Good Example Of Drinking Regulations And Health Problems Argumentative Essay
Drinking alcohol is a worldwide phenomenon and it has been an activity practiced for hundreds of years in many different cultures across the world. Early references to alcohol consumption or use suggest that drinking has always been considered as a social activity. There have been attempts in various cultures to enact some form of control or regulation to prohibit alcohol consumption, but ultimately, most initiatives have not worked well since drinking is still a very popular activity across most, if not all, cultures. This paper will explore the different drinking cultures, particularly those of South Korea and the USA, and propose that drinking can be reduced in these countries thorough official regulations limiting alcohol sales as well as public education and presentation programs. Moreover, lower alcohol consumption can help reduce diverse health problems caused by excessive alcohol drinking.
The official drinking age in the USA is 21 years. However, many young people start drinking as early as the age of 15. Excessive drinking by under-age youngsters is very common, particular in American college campuses. Research shows that more than half of all heavy drinking sessions in the USA result in total intoxication. Alcohol is consumed in the USA at both official and non-official functions. It is also a beverage of choice for most celebrations. The champagnes particularly fulfill this purpose. However, the drinking culture of South Korea stands out as extraordinary as recent research indicates that alcohol consumption in the country is more than that of the USA, Russia, and Britain.
Another strategy that might also work well is for the government to introduce some random alcohol breathalyzer tests for drivers. A huge number of those who drink in South Korea own cars and on many occasions, many of them will make their way to their favorite bar where they will drink themselves into a stupor and then later on drive themselves home. These people are an immense danger to themselves and others. The placement of traffic stops along major roads where drivers would be required to go through breathalyzer tests would encourage people to cut short on their drinking because if they are found to have exceeded the permitted alcohol levels, they will be subjected to legal punishment including imprisonment.
However, the dangerous drinking culture in South Korea can be curbed not only through official regulations, but also by other ways. Education of the public is a key strategy. The government should collaborate with educational campaigners in educating the public about the dangers of high alcohol consumption as well as promoting responsible alcohol drinking (Anderson, Chisholm & Fuhr, 2009). Since a huge portion of drinkers in South Korea are young people and students, official campaigns about responsible alcohol drinking and the dangers associated with drinking should be taken to places like schools and colleges (Anderson, Chisholm & Fuhr, 2009).
The government should also be at the forefront of supporting those who admit to having alcohol addiction problems. This may include the setting up of rehab and support centers for alcohol addicts where addiction experts can assist them to overcome their problems. These centers, funded by the government, should take a proactive approach in trying to educate the public about the dangers of drinking (Anderson, Chisholm & Fuhr, 2009). Through the government’s regulations and other efforts, many potential health problems caused from drinking alcohol can be reduced.
Research suggests that many diseases can be caused by excessive drinking of alcohol. Of the consumed alcohol, ~20-30% is absorbed into stomach and the rest is absorbed into small intestine and large intestine (Callaghan, 2013). Most Koreans have helicobacter bacteria in their intestine and when people who have these bacteria in their intestine drink heavily and frequently, there is a distinct possibility of them developing stomach ulcers (Jung, 2014). In fact, ~70% of heavy drinkers in Korea have stomach ulcers (Jung, 2014). Furthermore, diseases such as alcoholic hepatitis, cardiovascular disorders, alcoholism, and Alzheimers can be caused by excessive alcohol (Callaghan, 2013). Alcoholic hepatitis, generated from heavy alcohol drinking, causes necrosis of liver cells and infections of liver. If the damage keeps occurring, it leads to liver cancer (Park, 2014). Alcohol can also cause cardiovascular disorder of heart shrinkage and heart attacks (Lawlor, 2013). When people become victims of alcoholism, they cannot stop drinking. Moreover, it generates many serious side effects such as reduced weight, hand tremors, schizophrenia, and suicidal impulses. From 2010 to 2012, Korea is ranked among the top three countries around the world in suicidal impulse rates. People often experience blackouts when drinking too much and too fast. When we experience the blackouts, our brain’s ability of remembering reduces, even during the daily life. Furthermore, a research study reported that drinking alcohol rapidly causes more blackouts (Toda, 2013).
People usually drink alcohol to relax, feel happy and to feel free from their daily life activities. Research also suggests that drinking “little amount of alcohol can improve cardio-vascular health and it lowers risk of osteoporosis in women” (Lawlor, 2013). However, if we drink excessively, it brings major problems to our body such as alcoholic hepatitis, cardiovascular disorders, alcoholism, and Alzheimer’s diseases. Therefore, we must always keep in our mind that heavy drinking leads us to many negative aspects such as injuries, immunodeficiency, and neurological damage.
Overall, the drinking culture in South Korea is significantly higher than that of the USA. However, the strategies applicable to South Korea in order to curb the drinking culture can also be applied in the USA. Although the official drinking age in the USA is 21, a very large number of people below this age drink after obtaining alcohol illegally. Therefore, adjusting the legal drinking age might not help much. However, the strategies suggested such as restriction of alcohol sales hours, introduction of alcohol breathalyzer tests at random locations, and public education can go a long way in helping curb the big drinking cultures. It also can reduce many diseases caused by drinking alcohol in both the nations, especially in Korea.
Anderson, P., Chisholm, D., & Fuhr, D. C. (2009). Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of policies and programmes to reduce the harm caused by alcohol. The Lancet, 373(9682), 2234-2246.
Callaghan, R. C., Sanches, M., Gatley, J. M., & Cunningham, J. K. (2013). Effects of the Minimum Legal Drinking Age on Alcohol-Related Health Service Use in Hospital Settings in Ontario: A Regression--Discontinuity Approach. American Journal of Public Health, 103(12), 2284-2291. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.301320
Casswell, S., & Thamarangsi, T. (2009). Reducing harm from alcohol: call to action. The Lancet, 373(9682), 2247-2257.
Jung, Y. S., Lee, S. H., Park, C. S., Oh, M. J., Kim, K. O., Jang, B. I., & Yang, C. H. (2014). [Trends in the eradication rates of Helicobacter pylori infection in Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do, Korea: multicenter study over 13 years]. The Korean Journal Of Gastroenterology = Taehan Sohwagi Hakhoe Chi, 63(2), 82-89.
Lawlor, D. A., Nordestgaard, B. G., Benn, M., Zuccolo, L., Tybjaerg-Hansen, A., & Davey Smith, G. (2013). Exploring causal associations between alcohol and coronary heart disease risk factors: findings from a Mendelian randomization study in the Copenhagen General Population Study.European Heart Journal, 34(32), 2519-2528. doi:10.1093/eurheartj/eht081
Park, B., Jung, K., Oh, C., Choi, K. S., Suh, M., & Jun, J. K. (2014). Factors Associated with Alcohol Consumption in Hepatitis B Carriers: A Nationwide Study in the Republic of Korea. Plos ONE, 9(11), 1-9. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0110144
Toda, A., Tagata, Y., Nakada, T., Komatsu, M., Shibata, N., & Arai, H. (2013). Changes in Mini-Mental State Examination score in Alzheimer's disease patients after stopping habitual drinking.Psychogeriatrics: The Official Journal Of The Japanese Psychogeriatric Society, 13(2), 94-98. doi:10.1111/psyg.12008
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