Alcohol And Drug Abuse Essay, Research Paper
ALCOHOL AND DRUG
Alcohol and drug abuse 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 problem. Finally, alcohol is present in more than one-half of all incidents of domestic violence, with women more likely to batter when both partners have been drinking.
I work at the liquor store for the past eight years and I see drunken women every day. It is shocking and I don’t think that I can ever get used to see drunken women, especially drunken mothers coming in with their children. My first experience with a drunken female customer was on the first day of my work, few days before Christmas. I know that that day will stay in my memory forever. Around 5 o’clock young woman came in with two small children. She asked where is the cheapest beer, bought 3 40-oz bottles and left. Around 10 p.m. she came back, except that this time she was crawled in. Her small children were still with her. The children were crying and I could see that they were tired, cold and probably hungry. While the mother was getting the beer, the older child went to look at the Christmas tree, which we had in the corner of the store. The woman was so drunk that it took her a long time to get the beer she wanted and then to find the money to pay for it. She finally did and she left. Since it was right before the holiday the store was very busy. There were a lot of people, some with children and I didn’t notice anything strange. About 20 minutes later we were closing the store and I went to turn off the lights on Christmas tree. When I got closer to the tree I was shocked. The little boy who came with his drunken mother was still in the store. He was sleeping on the boxes right under the Christmas tree and holding a small Santa Clause ornament in his tiny, little hand. His mother forgot about him and didn’t even notice that he was gone until Police found her around midnight. One of the police Officers talked me the next day that when they found the woman and asked her about her four year-old son, she said that the boy is home with her boyfriend. She still buys beer in our store. I see her almost ever day and she is usually drunk. In eight years she had four more children. Joel is 12 years-old now and he is usually watching the younger children so they wouldn’t get lost." More than 4 million US women aged 18 and can be classified as alcoholic or problem drinker. The make up nearly a quarter of all individuals in treatment for alcoholism.
Another tragic and very important issue ate the " Crack Babies". A crack baby is a child born to a mother who was smoking crack during her pregnancy and up until the time of birth. The infant is addicted at birth, suffers withdrawal agonies, and continues to suffer from developmental abnormalities. These tragedies occur at too high a rate no matter how many there are? The 1991 Household Survey data estimated that about 280,000 women of all ages might have used crack at some time during the year.
Children are introduced to drugs and alcohol at a very young age. Many of them see alcohol and drugs in their homes, used by their parents on daily bases. Some of these children don’t even realize that it is wrong, "not normal", and not accepted in other homes until they are old enough to understand that situation in their home is a problem and that it is wrong. Minors usually begin using alcohol at around age 13. Statistics show that by the time they are high school sinners, 81 percent of teens have used alcohol. Alcohol consumption and alcohol abuse are more widespread among young people than many adults realize. Drug abuse is also very high.