How America’s Drinking Culture Impacts Addiction

Alcohol is one of the oldest addictive drugs available: it figures prominently in the lore of many nations from many eras, from drinking songs for friendship to the stigma associated with being a drunk. However, America has a paradoxical attitude about drinking. Although it is restricted to people over 21 years of age, the attitude of adults drinking is highly permissive.

Cultural Perceptions of Alcohol

Alcohol and advertisements for it are everywhere. Manufacturers portray it as relaxing, fun, the key to popularity and even a lifeline for stress. Many Americans buy into this image to consider alcohol a necessary part of a social gathering or an essential item for the refrigerator. On the other hand, other segments of the US have a radically different approach, condemning alcohol as evil that pollutes and outcasts those who drink it. Children’s perceptions of this drug mostly depend on the stance their parents take. If they see alcohol in the house and their parents get drunk often, they may see it as a normal part of life. If parents provide alcohol to underage children, they are more likely to downplay the laws regulating it.

Cultural Perceptions of Alcohol and Addiction Rates

The largely casual American attitude toward alcohol consumption has many repercussions, which include the following:

  • Heavy drinking upon turning 21 as a coming-of-age ritual and a way of seeming equal to older friends
  • Turning to alcohol in times of loneliness or intense stress, especially common if one’s parents did this
  • Drinking upon leaving a teetotal home to violate the restrictions of sobriety
  • Remaining silent when one’s underage friends brag about their drinking habits
  • Developing alcohol dependency and addiction, because one did not see its potential for abuse
  • Damaging the liver, heart, brain, gastrointestinal organs and other systems
  • Being arrested for driving under the influence or disorderly conduct in public

These effects of apathy regarding alcohol have tragic consequences, resulting in thousands of deaths every year. Alcohol is a dangerous drug, and it must be treated as one if the societal conditions surrounding it will ever improve.

Hope for Alcohol Addiction

If you or your loved one suffers from alcohol addiction, we want to offer you hope. Please call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to speak to one of our counselors about treatment programs that can guide you back to a healthy lifestyle. We are available whenever you call, so let us show you the way out today.