Inner City Alcohol Use

Alcohol is the most widely abused drug in the United States. Alcohol use is very common in all regions and across nearly all demographics. Surprisingly, however, while substance abuse in general is a major problem in many urban areas, rates of alcohol abuse are lower in many metropolitan areas than they are in many rural areas. Nonetheless, alcohol abuse and addiction are serious problems in many inner cities and contribute to a host of related social problems, including crime, domestic violence, unemployment, health problems, accidental injury and death, rising health care and insurance costs and the costs associated with law enforcement, criminal justice and incarceration.

Urban Versus Rural Alcohol Use

Despite the prevalence of alcohol-related problems in the United States, there has not been a great deal of research done on the association between alcohol use and the level of urbanization in which a person lives. To counter that lack of data, the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) analyzed data from the 2001 to 2002 National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). The study reached the somewhat surprising conclusion that at the overall national level residents of metropolitan areas are actually less likely than their rural and suburban counterparts to drink excessively or to suffer from an alcohol abuse or dependence disorder. However, when the data is broken down into more specific geographic regions, these patterns sometimes become reversed, and urban residents display higher rates of alcohol use and addiction than their rural counterparts.

Metropolitan Alcohol Use in Different Regions

ERIC determined that alcohol abuse disorders are most common in the Midwest and that urban residents in Midwestern cities have especially high rates of alcohol abuse and addiction. By contrast, urban residents in Northeastern regions of the United States are more likely to abstain from drinking.

Effective Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

Despite the fact that alcohol abuse is statistically less common in urban areas when compared to rural areas, it is still a major problem for many people in inner cities. For those suffering from alcohol addiction disorders, the fact that they are in a statistical minority is of little comfort. The negative effects of alcohol abuse and addiction can be devastating and far-reaching and can impact virtually every aspect of a person’s life. People who abuse and are addicted to alcohol typically suffer health problems, career troubles, unemployment, family difficulties and trouble with the law.

Treatment is available to help alcoholics overcome their disease and regain control of their lives. Effective treatment for alcoholism should take a multifaceted approach that targets all aspects of the disease and all related issues. For example, long-term alcohol use can result in physical dependence, which can cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms if addicts quit drinking “cold-turkey.” In cases of physical dependence on alcohol, patients should receive medically supervised detox. All patients should receive addiction counseling to address behavioral issues related to alcohol abuse and addiction, and many patients will benefit as well from individual counseling to address any psychological and emotional issues related to the addiction. Finally, patients can also benefit from other forms of counseling, such as family therapy to address any other consequences of the disease.

If you would like help finding treatment for alcohol addiction or you simply have questions, please call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline today.