Alcohol; the Addictive Plague

Alcoholism and the toll it’s taking on our society

Photo courtesy of Discovery Place, 2020

Photo courtesy of Discovery Place, 2020

There is a huge addictive problem that affects an estimated 15 million people in the United States alone. Many people either struggle with this addiction themselves, or know someone who does. Whether it is a friend, a family member, or one’s self, the problems it creates are indescribable. That problem is alcoholism. 

Drinking alcohol may seem like fun, but the facts don’t lie. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s article, Alcohol’s Effect on the Body, consuming an excessive amount of alcohol can develop into chronic disorders including high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, digestive issues, and strokes. The NIAAA’s article on Alcohol facts and Statistics states that approximately 68,000 men and 27,000 women die due to excessive drinking in the United States each year. Worldwide, three million people die a year due to alcohol. Alcohol is the third-leading preventable cause of death. 

Even if a person  doesn’t suffer from health conditions related to alcohol, a person’s emotional health is at high risk. Drinking intensifies negative emotions, including anger and sadness, which can be detrimental to a person’s  mental health. People who drink are much more likely to develop depression and anxiety, and those who already suffer from depression are three times more likely to develop an alcohol addiction. Alcohol can affect your REM sleep, which is when you are most relaxed, and leaves you feeling tired and unable to concentrate. Using alcohol also stops you from developing healthy coping mechanisms. Instead of finding ways to better themselves and deal with problems, people begin to rely on alcohol. According to Sandstone Care, Alcohol Use as a Coping Mechanism, by Clint Mally, people use alcohol to cope with difficult emotions and challenging situations like stress, anxiety, boredom, depression, or loss. 


Individuals who drink regularly put their loved ones at risk, too. It can hurt one’s loved ones to see them spiral due to alcohol. Alcohol can cause emotional unavailability, financial strain, stress and aggression. Nearly 70% of alcohol related violence occurs in homes. When under the influence and in an argument, some people get physically aggressive. The website Alcohol Rehab Guide’s article, Alcohol and Domestic Abuse, by Cooper Smith, states that fifty-five percent of domestic abuse perpetrators were found to be drinking alcohol before the assault.


There are many resources one can use if they would like to get help for an alcohol addiction such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings where a person can share your experiences and have support to guide you through getting clean. Therapy is always a good option to express your feelings and get feedback, and to also help you understand yourself. There is also a helpline for those who would like to quit and need the extra push. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcoholism or even any other substance abuse, SAMHSA’s national helpline is available 24/7, and their number is 1-800-662-4367.


Alcohol is a disease that plagues not only our town, but the world. People do not understand the dangers of drinking and how it can ruin somebody’s life. It is a disease that takes control of your life and relationships and can have dangerous and even fatal repercussions.