The Role of Today’s Drinking Culture in Alcohol Addiction
You can find it at almost any restaurant, gas station, grocery store, pretty much any establishment that serves food—not to mention the cluster of bars and liquor stores located worldwide. Alcohol is everywhere and alcohol addiction continues to be a national problem as alcohol remains a very popular element in today’s society. In today’s culture, it is common for it to be expected to drink at any given social event or outing, and that is precisely what makes it so dangerous, how prevalent consuming it is as a normalized social activity and how easily accessible it is. This is what makes alcohol addiction so insidious. It can sneak up on any one of the legal drinking age as well as any underage person who can acquire it. Therefore, people that choose to abstain or even cut back their alcohol intake can find it immediately difficult as the temptation is nearly everywhere.
Even the statistics are severe and speak for themselves. With 15.1 million adults in the U.S. suffering from an alcohol use disorder and over 65 million Americans reporting binge drinking, you can see that alcohol is a major issue in just this country alone. Research shows that 80% of college students drink, 50% of those are binge drinkers and almost 150,000 college students develop a health issue related to alcohol every single year which goes to show how routine heavy drinking has become in current college culture. Even the statistic of people depending on alcohol for sleep is up to 20% of the adult population in this country, a statistic that would seem to indicate at least some level of addiction/dependency to it.
In current culture, there’s no escaping the presence of alcohol as it has seemed to creep up in many facets of socializing and celebratory occasions. Unlike illegal street drugs, alcohol is simply much more difficult to avoid altogether. This can make it very difficult for someone attempting to quit drinking and get sober. A lot of times people cannot get sober from alcohol on their own due to being at odds with today’s drinking culture. They might make attempts on their own and then chronically relapse, or simply not even give it an honest try at all seeing as it could be quite a daunting task. Not only can it be a daunting task on a mental or emotional level, but physically as well. Alcohol is one of the most dangerous drugs to quit and can lead to seizures and even death. A lot of times people don’t even know where to begin or how they would go about it and get cold feet from the prospect of quitting altogether. It usually takes some form of treatment to safely get off the alcohol, get sober, and then continue on that path of sobriety.
Getting someone who suffers from an addiction to alcohol the help they need is so important these days because of the degree of common excuses that are often given, seeing as it’s legal and has become the norm to partake in drinking or activities which call for drinking. The drinking culture in today’s society has contributed to making people overlook those that are actually addicted to the substance and in need of treatment. The line between being social and becoming addicted can be blurred and in turn can become a barrier to spotting an alcohol addiction problem. It has become too easy to fall into the trap of being blinded by our current drinking culture, which creates a situation where one is unable to identify somebody struggling with alcohol abuse. If you or anyone you know is struggling with alcohol abuse, please do not hesitate to get yourself or a loved one the proper resources necessary to get sober from alcohol and reach out for help.
By Danielle P.—Narconon Suncoast Graduate and Contributor