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Military Versus Civilian Alcohol Dependency Essay

2087 words - 9 pages

Military Versus Civilian Alcohol Dependency
Military personnel are more likely to be alcohol dependent than civilians, which is due to the high stress and pressures of the military culture, lifestyle, combat, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Imagine what it feels like returning home after a 12 month deployment to the Middle East. What do you do when you feel there is nowhere to go? You go where you feel most comfortable--alcohol.
There are many causes and factors for alcoholism. These factors influence many people to drink and contribute to a higher count of alcoholism in our society. Alcoholism is sometimes caused or influenced by genetic, psychological, social, and ...view middle of the document...

Looking into past research, there have been patterns within certain races that have a biological component within their cell structure that creates a deficiency or absence of alcohol dehydrogenase, a liver enzyme. These groups are Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans. Because of this enzyme, they tend to drink less which produces a lower risk for alcoholism. This enzyme causes their livers to improperly break down alcohol, so in turn these people experience vomiting, flushing, and increased heart rate. One day the research community hopes to provide a biological reasoning for the low incidence of alcoholism in Jews who consume large amounts of alcohol. There are other groups that are at an increased risk for alcoholism. Some of those groups are Native Americans. There have been at least two studies that have shown possible connections between certain brain wave patterns and a having an increased risk for alcoholism. (Emmite, May 2001)
Environmental, psychological, and cultural components are also causes of alcoholism. It has been identified that not only gender, but family history, and parenting can influence drinking behavior. Men tend to abuse alcohol higher than their gender counterparts. Some estimate that it is as high as 5:1. However, the number of women who drink, abuse, and ultimately become dependent on alcohol is rising. Some say that up to 25% of sons having alcoholic fathers will develop alcohol abuse or dependence. However, most children of alcoholics do not develop dependence. What has been shown over the years is that children are making different decisions than their parents when it comes to alcohol abuse. Children in families with multiple risk factors are at greater risk for alcohol abuse and/or dependence. These risks include, dependency on alcohol, using alcohol to cope with stress, and having a form of coexisting psychological disorder(s). The expectations and beliefs about alcohol may influence alcohol use. Younger family members tend to idolize their parents, siblings, and other family members. If there is alcohol abuse in the family, it would generate an action of mimicking for the younger ones. When discussing family, we cannot forget about our peer groups. Peers often create an environment that is conducive to drinking, thus influencing the drinking cycle. Alcohol abuse in adolescents has other contributing causes like family history, parental monitoring, extreme and recurring family issues, and poor parent-child relationships. Also, there is an increased risk for alcoholism with children having certain disorders, ineffective social communication, and poor coping skills. (Emmite, May 2001)
Now that we have looked into the causes of alcoholism, let us discuss the factors involved with alcohol dependence. One factor for alcoholism is steady and continuous drinking over time. Drinking too much on a regular basis for an extended period or binge drinking on a regular basis can produce a physical...

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