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Free Alcoholics versus non Alcoholics Essay Sample

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Alcoholics are people who are dependent on alcohol and exhibit compulsive and unregulated consumption of alcohol despite the negative effects the alcohol has on their health, social status and relationships. The high and unregulated alcohol consumption is a major cause of alcoholic liver cirrhosis. The disease destroys the liver putting the person at risk of other related illnesses. The non alcoholics or non drinkers are not at risk of suffering from alcoholic liver cirrhosis.

Sutker and Adams ascertains to a research done by Nathan and O'Brien on operant conditioning mechanisms in alcohol self-administration by human to investigate the bahavior of alcoholic subjects who lived for up to 33 days in self-contained experimental environment at Boston City Hospital. The study compared the social behavior, mood and drinking behaviour of matched groups of alcoholics and non-alcoholics. Sutker and Adams verify the results of the study that alcoholics worked much longer and harder to gain points to purchase alcohol. The non-alcoholics were more concerned about their social life than alcoholics. They worked longer and harder to gain points to allow them to leave their rooms and go out to spend time with each other in the social area. On the contrary, alcoholics remained social isolates before, during and after drinking. The study further revealed that alcoholics became significantly more depressed and of reduced activity, and showed compulsive behavior (as cited in Nathan and O'Brien, 1971).


Sutker and Adams (2000) affirm that anxiety among other factors influences human sexual behaviour. Alcoholism results to withdrawal syndrome which consequently leads to communication breakdown between the alcoholic and non alcoholic spouse. Since an alcoholic is usually in a state of denial, it is difficult to solve any problem facing their family agreeably. Communication being a major pillar of a marriage, the breakdown of communication definitely threatens the marriage. In contrast, if there is communication breakdown between non alcoholic spouses, it is easier to solve the problem amicably. Research has shown that adult children of alcoholics may have problems with intimacy as opposed to adult children of non alcoholics who may not have difficulties establishing intimate relationships. This is because their past experience has taught them not to trust other people. Most of these adult children of alcoholic parents end up being intimately involved with an alcoholic.

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Parental alcoholism is known to cause permanent effects on the fetus even before it's born. When a pregnant woman consumes an alcoholic beverage, it is carried into the circulatory system into all organs and tissues, including the placenta. The alcohol crosses through the membrane separating foetal and maternal circulatory system. The birth defects as a result of alcohol consumption range from mild to severe. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is known to be among the three top causes of birth defects (Parsons, 2003). The risk increases with the severity of the mother's drinking problem. Babies born to alcoholics are underweight and shorter than of normal (non alcoholic) mothers. Deformities mainly occur in the brain and skull. The children also exhibit characteristic facial features such as small eye opening, thin upper lips, long and flat faces, and a long groove in the middle of their upper lips (Parsons, 2003). As a result of brain damage, the children show difficulties in learning, attention span, decision making, memory as well as frequent behaviour problems. Although brain deformities may occur in children born to non alcoholic mothers, the prevalent of these defects is higher in children born to alcoholics.  Fetal Alcohol Syndrome further affects the social skills of the children. Normal children born to alcoholic parents are severely affected by the parent's uncontrollable drinking behaviour. Such children often demonstrate low esteem, chronic depression, loneliness, guilt, feelings of helplessness, and fears of abandonment (Berker, 1993). These children perform poorly in school as compared to children of non alcoholics. The stressful environment at home prevents them from concentrating on their studies. Their low esteem makes it difficult for them to express themselves and this may affect their performance in school. Non alcoholics spend more time with their families and this boosts the self esteem of the child. In such a sociable home environment is important for a child to learn to express himself. A survey done by United States government showed that 30 percent of young women, who didn't finish their high school education, had grown up in families with alcoholic parents (Berger, 1993).

Crime and violence are very much associated with alcoholism. Berger (1993), reports that almost 30 percent of father-daughter cases of incest and 75 percent of cases of domestic violence involve an alcoholic family member. On the contrary, Crime and violence is less prevalent in non alcoholics. Non alcoholics manage their work more carefully than alcoholics making them more successful and financially stable and hence may not engage in crime for financial gain. Unlike non alcoholics, alcoholics are more likely to engage in crime for financial gain in order to afford the alcohol.

In summing up, alcoholism causes social, health, and physiological problems. These problems not only affect the alcoholic but also their family, friends, relatives, and colleagues. Alcoholics require rehabilitation to come out of this problem and this may requires a lot of resources hence a family can exhaust their savings in the process. The guilty feelings that may be sparked by uncontrollable drinking of alcoholics in their loved ones can lead them into drinking too. Alcoholism is also known to contribute significantly to rise in crime and violence. On the other hand non alcoholism has many benefits ranging from health, social to physiological. Non alcoholics are mostly sober and therefore able to tackle life challenges objectively. They make good role models for their children and hence contributing significantly into their children's success. Alcoholism should be discouraged at all cost seeing that its negative effects on an individual and the society are immense.

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