AlcoholismNature Or Nuture Essay Research Paper INTRODUCTION — страница 2

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employers. In order for alcohol to become a contributor to alcohol addiction, a person must first use the ‘drug’ and continue to use the drug. What constitutes use from abuse with alcohol cannot clearly be distinguished. This is because alcohol taken in various amounts affects individuals differently. Some people may be considered an alcohol abuser early in their drinking experiences because of the adverse consequences they go through. From the early days that alcoholism was discovered to be a problem there has been a long-standing debate as to how one becomes an alcoholic? There are two sides of the story?that being that people inherit the trait and the other that it is learned. I will discuss the social aspect of the disease and then move to the genetic factors that may

attribute to the problem. SOCIAL: Abraham Maslow describes a security need that is believed to exist in every person. We desire to be part of a group or community. We have a need to be loved, a part of a family, and the need for friends. We actually base our careers on this need as we tend to move places and take jobs based on friends, family, wives, children, social groups, and so on. That being said, people may participate in subgroups that encourage the use of alcohol. This cultural environment encourages, reinforces, maintains and increases the use of alcohol. Examples of this can be seem amongst teenagers who feel that it may be the ‘in thing’ to drink alcohol in order to be accepted. Alcohol use can also occur where no subgroup support exists. The orientation towards

alcohol may have been acquired earlier on in life when the individual took part in subgroups that used alcohol. Some individuals continue their alcohol use long after ending their association with certain subgroups. This was the case for many that grew up in the 60s and 70s where experimenting with drugs and alcohol was the social norm. Some individuals drink alcohol by themselves. Interestingly these people associate themselves with groups who are opposed to excessive drinking. Professionals such as judges, nurses, doctors and lawyers have been documented as being ‘loners’ in their drinking patterns. Studies have shown that alcohol and drug use can be a result of oppressed social conditions, that being a lack of money, decent schools and sub-standard housing in communities

that lack social services. The lack of education directly relates to the attitude that many alcoholics possess the reality that they may be able to only find meaningless work. People who live in these conditions cannot see anything good happening in their environment, thus they drink. Oppressive social conditions and limited economic opportunities are a fact of life for the high concentrations of inner city minorities. I would also like to add that poverty within rural communities, while lacking much of the violence and crime of urban areas, is no less oppressive than the inner city. To define the problem of alcohol to the urban poor would indeed be unfair. A person doesn’t have to be a member of a racial or ethnic minority to use alcohol. But race and ethnicity does figure

into the equation of causes of increased alcohol use. Race isn’t used in the genetic or biological sense but it has shaped the opportunity structure for many minorities. Based on my experiences, minorities do not feel that they fit into a ‘white man’s’ society and it is rare to find many white people in the poor inner-city communities, except the likes of policeman, teachers and social workers. In the case of the American Indian they have had a long history of alcoholism even to this day. For them it began during the 1600s when they traded alcohol with the European settlers. During this period the ‘Indians’ had never drank alcohol before, thus they had no examples of how to drink alcohol in moderation. They quickly adopted a behavior of consistently drinking to the

point of intoxication. For whatever reason, the Indian youth place a great emphasis on the peer pressure to drink. Studies have shown that Indian youths are three times more likely to get into an alcohol related incident than their white counterparts. A 1982 study indicated that alcohol was involved in as many as 58 percent of Indian juvenile arrests. The age group with the highest rate of use was 11 to 13 years olds. Coincidentally the usage of alcohol at a young age is one of the most contributing predicting factors of later problems with alcohol abuse. PSYCHOLOGICAL: Alcohol use may contribute to further use and abuse through psychological means as well. An initial successful experience of use may reduce an individual’s fear about using alcohol. This in turn leads the way to