Alcoholism has always been the factor that ruined families, lives, and even generations. According to scientists, the majority of cases are connected with hereditary deviations in genes. About 50% of all cases of alcohol addiction are connected with heredity (Caan and Belleroche 2002). Genes that are responsible for alcohol addiction interact with one another as well as with the environment. Different variations of this interaction result either in temperance or in addiction. There is also one more possible variant when alcohol addiction is not predetermined by heredity. However, notwithstanding that the hereditary factor is very strong, alcoholic dependence can be presented though special measures, which should be taken already at school. This paper will propose the strategy and explain methods of alcoholism prevention.
Alcoholism can be surely called the curse of the 20th and 21st centuries. With the increase of the life rate, with the emotional stress caused by the surplus of information, people are prone to seek ways of relaxing. The main deceiving point of alcohol is that it is delusive. Being in the state of intoxication, all the difficulties and problems slacken and there is a temporal short-term state of carelessness and relative happiness.
The state described above is connected with the discharge of endorphins in blood. Endorphin, also called the hormone of happiness, is produced by a special area of brains and leads to the feeling of relaxation. Not only alcohol or drugs can lead to the effect of the short-term happiness, though it is the fastest method to stimulate the production of endorphins. It is known that bananas and chocolate have similar effect, though the number of endorphins is rather small.
The investigation of the alcohol addiction proves that daily and continuous consumption of alcohol even in small portions can lead to chemical addiction. Due to the exchange processes of the organism, the chemical addiction of cells arises. This addiction is characterized by the need to increase the dose from time to time.
The most striking fact is that according to the hereditary theory (that is proved by the statistical data) if one of the parents is alcohol addicted, then one of their children or grandchildren is sure to have the same problem (Plant and Plant 2006). The fact is that the gene responsible for the alcohol addiction can reveal itself even in several generations.
There are two types of alcoholism that are distinguished by scientists: male and female. Female alcoholism, though not so often met, is more dangerous and is hardly to be cured. Women get addicted to alcohol much quicker than men. This way, they become drunkards very quickly. Reasons that force a woman to take alcohol can vary. The first place is occupied by hereditary addiction, but then there come the reasons of an unhappy private life, problems with children, absence of family etc. However, for a man, a main reason after hereditary is problems at work. It has been established in the evolution of the mankind that a woman has always realized herself at home and in the family, while a man always strived to make a career and achieve something at work.
Alcohol influences the organism in a negative way, though scientists still argue whether there is a minimal doze of alcohol that is useful for an organism. It has always been believed that a small doze of red wine a day will be very useful for health. Though, nowadays some scientists argue that even such doze can lead to the dying-off of brain cells. Alcohol influences brains in such a way that the organism knowing that something harmful is happening starts to defend. As a result the cells of brains die off in the process of the battle. Soon, dead cells leave the body via uresis.
A person who is alcohol addicted gradually losses his/her intelligence and degrade. The only thing that interests him/her is taking another doze of alcohol. All daily actions in this or that way are connected with the opportunity to take alcohol.
There are four stages of alcoholism ranging from the lightest form to the one that leads to death. It is frequently asked which person can be considered as an alcoholic. Alcoholic is a person who consumes even small portions of alcohol regularly within small periods of time (Sutton 2007). Even if a person drinks one bottle of beer every day, then he/she is sure to be called a beer alcoholic.
It is necessary to point out that beer is one of the most deceiving beverages since it leads to the addiction that is not considered to be something serious. Low-alcohol drinks are believed to do no harm, though the state of things is quite the opposite. Low-alcohol drinks are the curse of the young generation thinking that drinking beer will bring no harm to them, though they become more and more addicted to it with every passing day.
Notwithstanding that there is no treatment for those who do not want to be treated, serious measures should be taken to prevent the increase of the alcoholism rate. As the main goal of the strategy to be developed is the ultimate decrease of the alcoholism rate, the health promotion strategy should include the following steps:
For the clear understanding of the problem, the population should be informed about the seriousness of the situation. It may be done through spreading the leaflets, which will briefly describe reasons, consequences, and prevention methods;
To make the promotion-prevention strategy more effective, it is also necessary to organize a free of charge attendance by medical specialists in order to control the health state of teenagers and explain to them the necessity of preventing alcohol dependence;
The basis of the assumption that this strategy will finally work for the benefit of this population group is that social methods have proved to be ineffective, thus it is necessary to concentrate on the informative side of the problem. Now, much has really been done to prevent the development and spread of the problem in the country. To make the strategy work, each alcohol dependant should be addressed and controlled at the local level with the active involvement of medical establishments at the local level. Medical establishments and doctors should take active part in the promotion of the strategy. The role of medical workers and specialists in this strategy is crucial as they are the ones who will be able to clearly explain the problem to their young patients and offer effective methods of alcoholic dependence prevention without serious damage to their health. People die every day, so the stimulus to reduce rate of alcoholism is very high. Here, there should be involved an appropriate medical education of the adolescents. Experts believe that medically accurate education is to begin from the kindergarten and should uninterruptedly continue in school. This practice is designed to convince teens to delay using alcohol until they become older. There are special educational programs for those who use alcohol at an early age. However, mostly these programs emphasize self-discipline. It is not correct because if a teen decides to follow another way, he/she is unprotected. All teenagers have some gaps in their knowledge about the consequences of drinking.
There is also an importance of the present analysis of media influences on the alcoholism rate. Contemporary research does not provide answers to the most important questions connected with this problem. The relationship between media influences and changes in behaviors is widely acknowledged, but whether or not television and the Internet can be responsible for the increased alcoholism rate is yet to be discovered. The results of this study will set the stage for the development and implementation of broad policy changes with regard to the quality of the media content delivered to people and children in particular. These results will also facilitate the development of specific recommendations for parents who seek to monitor and control the amount of media exposure among their children. As of now, the strengths and limitations of earlier studies can help to develop a balanced approach to the analysis of media influences.
The problem of alcoholism has now acquired the scales, which should be addressed through the thoroughly developed strategies. According to recent researches, the effectiveness of social methods in the attempt to prevent and decrease the high alcoholism rate has proved to be ineffective. The strategy described in this paper concentrates on the means of better information provision among schoolchildren with the aim of better understanding of negative consequences and means of prevention. The active participation of local medical workers in the strategy is crucial for its success. It is also essential that each alcohol dependant is addressed, which will ultimately result in the higher efficiency of the developed program at the local level. There are always teenagers who would not listen to directions and would not remain abstinent. If a youngster hears only of the abstinence or negative information about alcohol, he/she is more likely not to listen to it. There was one American study showing that teens who had promised not to use alcohol until they were grown up violated their promise. The paradox is that those who do not give any promises drink less alcohol than those who do promise not to do that.
To sum up everything stated above, it is necessary to mark out that alcoholism is a kind of disease, but it is connected with a weak will. A drunkard can be cured only in case he/she admits to having an addiction and tries hard to get cured. In any other cases, the treatment will have no effect. However, there are special measures that can and should be taken in order to prevent the increase of the alcohol dependence rate. These measures should be applied to young people with the main purpose of explaining to them terrible consequences of alcoholism.