Essay: Defeating Alcoholism Quitting Drinking the Federal Centers

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¶ … Defeating Alcoholism

Quitting Drinking

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 11.7% of the deaths among American Indians and Alaska natives from 2001 to 2005 were linked to alcohol (Deseret News Editor, 2008). This figure represents 3.3% of national statistics. Studies reflect that most of those who succumb to alcohol-related causes are men and are below 50. These causes are traffic fatalities, liver disease, diseases - such as tuberculosis, colon cancer and pneumonia - and the "drunken Indian" stereotype (Deseret News Editor).

The "drunken Indian" image hovers destructively in the lives of many Native Americans (Deseret News Editor, 2008). Professional critics and other observers see the condition as demanding quick and appropriate action from all levels of government. The tribes suffer from high poverty levels, the remoteness of the area and the lonely life the tribes live and their lack of education on alcohol and its damaging consequences. At present, inhabitants in these reservations interpret intoxication as an attitude of "understanding" rather than a call for help. Some interventions have been initiated in these reservations but a lot more appears needed (Deseret News Editor).

Social disadvantage presents as another factor to alcoholism among color people, such as Blacks and Hispanics (Mulia, Ye, Zemora, & Greenfield, 2008), Social disadvantage takes the form of racial or ethnic disparities in differential exposure and differential vulnerability to stress. This derives from fewer available coping resources, avoidant ways of coping and their coping motives for drinking. These minorities' experience of unfair treatment or poverty is visibly greater than that experienced by whites. A study suggested that the exposure to social disadvantage of these minority groups was a key factor to the levels of drinking problems among them. It also observed that individual interventions are likely to produce only short-term benefits. Broader, more realistic and a society-wide approach alone promise a workable and lasting results (Mulia, Ye, Zemora and Greenfield).

Other studies revealed other factors, which influence alcohol problems in a person's life span (Homish & Leonard, 2008). Among adolescents, peer network is considered a key factor in the use and spread of alcohol use. Peer alcohol often leads to alcohol use among young adults, according to other studies. Heavy drinkers reported that almost 75% of their social network consisted of "drinking buddies." These are persons who engage in drinking as part of the relationship. Existing and significant evidence suggests that peer network among adolescents and young adults relates to heavy drinking and the number of drinking buddies in that network. Identifying and understanding the factors, which can modify that social network, are essential in the prevention and treatment of issues relating to heavy drinking (Homish & Leonard). These steps are valuable inputs to the decision to quit drinking.

More and more research points to a genetic factor behind alcohol use (Armeli, Conner, Covault, Tennen & Krangler, 2008). This is the serotonin transporter gene, which encodes the serotonin transporter protein. This protein eventually sparks serotonin activity. Previous research linked this gene to alcohol dependence. The presence of S. alleles in subjects tested inclined them to drink to "get drunk." The subjects were mostly college students. Multiple studies showed that carriers of this gene had stronger tendencies to drink to put them to sleep. They were also more susceptible to major depression and other mental disorders in responding to high life stresses. These stresses included negative life events in the previous year among college students; family problems among adolescents; and maltreatment among children (Armeli, et al.).

Stress and negative moods drive some persons to drink in order to cope (Armeli, et al., 2008). Predictors of drinking to cope have mostly been emotional and personal in nature. Theorists argued that the desire to relieve negative emotional states or enhance positive emotional states drives some persons to drink. The inclination towards relief drinking and reward drinking has also been associated with reducing tension, avoidance and other negative forms of emotionality. Drinking to enhance one's positive state has been related to social enhancement and impulsiveness (Armeli).

In the meantime, scientists in Australia and China pointed to a group of cells in the hypothalamus as producing a chemical, which could be used in the treatment of alcoholism (Chemistry and Industry, 2006).… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Defeating Alcoholism Quitting Drinking the Federal Centers.  (2009, January 31).  Retrieved August 23, 2019, from

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"Defeating Alcoholism Quitting Drinking the Federal Centers."  January 31, 2009.  Accessed August 23, 2019.