Effects of Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol is among the world’s most used intoxicating substances. Its use has been associated with both positive and negative results on the well being of users, their families, and society at large. There are arguments that some forms of alcohol, when used in moderation such as wine, have a positive impact on the cardiovascular well being of the user. However, the overuse of alcohol has also been known to cause alcohol dependency among users. Furthermore, alcohol addiction has been known to be a source of violence, delinquency, theft, and anti-social behavior among both adults and teenage users. Consequently, due to its availability, alcohol remains one the most abused substances throughout the world.
Alcohol Abuse and Violence
Alcohol abuse impairs judgment and decreases the ability to think rationally. As such, alcohol abuse has been linked to cases of violence in the society affecting families and other members. Cases of domestic violence have been linked to the abuse of alcohol where the perpetrator of the violence uses alcohol as an excuse and justification for their behavior. As such, their aggression towards family members spikes during periods when they are under the influence of alcohol (Klostermann and Fals-Stewart 590). However, the perpetrators of such violence seem to use alcohol before the act is committed leading to the view that alcohol is just an excuse. However, studies have shown that the likelihood of domestic violence being perpetrated against a partner or other members increases with the consumption of alcohol. As such, alcohol can be said to be a major contributor in domestic violence cases.
Violence especially when directed to a spouse also has an impact on the psychological well being of children. In some instances, children brought up by violently abusive parents end up becoming violent and abusive when they mature since they perceive violence as an effective mode of dealing with other members of the family. In addition, they may grow up to accept violence as an integral aspect of a relationship and remain in abusive relationships. Further, where violence is directed towards the children, they may lose trust in adults and become fearful and angry (Holt, Stephanie et al. 801). As a result, they find it difficult to interact with their peers and their social skills is diminished.
Apart from violence perpetrated against family members due to alcohol abuse, other acts of violent crimes are also associated with the same. For instance, aggression levels increase the closer you are to a place that serves alcohol. Cases of homicides associated with alcohol abuse have been noted where the perpetrator argues that alcohol made them do it or their feign ignorance of their actions. For instance, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence [NCADD], 40% of all violent crimes as associated with alcohol use. In addition, 37% of convicted offenders in United States correctional system were arrested while drinking. Consequently, the impact of alcohol as a cause of violent crime and incarceration cannot be ignored.
Alcohol Abuse Causes Delinquency
Due to its availability and legal status, alcohol is one of the most common intoxicants that can be accessed easily. As such, it is also one of the most abused substances by juveniles leading to delinquency. With more juveniles engaging in binge drinking and coming into contact with alcohol (Rodgers 10), violence cases associated with alcohol consumption are also recorded leading to juvenile incarcerations. In addition, in cases where dependence has been established, juveniles are also caught in crimes to feed their dependence. For instance, four out of five juvenile arrestees have been arrested due to alcohol-related infringements (NCADD). As a result, many juveniles find themselves in the juvenile justice system due to abuse of alcohol.
Alcohol consumption among teenagers is also known to lead to irresponsible sexual behaviors leading to unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Due to its effects, consumption of alcohol impairs judgment and increases the probability of impulse behavior. In addition, the abuse of alcohol also increases chances of being raped either through force or the use of impairing substances which are introduced into the alcohol. For instance, according to the United States Department of Justice, 44% of all sexual assault and rape victims were under the age of 18 years. In addition, 43% of sexual victimization involved alcohol consumption by the victim and 69% by the perpetrator. As such, alcohol is a major contributor towards juvenile sexual victimization both as victims and perpetrators.
Alcohol is responsible for many accidents associated with driving-age people between the ages of 16-20 years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], in 2012, young people between the ages of 16 and 20 years were 17 times more likely to die in a car crash after drinking than when they are sober. As a result, young people are at risk of causing harm to themselves or others when they drink as they are easily influenced and encouraged by their peers.
Cause of Death and Injury
Alcohol when consumed in large quantities impairs judgment. As such, it is recommended that once one has consumed alcohol, then they should avoid operating any vehicles or machinery to avoid injury to self or others. However, many fatalities are still recorded due to drunk driving in many parts of the world. For instance, 31% of all accident fatalities in the United States are as a direct result of alcohol impairment while in China, 34.1% of all accidents were also linked to alcohol use (Zhao, Xiaohua et al. 1). As a result, driving under the influence not only endangers one’s life, it puts other road users at risk of being killed or injured by a drunk.
Increases Financial Problems
Although when consumed in moderation alcohol is source of pleasure, abuse of alcohol has been known to exasperate financial problems. Many people facing financial difficulties will result to excessive consumption of alcohol to “deal with the stress” but end up in worse positions. This not only increases their stress levels but also pushes them to more drinking leading to alcohol dependency.
Source of fun
When consumed in moderation, alcohol can be a nice source of fun to interact with friends and make merry. However, any one partaking to alcohol should be aware of the consequences of drinking and act appropriately. Understanding that drinking and driving endanger lives is a responsible step. In addition, knowing when to quit drinking is also a sign of responsibility. Further, showing respect to other people regardless of alcohol consumption is also responsible behavior.
In conclusion, although alcohol consumption is source of fun, it is usually accompanied by many negative consequences. Alcohol abuse has been known to increase violence at the family and social level. In addition, it has been associated with juvenile delinquencies and increased financial problems while at the same time being a contributor to many fatalities and injuries on roads.
Centers for Disease Conrol and Prevention [CDC]. “Teen Drinking and Driving.” CDC.gov, 2017,
https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/teendrinkinganddriving/index.html Accessed 07 December 2017
Holt, Stephanie et al. “The Impact of Exposure to Domestic Violence on Children and Young People: A Review of the Literature.” Child Abuse & Neglect, vol 32, no. 8, 2008, pp. 797-810. Elsevier BV, doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2008.02.004.
Klostermann, Keith C., and William Fals-Stewart. “Intimate Partner Violence And Alcohol Use: Exploring The Role Of Drinking In Partner Violence and its Implications for Intervention.” Aggression and Violent Behavior, vol 11, no. 6, 2006, pp. 587-597. Elsevier BV, doi:10.1016/j.avb.2005.08.008.
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence [NCADD]. “Alcohol, Drugs, and Crime.” Ncadd.Org, 2017,
https://www.ncadd.org/about-addiction/alcohol-drugs-and-crime. Accessed 07 December 2017
Rogers, Vanessa. A Little Book of Drugs. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2012.
Zhao, Xiaohua et al. “Study of the Effects of Alcohol on Drivers and Driving Performance on Straight Road.” Mathematical Problems in Engineering, vol. 2014, no. 1, 2014, pp. 1-9
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