Why Social Acceptance of Alcohol Makes Abuse Less Obvious

Alcohol addiction is the most common form of addiction within our society.  According to an article from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), “17.6 million people, or one in every 12 adults, suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence along with several million more who engage in risky, binge drinking patterns that could lead to alcohol problems.”

A large difficulty with alcohol addiction is the fact that alcohol, in general, is largely socially acceptable.  This creates a kind of blind spot around people who may be addicted to alcohol.  A person could be going out every weekend and binge drinking heavily, and yet that can be viewed as normal to many people.  Similarly, someone who goes home and drinks a six pack or more every night after work is not considered to have a problem.  This behavior could be explained away as their way to “unwind.”  While it could be true that these people do not have a full on addiction, there could be those who do, and yet it would never be known because it is considered normal.

Alcohol Consumption By Youth and College Kids

Alcohol consumption of younger age groups is even sometimes viewed as relatively normal.  When younger age groups are trying alcohol or going to parties, it is sometimes labeled as a “phase,” or simply part of being a teenager.  Alcohol abuse and addiction many times begins to be fostered at an early age.  Teens may try their parent’s alcohol or drink at a friend’s party, and then because it is somewhat accepted, they continue to do so and become further addicted as they grow up.

Another instance of this is within the realm of college life.  Parties tend to be considered part and parcel with the college lifestyle.  There are a multitude of college kids who party every single night or weekend and get to extreme levels of intoxication.  This could include blacking out or passing out.  And yet, because partying and drinking has come to be accepted as part of “college life,” it is often times not viewed as abnormal or as possible addiction.  This leads to many of these individuals quickly developing heavy addictions. According to a fact sheet from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “About 1 in 4 college students report academic consequences from drinking, including missing class, falling behind in class, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall.”

This social acceptance of alcohol makes it easy for many people to abuse alcohol without themselves or others recognizing it for what it is. Conversely, drug abuse has a usual social stigma involved with it.  If someone uses too many pills or smokes too much marijuana, it is generally recognized as an issue.  Whereas, with alcohol, it can be viewed as a normality.  While alcohol is legal in our society, the acceptance of frequent or heavy consumption is a large part of why it continues to be the most abused substance within our nation.

If You or A Loved One Are Seeking Help With An Addiction

It can be extremely despairing to struggle with an addiction, but it can also be overcome.  Here at Best Drug Rehabilitation, we are here to help you find success in achieving your sobriety.  Our program is based off the premise that every person is a unique individual, and should have their own specific treatment program to fit them.  This is why we have success with helping thousands overcome their addiction every single year.  Take the first step toward your sobriety today and give us a call.  We will answer any questions that you may have about our program.

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