Final Project

Alcohol, Alcoholism and Recovery

Kymberlee Cole


November 13, 2009

Shelagh Smith

    How many people out there drink alcohol or know someone who does? The consumption of alcoholic beverages can intertwine with many traditions. Moderate use of alcohol can enhance celebrations or special times. Research shows that very low levels of drinking may lower some health risks. We may also consume alcohol to help ease the pain caused by rejection or loss. Alcohol is the most widely used and abused recreational drug in our society. Deciding whether to drink is a personal decision that we each eventually have to make. Although not everyone that drinks alcohol becomes an alcoholic, alcohol is a drug that can become addictive, and alcoholics need treatment.
      An estimated 65% of Americans consume alcoholic beverages regularly, though consumption patterns are unevenly distributed throughout the drinking population (Morbid and Mortality Weekly Report 1989). Ten percent are heavy drinkers, and they account for half of all the alcohol consumed. The remaining 90% of the drinking population is composed of infrequent, light, or moderate drinkers.
    Alcohol is a drug, and if not used responsibly, it can become dangerous. Deciding when to drink, and how much, is no small matter. Irresponsible consumption of alcohol can easily result in disaster.
    Alcohol is the most popular drug on college campuses, in which approximately 90% of students have consumed alcoholic beverage in the past 30 days. About one-third of all college students are classified as heavy episodic drinkers, which is more commonly known as binge drinking. Heavy episodic (“binge”) drinking (Windle, 2006) is typically defined as five or more drinks in a row for men, and four, or more in a row for women (Wechsler, Nelson, Toben 2008). Therefore, a student classifies as a heavy episodic drinker by drinking four drinks (female) or five drinks (male) during that occasion.
    The stakes of...