ALCOHOL AND DRUG
is one of biggest problems in United States today. It is not only a personal problem that dramatically affects individuals’ life but is a major social problem that affects society as whole. ;Drug and alcohol abuse;, these phrases we hear daily on the radio, television or in discussions of social problem. But what do they mean or what do we think and understand by it? Most of us don’t really view drug or alcohol use as a problem, if that includes your grandmother taking two aspirins when she has a headache or your friends having few beers or drinks on Saturday night. What we really mean is that some drugs or alcohol are being used by some people or in some situations constitute problem with which our society must deal.
It becomes a real problem when using or I should say abusing drugs cause accidents, antisocial behavior, broken relationships, family instability, crime and violence, poverty, unsafe streets and highways, worker absenteeism and nonproductivity, and the most tragic one death. The situation in which the drug or alcohol uses accurse often makes all the difference. The clearest example is the drinking of alcohol, when individual begins to drink during the job, at school, or in the morning, we have evidence that indicates a potential drinking problem. If a person takes narcotic drug because he just wrecked his knee while his physician prescribed playing football and the drug, most of us would be not concerned. If, on the other hand, he took the
Same drug on his own just because he likes the way it makes him feel, then we should begin to worry about him developing dependence. Even use of illegal drugs are sometimes acceptable, but it also depends on situation, for example in some countries smoking marijuana is legal just like drinking alcohol in United States.
Some subcultures even in United States that accept the use of illegal drugs may distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable situation, some college age groups might accept marijuana smoking at a party on weekends, but not just before going to a calculus class. Most of people would accept a fact that a bartender or a waiter who is working at a night club is having a beer or a drink on his break or that a landscape worker is having a cold beer with his lunch on a hot summer day. I’m not saying that it is ;OK; but we wouldn’t complain abut it or pay any attention to it. On the other hand we all would be totally shocked to see a school bus driver having the same bottle of a cold beer with his lunch on a hot summer day, or a doctor having a drink on a break between the operations.
About 43 percent of all Americans have experienced alcoholism in their families and one in eight Americans is the child of an alcoholic. Thy grow up with or married an alcoholic or a problem drinker, or had a blood relative who was an alcoholic or a problem drinker.
Excessive drinking exacts a heavy toll on family life. Of the estimated 19 million adult are problem drinkers, about 8 million of
them are alcoholics, and almost half of them are women. It is not unusual to see a pregnant woman drinking alcohol or a mother being drunk while she is taking care of her young children or babies. Many children are being born with a Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (facial and developmental abnormalities associated with the mother’s alcohol use during pregnancy). FAS itself seems to occur in 23 to 29 per 1000 births among women who are problem drinkers. If all alcohol-related birth defects are counted, the rate among heavy-drinking woman is higher, from 80 to a few hundred per 1000.
About 28 million people are the children of alcoholics, and 7 million of these children are under age 18 and live at home with an alcoholic parent. ;The combination of genetic and environmental factors makes sons of alcoholic fathers four times more likely to become alcoholics than sons of nonalcoholic. Daughters of alcoholic mothers are three times more likely to have the drinking .