A big part of understanding the current state of addiction within America is the question of how all this began. Some who have studied this ongoing situation in depth have labeled it as a “social problem,” pointing fingers in particular at the rampant, and socially-accepted, alcohol abuse.
How Our Society Has Shaped Modern Alcohol Abuse
Just because a lot of people within the country drink too much doesn’t mean that it isn’t a serious issue, and one that requires discussion and change. “Alcohol is at the top of the list of our nation’s most abused substance, attributed to 17.7 million or 6.8 percent of the nation’s population.” This may seem like a ‘small’ percentage of the population, but the number is nothing to sneeze at, and it is highly indicative of some of the more ingrained problems within our society and culture.
Though the ‘main’ epidemic of today is the overuse of opioids, alcohol abuse is the one that is thought of as more innocuous, the one that is often overlooked. Binge drinking runs rampant among young people, many use drinking as a method of coping with other issues, and those who do develop addictions are thought of in a completely different category than those who ‘just drink,’ however problematically they may be doing so.
Some psychotherapists claim that “underlying struggles with addiction is often an attachment disorder, a condition in which an individual has problems forming and maintaining long-lasting relationships.” Those who drink in excess may be using alcohol as a coping method in order to fill voids that would otherwise be filled via social interactions or relationships. Of course, there are a number of other reasons why the person might have developed this dependence, but it’s true that alcohol abuse is often used as a (admittedly poor) replacement for company. Others insist that “that American culture, with its emphasis on autonomy and self-reliance, ‘fosters addiction by devaluing dependency and social connection.'”
It’s clear to any American that this is the case, at least inasmuch as we are encouraged to do everything on our own, to break free from the crowd, to stand above the rest. Since this does little to encourage social growth, and more than that, it pushes the individual to his or her limits. A lot of people today ignore cues from their body and mind, working to exhaustion in the name of success, and often then having to bury any stress any way they can. It may begin with denial and throwing themselves into work, but it can often end with a dependence on drugs or alcohol in order to get themselves moving continuously toward their goals.
It’s no question that we as a society value the end result and put “the needs of industry over the needs of individual wellbeing.” People in all fields of work push themselves to their limits and don’t take care of themselves. This is undoubtedly a huge part of how alcohol abuse has not only run rampant, but also how it has flown under the radar, so to speak, because of social cues.
We shouldn’t let this continue on as the ‘norm’ any longer. Contact The Bergand Group today in order to get help for any addictions that you may be struggling with. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction. We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.
About The Bergand Group:
At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.