Alcohol has been a part of the human experience for thousands of years, and archaeologists are finding evidence every day that it has played a vital role in our social, economic and cultural evolution. Sadly, there has been evidence of alcoholism its effects on humanity since its invention, eons ago.
Legal Drinking Age
Due to the longstanding tradition of alcohol as a societal norm, there has always been debate about when people should be allowed to consume it, and in what amounts it is safe. For the recovering alcoholic this discussion has all but become a moot point. For most people in recovery, there is no such thing as “just one drink”.
Differing eras in time and locality have imprinted their own unique perspective on the role of alcohol on society, and the pendulum of opinion swings wildly, and often sticks from point to point. Individuals who have come to terms with their inability to moderate their alcoholic consumption find themselves hanging from that pendulum for dear life.
In the United States, turning 21 years old is a rite of passage that often revolves around alcohol, often leading to negative consequences when left unchecked. There have been reams of paper devoted to researching this phenomenon, and the research continues globally.
When it’s Not Just a Night Out
Consumption of alcohol is embedded into the fabric of American society, and its influences are present everywhere. For a recovering alcoholic, these daily injections of the normality of alcohol usage in our country can feel overwhelmingly like forbidden fruit being dangled before a starving man.
Science has yet to prove definitively what sets social drinkers apart from binge drinkers, much less what makes one person more susceptible to alcoholism than another. Alcoholism is an issue that seems to offer more questions than answers.
Even within families, the data just can’t predict conclusively who will or will not end up addicted. One sibling may remain completely sober their entire lives, while another finds themselves at the end of a bottle night after night.
As a culture, we accept both the positive and negative effects of alcohol on society, though it remains less socially acceptable to be addicted to the substance than to produce or financially benefit from it. This creates a crisis for alcoholics, as the very thing that destroys them is widely accepted as allowable in those who can set limits.
It’s imperative to continue the social dialogue surrounding alcohol addiction and societal acceptance of drinking as a communal entertainment. Only by communicating with those who are battling alcohol addiction can we fully understand the hold it has on many of our citizens.
Support Recovering Addicts Without Shame
Alcoholism affects approximately 3 million Americans each year, and the way we interact with, rehabilitate, and encourage those addicted to alcohol impacts alcoholics seeking rehabilitation and may help them lead healthy lives again.
If you, or someone you know, has a problem with alcoholism, there are helplines available 24/7.
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