The Alcohol Disease


Being in college, the topic that seems to suffice everyone’s attention span would contain reference to consuming a drink with some presence of alcohol. Party, kegger and beer all convert a seemingly dull conversation to a hysterical joke that everyone understands. The person that consumed the most liquor and either passed out or vomited uncontrollably reins over the mere individuals who staggered out of the event only half full. While some crown them the king of the party, others who comprehend the effects of drinking coin the phrase alcoholic. Alcohol, “a chemical compound of varying parts of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen,” (23) has become a serious problem for Americans, who strive to have a good time. While not all people who drink heavily are alcoholics, the addiction to liquor is caused by several varying aspects and the problem will only be answered once there is a national awareness of the consequences.


What is alcoholism? One source states, “Alcoholism is a specific disease to which some people are vulnerable. Those who are vulnerable develop the disease if they take up drinking” (2) while others call it merely an obsession. To be able to understand the result of drinking, the beginning of one’s fixation should be clear. Some of the reasons a person begins to drink depends on how often they are around the substance, if their parents were addicted and their mental state prior to drinking. It has been proven that alcoholism is an inherited trait from one’s family tree. Family members pass along their negative aspects such as a drinking fascination which develops early in a child’s life. A father who is suffering from a drinking problem may effect his son’s or daughter’s outcome in life due to either his genetic material or because the father has driven the son or daughter to drink. An offspring may turn towards alcohol at a young age if the child has been exposed to the drug early on when the brain has not finished growing. New research has shown that a person’s brain does not stop maturing until the early twenties. This new discovery explains why kids who start to drink at a tender age are more likely to continue towards alcoholism then a grown adult. When a young adult, ages 12 to 20, consume a beverage that contains liquor they damage parts of the brain responsible for memory and retention, and other growth mechanisms (Ariniello 2). The Islander Waves states that “Those with familial history of the disease are at a higher risk, but alcoholism is not exclusively a genetic disorder” (Griffin 8) and that other factors contribute to one’s struggle with the drug. Although the age for the consumption and purchasing of liquor is 21, there are 9.7 million minors who drink each year. Minors tend to see drinking as exciting and a chance to spend time with an older group of friends. The person who buys the beer, malts or wine not only breaks the law by providing the drug to kids who are underage but they harm them for the rest of their lives. Many underage bingers tend to depend on the alcohol for the rest of their life and continue the trend of handing over the drinks to children under the age of 21. The availability of alcohol scars a person for life and makes them crave the ambrosia. Billboards, television commercials and radio ads all contribute to the increase of liquor drinkers. Commercials often feature scantily clad women or men playing sports which appeal to a person since they toy with their emotions. Advertisements scream “Drink me and look this good!” to all that listen when in reality a beer or a malt beverage will in most cases, not win you the big game or the dream girl.


“Alcohol is a powerful drug” states the author of Drinking, Jack Weiner (214). Jack also asserts that since alcohol makes the drinker feel “loose and carefree” the liquor attracts people who can not find alternate ways of relieving stress in their lives. A man who loathes his job is more likely to drink heavily then a man who enjoys going to work. Liquor evaporates the tensions and creates a new world for the drinker to live in, one that