Name: Maleena Hashman
From: Wichita, Kansas
Alcoholism: From Someone Whose Seen It
Alcoholism: From Someone Whose Seen It
Addiction is a constant problem in America. Addiction isn’t just for drugs or alcohol. It can be soda, coffee, candles, pickles, the list goes on. There are many reasons why people might become addicted to something. It could be to cope with a loss or traumatic experience. It could also be because of a mental illness like depression or anxiety. A person might become addicted to something just for the reason of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. One of the main addictions is alcohol. Over 14.1 million adults suffer from Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) in the United States. That is 5.6 percent of America. Many times, when people don’t know how to express their emotions, they turn to alcohol. By making therapy more accessible, decreasing the number of advertisements about alcohol, and promoting rehabilitation centers and support groups, the percent of people with AUD would decrease.
Someone with an addiction to alcohol is prone to a multitude of consequences. Many cancers are connected to alcohol such as cancer of the: liver, mouth, throat, larynx (voice box), esophagus, rectum and colon, and breast. Alcohol also affects a person’s mood, coordination, brain process, and concentration. Drunk driving is also one of the most common ways that people can get pulled over and cause car accidents. I have had multiple family members, and myself, involved in a drunk driving accident caused by the other driver. In addition to these deadly consequences, people’s emotions are exaggerated while they are under the influence. This is when verbal and physical abuse begins to arise. While you’re “not yourself”, you can say and do things that you wouldn’t normally say or do. Alcohol ruins relationships and families.
Alcoholism is an addiction that has run in my family for a long time. My great grandfather had it, my grandfather had it, and my dad did. For a long time, I thought it was normal for adults to come home, drink multiple alcoholic drinks, then go to sleep. It was only until I hit middle school when I realized it wasn’t meant to be a daily activity. I would go to friends’ houses and see the way their dad’s acted. He would hug them, laugh with them, play with them. I was surprised that he wasn’t sitting on the couch with multiple beers next to him, ogling at the television. I teared up. I started doing research and find out my dad was an alcoholic, and I mean a real one. Sometimes, as a game, my sister and I would guess how many drinks my dad would have. Most of the time it was in the ’20s. As a middle school girl, I would try to get my dad to stop, and of course, I only got yelled at or spanked. I would cry myself to sleep listening to my parents scream at each other. My mom was trying hard to keep the fighting down but it was no use. I started to forget what my dad was like when he was sober. Those years were hard. My parents ended up getting a divorce in my senior year of high school. They have both found someone and my dad is doing better. It’s hard to create a relationship with someone you were a stranger to for so long.
I believe that one way we can decrease the number of people with AUD is to provide therapy at a lower price. One of the best ways to get through a depressive episode or a traumatic experience is to talk with someone. People should be allowed to have access to these types of things, especially when they have health care. Another way to help is to start advertising rehabilitation centers and support groups more. Whenever I turn on the TV, there is always an ad for some type of alcohol, but I never see any ads for how to get help if you become addicted to it. Addiction is a big problem today but there are so many ways to help people. America just needs to listen.
“Alcohol Facts and Statistics.” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Oct. 2020, www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/alcohol-facts-and-statistics.
“Alcohol Use and Cancer.” American Cancer Society, 9 June 2020, www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/diet-physical-activity/alcohol-use-and-cancer.html.