Alcohol Abuse and Dependency Revealed

Dr. Purushothaman
September 10, 2013

Alcohol abuse and dependency can be fostered through our lack of knowledge about the hidden facts on the consequences of alcohol use. While efforts to inform the public about the dangers of alcohol have been pointedly expressed by serious, determined, and informed individuals, statistics show that the facts about alcohol need to disseminate further. Many informative venues are used, yet they are not as successful as hoped, for a myriad of reasons. Most of the time the fact that alcohol was the main cause or part of the cause of an incident or tragic result is not explained to John Q Public. Some of the reasons for this would include our media, culture, education, and taboos. As Professor Michael Slater has said, "People's perceptions of risk are strongly shaped by what they see in the media; so many people have distorted views about the risks of alcohol use." He is a co-author of a study that found that the media rarely notes when alcohol plays a role in violent crimes and accidents.
Alcohol abuse and dependency may be minimized if the tragic affects of alcohol are clearly shown each time an event occurs. That way there would be more red flags that pop up when situations arise that include alcohol. For instance, if the fact that, in 2002 one million violent crime victims in the US perceived that the offenders were drinking alcohol was as well known as, how to use a phone, then we may be able to curtail such an enormous amount of violent crimes that occur due to intoxication. Other people may be swayed to reduce there drinking, if they knew, that in one year over 20,000 people die from alcohol-induced deaths of which, 12,000 die from alcoholic liver disease. This does not include accidents, homicides and newborn deaths associated with maternal alcohol use.
Professor Slater's study found that while estimates suggest that alcohol plays a role in 31 percent of homicides it is mentioned in only 2.6 percent of television reports. The study also found that while alcohol was linked to 34 percent of motor vehicle accidents television stories only mentioned the use of alcohol in 12.8 percent of their stories. Confounding the problem are our silly taboos and political correctness that does not allow us to speak openly about what is occurring in our day-to-day lives. For some reason when it comes to those who drink despite recurrent social, interpersonal, and legal problems and those with alcohol dependence, mum is the word, or you may be castigated as insensitive or inappropriate. At the same time you can talk about stopping seals from being killed or donating towards research into fill in the blank, but saying someone died due to their use of alcohol, or that someone you know is beating their spouse when they drink would be inappropriate. Studies show that victims say there spouses were drinking alcohol in 75 percent of the violent attacks committed against them. While we are told now is not the time to bring up these things it makes us uncomfortable to bring them up in the future. This sense of decorum can only add to the population of skeletons in the closet.
Most people recall the talk they had at home or school about drinking alcohol and the risks of sexually transmitted diseases and the risk of pregnancy. Are we told what happens to us that make the risks become higher when alcohol is consumed? Maybe it would enhance the point if it were mentioned that through the same moderate drinking that may get you pregnant or an STD, over 35,000 people in America are killed every year due to unintentional injuries caused by that same moderate alcohol consumption. It also should be mentioned that those 35,000 that died due to those unintentional injuries, and those unintentional pregnancies and those that unintentionally acquired sexually transmitted diseases all had one thing in common. They intentionally drank alcohol.
Alcohol abuse and dependency may cause depression and a host of other complications but there is help. Substance abuse centers now have care that can cover you at excellent care facilities that are covered by insurance, and have programs from extended care to outpatient continuing treatment and even programs for families of substance abusers. If you or someone you know is saddled with alcohol abuse or dependency please contact us. We are here to help.

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