Alcohol is the most commonly and highly abused drug in the world. In the United States 17.6 million people suffer from alcohol addiction. An estimated 1.09 million people battle with alcohol abuse in Japan, according to a survey conducted by a health ministry research team. Alcohol addiction or alcoholism is a disease, accompanied by increased compulsion to drink and it interferes with health and social behavior. While alcohol makes you feel good, it can quickly become fatal. Over 100,000 Americans die as a result of alcohol abuse. Alcohol also plays a major role in half of the suicides and traffic deaths in the United States. According to Texas Department of Driving Safety it is estimated that alcohol causes 30% of automobile fatalities in the United States.
In some cultures alcohol is used as a form of celebration. In the US it is frowned upon for children to drink alcohol. Whereas, children in France, Italy, and Spain are given wine as part of a meal or celebration often. Drinking in all cultures, is a part of social activity. Most societies have designated environments for drinking and age regulations. In some cultures no only is it frowned upon for the underage to drink, it is also frowned upon for women to drink. In the cultures where men are only allowed to drink it is due to the more pronounced effect that alcohol has on women than it does on men. Rather it is a man or a woman that is addicted to alcohol it effects not only the alcoholic, but the entire family.
As a counselor I would learn about as much as possible about an alcoholic. Alcohol disorder is more than just a drinking problem, it can be a coping mechanism or way to escape reality. The patient would need to come into a nice quiet environment where they can feel comfortable and free of judgement. Give support to the patient and intervene when needed. Interventions include giving advice when appropriate, planning and presenting treatment options and giving and enforcing consequences. Having the family to get involved is also a plus as well and can help the patient in the healing process.
Alcoholism is a terrible disease that not only effects the alcoholic, but for the family and friends as well. Maintaining a strict regimen and holding the alcoholic accountable is key. Treatment for alcoholism is ongoing and should be taken serious at all times. Alcohol treatment is not an easy process and may not be effective the first time around.