“Alcohol Abuse”: A Useful Concept? – Nashon

Reply to the posts (100 words minimum for each reply). In your reply, take a position either for or against the position, but back your argument with evidence in either case.

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The term alcohol abuse is term that does serve a purpose. We can categorize people into two groups those with an alcohol abuse issue and those without an alcohol abuse issue. This is the first useful distinction when understanding social consequences of alcohol. According to Kinney “The most recent federal estimate is that 8.9% of all Americans age 12 or older have a serious alcohol or drug problem, consistent with a diagnosis of dependence or abuse. (2012, p 40). In my opinion, the term alcohol abuse should be linked to anyone having an alcohol issue. These persons could then be categorized in more detail with the newer distinguishing terms in order to find the best treatment for each individual. I do not believe every person that has ever abused alcohol needs treatment. In fact, I believe the number of people needing treatment is a small percentage of those categorized.

The concept of “alcohol abuse” in my opinion is a necessary term that describes the characteristic the improper use or consumption of alcohol. I believe the word “abuse” clearly explains the negative overindulgence of alcohol. “alcohol abuse and dependence, now both included under the diagnosis of alcohol use disorder, is a disease that is characterized by the sufferer having a pattern of drinking excessively despite the negative effects of alcohol on the individual’s work, medical, legal, educational, and/or social life’ (Dryden-Edwards, n.d.). This term is a necessity in out academic vocabulary, especially in medical terms because it allows treatment facilities to identify individuals that need proper guidance and treatment to recover from alcohol addiction. That being said, I do not believe that there is anything wrong with the term alcohol abuse. I can see how some people might find it offensive, but I think that is part of the usefulness when it comes to deterring bad behavior. Also, just because you abuse alcohol, that doesn’t make you an alcoholic. I have abused alcohol more than once in my life, but I am not an alcoholic, I just made some poor decisions. Most people who drink alcohol, in fact, have been a little more intoxicated then they originally planned, but I do not think that they would find it inappropriate to the told they abused alcohol.

The term “deviant drinking” would also be an appropriate way to describe the overindulgence of alcohol. “A deviant is a person who displays behaviors that meet this definition-they are people who engage in antisocial activities, abuse drugs and alcohol, violate criminal laws, live outside social norms, and engage in violence” (“Deviance and addiction”, n.d.). A deviant drinking individual in my opinion would heavily rely on alcohol to function daily. This individual will prioritize alcohol over paying bills and spending quality time with people who love them (friends, family, etc.). I don’t think changing the terminology from “alcohol abuse” to an alternative term makes a difference on whether its judgmental towards those using alcohol or not. The end objective isn’t verbiage; it is to save a life.