How Does Alcohol Misuse Affect Society?
The effects of alcoholism on modern society are vast and deeply rooted in our history. From the earliest times to present day, the consumption of alcoholic beverages has been alternately steeped in tradition and made commonplace. And because nearly anyone who drinks to excess on a regular basis will likely become a full-blown alcoholic in time, mankind has long struggled with the social problems caused by alcoholism. This is especially true today, where highly targeted alcohol advertising invades life at practically every level, contributing to the idea that alcohol is inseparable from the celebrations and tragedies we experience as human beings.
Alcohol Abuse and Domestic Violence
There are strong correlations between alcoholism and domestic violence – especially violence against women. However, there is a great deal of doubt that the use of alcohol actually makes a person violent. Instead, most people who commit acts of domestic violence are habitually drunk, so there can be little separation between what behaviors are caused by drinking and what behaviors are inherent in the person. Nevertheless, the majority of victims of domestic violence indicate that the excessive use of alcohol was at the very least a contributing factor in the commission of violent acts.
Drunk Driving Accidents
Alcohol related accidents are a leading cause of death among teens and young adults. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 11,000 people died in alcohol-related automobile accidents in the US in the year 2009 alone. In fact, the NHTSA concluded that:
“Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens and one out of three of those alcohol related.”
This means that when it comes to the serious threat posed by drunk drivers, our youth are the most at risk. And because many convicted DUI offenders admit having driven drunk numerous times prior to getting caught and arrested, this problem is far more severe than could possibly be calculated. These issues are even further complicated by the fact that in some cases, intoxicated teens are responsible for automobile accidents and the death of innocent motorists.
Alcohol and Sporting Events
America society has deep connections to sports, and sports have deep connections to alcohol. Fans that binge drink during sporting events are much more likely to cause disruptions or violence. Furthermore, sports arenas and sporting events often serve alcohol to underage drinkers and to people who are already visibly intoxicated. However, both fans and athletes suffer from alcoholism related to sports. This is largely attributed to the proliferation of the idea that both winning and losing are cause for celebration by drinking. As a result, drinking is virtually a tradition at many sporting events.
Public Health and Alcohol
In addition to being associated with domestic violence, permeating sports and television/movies and poisoning and killing our youth, alcoholism is also a serious public health concern. According to Medline Plus:
“. . . nearly 17.6 million adults in the United States are alcoholics or have alcohol problems.”(2)
The high cost of crime and domestic violence associated with alcoholism, the astonishing number of alcohol-related accidents and traffic fatalities and the millions of people addicted to alcohol each year are costing the American public dearly – both in resources like inpatient substance abuse treatment programs and in the number of lives lost or permanently affected by this disease.
If you or someone you love is suffering from alcoholism, there are options available right now to break the cycle and NOT become another statistic. Our Florida Alcohol Rehab center is considered one of the most successful in the country and can help you regardless of where you live. Call us now for a free consultation.
(1) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic Safety Facts 2008: Young Drivers DOT 811 169. Washington DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2009
(2) Medline Plus Alcoholism/Alcohol Dependence