“Help! Oh, God. Somebody help me!” screamed Alex as he tried to get away from his drunken father. Alex threw a wild punch which hit nothing but the empty air. His father with anger in his eyes began to beat young Alex to pulp. Alcohol is continuing to become a major problem in the homes of many Americans. Today more than ever you hear of people wanting to protect their poor innocent children from the dangerous outside world of the city streets. While the fact is, in many cases the danger lye’s in the house rather than the cold dark streets of the city.
In the early years, before alcoholism was accepted as a disease there were many myths about alcoholism. People associated the word alcoholic with a male bum who drank cheap wine and slept in doorways. It was believe that it was merely a cover-up for a more serious emotional or mental disease. Some people believed that alcoholics would be so devastated if confronted with the problem that they would become violent. Another myth associated with alcoholics was that only bums could become alcoholics and that they didn’t care about the damage that they caused.
Fortunately, most of these myths have been revealed as false, but tragically not everyone still knows the truth about alcoholism. Alcoholism is the number one drug threat in the U.S., it’s the third cause of early death, and there’s no cure for the disease. The real truth about the fatal disease is that most alcoholics are high achievers, many are women, and alcoholics usually resent there own behavior.
There was one such case that an alcoholic surgeon would arrange his operating schedule so he could drink undisturbed. That’s amazing that your own doctor or even your own surgeon could be drunk while they are playing god with your life, that is very disturbing. Another disturbing figure which proves not just men are alcoholics is that one third of AA’s membership is made up of women.
In 1986 the National Institution on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) did a study on alcoholism in the United States and came up with the following facts and figures. 18 million adults and 4.6 teenagers are alcohol abusers. Alcohol claims at least 100,000 lives a year. Drunk driving arrests numbered 1,793,300 and drunk driving deaths were around 23,000.
What really is the effect of alcoholism in many of the lives of normal individuals? Well, how about I give you the results of drinking alcohol. Seventy percent of the drowning deaths and thirty percent of the 30,000 suicides from last year were caused by alcohol. Not only that but forty-five percent of the 250,000 homeless are alcoholics, a scary statistic.
It’s unbelievable what the effect of alcohol has on young people. From early teens through about the rest of a persons life, people are influenced to drink by their peers and the people they look up too. It’s apparent that many teens drink when the number one killer of 15-24 year olds is drunk driving. That is down right horrible. People don’t even get a real chance to live when they’re 24, yet many are killed even before they reach 24. The younger a child starts to drink the greater the risk of becoming dependent on alcohol. Alcohol stunts young people’s emotional growth and prevents them from developing the judgment and coping skills they need as adults. Because of having alcoholic parents many young people have low self esteem, they feel unwanted, and are typically abused.
There is actually a written criteria used by doctors to determine whether a person is an alcoholic. A doctor is to look for physiological problems, such as hand tremors and blackouts. They are to look for psychological problems, like an obsessive desire to drink. The final criteria used by doctors is to see if they have behavioral problems that disrupt social or work life.
A major question that many scientists have come up with is whether alcoholism is inherited or not inherited. There have been many studies performed to see if it is possible, many of which have been performed by Dr. Donald Goodwin. He found that for identical twins, which share 100% of inherited genes, 60% both become alcoholics from an alcoholic parent. While he found that for fraternal twins, which share