctuation of good and bad moods to the extreme. It also causes the Attention Deficit Disorder, anxiety disorders and the Major Dependent Depression .


As the article proves, alcoholism is a medical condition that requires deliberate attention to overcome. Alcoholism affects women more severely than it affects men. Research also proves that the tolerance of alcohol is determined by their genes and gender. Women are less tolerant to alcohol as compared to the men. With the increased number of alcoholics, binge drinking is an issue of concern in the world whereby more than two deaths are caused by binge drinking every day. The likelihood of alcoholism is determined by genetic, social and environmental factors. The age at which a person first takes alcohol also accounts to a number of alcoholic cases. Alcoholism has negative impacts on the physical, social and psychological wellbeing of a person.


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