The Issue of the Alcohol Addiction
“The term Alcoholism refers to an addiction to the consumption of alcoholic beverages and liquor or the mental illness and compulsive behavior which results from alcohol dependency. Excessive alcohol consumption kills approximately 75,000 people in the United States annually. (Town, Naimi, Mokdad, & Brewer, 2006) Acute impairment and causes of substantial fraction of all alcohol related deaths is generally the result from excessive drinking (Naimi, et al., 2003). Alcoholism is said to be the number 3 leading cause of death in the United States. (Naimi, et al., 2003). According to the foundation for a drug free world, the term binge drinking or heavily engaging in alcoholism can be divided between sexes. Massive drinking for a man consists of having 5 or more drinks and for woman it is consuming 4 or more drinks in a certain amount of time. (Naimi, et al., 2003).
In 2006, a study conducted by Lesley A. Smith and David R. Foxcroft examined seven coherent studies which followed the lived of approximately 13,000 people whose ages ranged from 10-26. The study focused on a range of alcoholic advertisement and marketing exposures (television, printed ads, ex.). These studies showed that in the studies that included drinkers and non-drinkers there was an increased exposure which led to significantly increased risk of drinking at follow up. Data from these seven studies each suggested that there is a strong association between the exposure of alcohol advertisement or promotional activity alone and the consumption of alcohol in these children and young adults (Smith & Foxcroft, 2009).
Many students begin alcohol usage prior to arriving to college, though the pressure to miss use alcohol may be intensified during the beginning of the students ‘college career. (Borsari, B.; & Carey, K. B., 2001) In the United States alone, peer pressure is constantly implicated in the act of binge drinking with college students and peers. Notwithstanding, the findings from theories state that peer pressure is a combination of three distinct influences being, social norms, modeling and overt offers of alcohol. (Borsari, B. & Carey, K. B.,2001) Borsari and colleagues go in to dept on a few terms which are surrounded by alcoholism and students. The term social norms are defined as students promoting alcoholism as appetizing while Modeling was defined as the students’ behavior which corresponds to another students’ drinking behavior. overt gestures of alcoholism are referred to as those around the student offering polite gestures to drink. Interacting with new peers and being exposed to new norms about the usage of alcohol as well as the lack of parental supervision are all reasons for students to fall into the wrath of peer pressure when beginning college experience.
Traditionally, the consumption of alcohol by middle aged men is very much approved of whereas the behavior was looked at as displeasing for young people and women to partake in the activity. Along with this, there was a significant difference in the amount of alcohol used between genders. Though drinking behaviors were looked down upon women they were still allowed to partake in the act as long as they didn’t portray drunkard behavior which means women were expected to drink less than men. In recent years these norms have taken a major turn.
The alcohol advertisement industry does not prey on those under the legal minimum purchase age, yet they also do not acknowledge the fact that these young people are exposed to these advertisements inevitably (Smith & Foxcroft, 2009). In 1922 after WWII the Japanese underage drinking law was raised but this doesn’t stop underaged drinking. (Koichi, 2013). Despite the law of Japan prohibiting underaged drinking, 50 percent of Junior high students and 70 percent of senior high school students reported having some form of experience with alcohol (Koichi, 2013)
According to Koichi, the major source of alcoholic beverages that are consumed by these teenaged students was found in their own homes. A few other students admitted to receiving these alcoholic drinks from convenience stores, and vending machines. (Koichi, 2013). Japan is said to be the only country in the world where alcohol can be provided through vending machines. These machines can be found outside of liquor stores, convenience stores, and supermarkets. In the year 1966, approximately 186,000 alcoholic vending machines were in operation throughout the country. In 2003, due to regulations, by the beverage alcohol industry and retailers the number of alcoholic vending machines dropped to 68,000.
Over the 5-year study conducted by Koichi, it was noted that the percentage of young people who were consuming alcohol doubled and students began drinking with friends instead of family as traditioned. When viewing the Japanese version of the Quantity Frequency Scale, the percentage of problem drinkers increased more than 100 times over the 5-year period. (Koichi, 2013). Alcohol usage is said to be one of the most common health risks behaviors among teens. (Donovan, 2004). According to the Nationwide data survey in 2001, 51 percent of 8th graders, 70 percent of 10th graders, and 80 percent of 12th graders have had at least some experience with alcohol. (Donovan, 2004). According to Donovan, the usage of alcohol in adolescents can be associated with other risk factors such as cigarette smoking, usage of illicit drugs, and sexual behaviors.
Many may agree that alcohol can be used in any scenario; whether it’s a celebration, unwinding after a long day, or even therapy after a breakup. According to Japans Guide webpage, In the Japanese culture, drinking is a very important aspect which must be included in their society. A drinking party is typically held in restaurants and Izakaya (Japanese Pub). When drinking alcoholic beverages, it is impolite to self-serve, rather it is customary to serve one another. The webpage for Japans Guide also brings out the fact that checking your friend and or neighbors’ glass periodically is a must and should be done prior to the glass being empty. In Japanese culture it is also impolite to deny a refill. If someone wants to serve you, the correct response would be to drink in order to make room in your glass, hold the glass up for the person while they pour, then take at least a sip before placing the glass down.
The study presented by Koichi informs readers that in Japan the closest system to carding those purchasing alcoholic beverages is a systemic machine that offers a screen when purchasing alcohol which asks the seller if the person purchasing alcohol is 20 years of age or older and the only response generated by the system under this question is yes. Being that the system doesn’t generate the answer no shopkeepers usually sell alcohol to underaged kids. In Japan, aside from pubs and shops that provide alcohol there are also vending machines where alcohol can be purchased by anyone. (Koichi, 2013). According to Psychiatric News article, while alcohol consumption is dropping in most of the industrialized world, it continues to rise in Japan. In the past 30 years, the number of alcoholics, and the drinking population has increased by almost 250 percent. A survey given by Japan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare (MHW) presented the information that approximately 67 percent of their population drink, and about 2.5 million, or about 2 percent are alcoholics or heavy drinkers. Being that this was a self-reporting survey, there may be a few people who chose not to disclose such information so these numbers may be higher than what was presented.
As claimed by the Psychiatric News, the MHW survey for 1999 reported that 19,400 alcoholics were admitted to Japan’s psychiatric hospitals. Today, 15 percent of admissions to general hospitals are due to some form of symptom caused by alcoholism. 60 percent of problem drinkers in this society are men. Japanese woman are also being labeled alcoholics at a faster rate than men. More than 42 percent of women in Japan reported to taking an occasional drink which is up 20 percent from 8 years prior to 2003.
A cross-sequential study was conducted in Hawaii which examined the effects of ethnicity and culture among Asian’s and Pacific Islander adolescents. (Williams, et al., 2013). The study consisted of 144 Japanese American and part Japanese American Adolescents which viewed their ethnicity, cultural identity, substance use, major life events, and social support. In this study, there was significant associations for substance use and impairment included in Japanese cultural identity. Those who partook in the study suggested that conflicts surrounding cultural identity may contribute to substance usage and impairment. (Williams, et al., 2013).
In Williams’s study, the number of teens contributing to the usage of substances continued through their adulthood. Due to this fact, the usage of substance becomes problematic and contributes to health issues such as accidental injuries, drug and alcohol related complications which can affect one or multiple organ systems. There are many factors which contribute to an increased risk of alcohol abuse among adolescents so understanding the socio-cultural context of the individual is important. (Williams, et al, 2013). For research purposes, Williams and peers mentioned that when neglecting cultural factors, we don’t normally pay attention to the contribution of substance and alcohol abuse, values, and beliefs. Cultural factors should always be viewed because it can assist in treatments provided and conducting research in comparing areas and diversity. (Williams, et al., 2013).”