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Do you think alcohol addiction is culturally relative?

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by syrkt, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. syrkt

    syrkt Member

    Having lived in two different cultures in my life, I'm starting to feel like certain cultures may have a higher likelihood of establishing an addiction to alcohol than others. Without getting into too much detail, do you think this is a possibility? Or is it merely a product of the resources and their availability within those cultures?
  2. vegito12

    vegito12 Community Champion

    I think it may have to do with, being around people who drink casually or ones who drink beyond control and some people may be used to it and get attached to it that way. I have been around people who drink nicely and some who drink too much and have seen them sleeping on the floor and can't remember how they got there in the first place. Sometimes when we have celebrations some people drink, more than they need to and also say things they may or may not mean to say in that state.
    rainbowguard likes this.
  3. Mackmax

    Mackmax Active Contributor

    This is definitely culturally relative. Countries where alcohol is common and legal at a very young age such as 16, actually have a lower rate of drunk driving.
    For example, in the UK, where you can have a drink at 16, only 3,000 people suffer from death or fatalities each year from accidents caused by drunk driving. http://www.drinkdrivingfacts.com/drinkdriving/drink_driving_facts.aspx
    Whereas in the U.S which has a legal drinking age limit of 21, over 10,000 people die or suffer fatalities each year from accidents caused by drink driving. http://responsibility.org/drunk-driving/drunk-driving-fatalities-national-statistics
  4. valiantx

    valiantx Community Champion

    I don't think any addiction is culturally inspired, but a culture of humans can rule their people to drink ethanol beverages due to natural circumstances [e.g. ill water supplies] or social customs. Ultimately, it's really up to each individual to choose whether he or she wishes to drink beer and liquor, unless your being forced to do so by a bunch of oppressive and insane people. The main reason why any addiction to a drug happen and continue on a high rate in the present time is due to the easy accessibility and the susceptibility people have to drugs.
  5. rainbowguard

    rainbowguard Senior Contributor

    I think it's a combination of peer pressure, social culture, religion, and daily habits. For example, in middle eastern countries where the local religion forbids the consumption of alcohol, you won't see a lot of alcoholics there. However, in the war torn areas, you can still see a lot of people drinking alcohol illegally, which is more dangerous because those alcoholic beverages never went through quality screenings. In Japan, work is extremely stressful and alcohol is a rule rather than exception if you want to relieve your stress. As the result, it is easier to be peer pressured into alcohol by your co workers if you are in Japan.
  6. bluedressed

    bluedressed Community Champion

    I think culture will influence the level of "standard drinking" and thus skew the perception of "alcoholic" as well. In Middle East, the standard is zero; in traditional Chinese places, the standard is pretty low, and if you drink every once in a while, you might just be perceived as an alcoholic. However, in places like Germany, if you drink from morning to dusk, you will just be on the average. In Russia, the traditions would encourage you to drink a lot, too.

    So the culture would provide with a certain "standard" and idea of what place alcohol has in your life. However, not all Russians are alcoholics and not all Middle East or traditional people restrain this much... It really all comes down to the individual; the society might just distort the perception of it, making it harder to realize you have a problem when your drinking habits are no different from anyone else's.
  7. jeremy2

    jeremy2 Community Champion

    I would say with no amount of certainty that most cultures in the developed countries/world tend to have an addiction to alcohol than developing countries due to its readiness and availability.Furthermore,due to the economies of scale,people have more disposable income in the Western world hence more likely to indulge in alcohol.
  8. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I do agree that it can be culturally relative.
    Heard/read that on some countries, it is normal for them to drink on a daily basis. It will be up to the individual if he or she will be addicted to it like drinking too much on a daily basis instead of just moderate drinking.
  9. primalclaws1974

    primalclaws1974 Senior Contributor

    For certain it can (as a whole) be culturally related. Western countries (as well as European) socially accept alcohol in all but the most devastating circumstances. But some people with Asian ancestry can have an actual biological reaction to alcohol, and some people can break out in a rash and feel sick on just a drink or two. For this reason, there are far less alcoholics in Asian countries than European and Western countries.
  10. Janie

    Janie Active Contributor

    Yes I think I culture can play a part in addiction, in the sense that it is part of someone's environment. When thinking about it this way, I think you can use the two words interchangeably, culture and environment. And we know that environment can play a large role in the development of addictions.
  11. elles-belles

    elles-belles Community Champion

    I agree with bluedressed that culture may influence the level of drinking but I don't think it is solely cultural as other factors play major roles as well.
    For example in my country Botswana there is a lot of alcohol abuse to an extent that it has become a 'cultural' trend, this is however mainly due to the fact that we don't have anything else to do really. The entertainment sector in our country has a lot of gaps and the only way people here feel they can enjoy themselves and entertain themselves is through substances such as alcohol.
  12. iamsnausaged

    iamsnausaged Member

    I think that so much of it has to do with the hook-up/glamour lifestyle that is such a big deal in North America. The states' only real competitive export is media, so our culture revolves around what looks glamorous on TV. not only that, but we suck at social inhibitions, that is, alcohol makes us feel more real and able to relate to others. i would think that this is due to how we are so individualized, and the family mentality is not as emphasized in the West. it also gives a get of jail free card for bad decisions, especially for women to be sexually promiscuous. i know a few Italian families that are ashamed and afraid of their offspring drinking like an American or Canadian even though alcohol is part of their culture; they think binge drinking is disgusting and not respectable.
  13. thomas carty

    thomas carty Member

    I think that may have some to do with it. I mean if you live in a culture where people are always partying and drinking and this is something that you grow up and see going on around you then it will be something that you will easily fall into. So I think that where you live really has a lot to do with you become an alcoholic.
  14. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I don't think it's the culture itself as much as it is the people in that culture who allow it to come first before their own decisions. Those that just allow it to happen and attribute it to culture will eventually be more prone to it, whereas those who have a much broader perspective of life, ones that are able to see themselves as part of a bigger picture rather than just their country or locality, will ultimately see more choices in recreational activities and behavior.
  15. wander_n_wonder

    wander_n_wonder Active Contributor

    I think you may be right that culture may have something to do with the use of alcohol. For instance, in more liberal cultures, teenagers are not strictly managed by their parents and they are allowed to go to bars or have drinking parties at friends' homes, etc. On the other hand, in more conservative cultures, teenagers are just encouraged to study all the time, without much attention towards social life. I think this is one of the reasons why there are more temptations for others to drink.
  16. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    To some extent, I agree with you. I have noticed that excessive alcoholism is very much prevalent in Western countries since people there have this "I need something to dull my pain" mentality. Everyone loves beer where I'm from but even if a lot of my countrymen are into drinking, most of them are not only able to discard the habit quite easily but they're also able to maintain a huge chunk of their sanity. In other words, they behave like they can live without beer. No wonder private or non-government rehab centers and support groups like Alcholics Anonymous are hard to find here.
  17. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    It's a cultural thing in some countries for people to drink socially after work, every day. Whether they get addicted to alcohol or not [in the long run] is an entirely different matter. Taking into consideration predisposing factors like the likelihood of one getting addicted if their family has an addiction history such [social drinking] could lead to addiction. In such a case the culture would increase the odds of such people getting addicted.
  18. Thestoryteller1

    Thestoryteller1 Active Contributor

    Well, I definitely know that I have been influenced by environment and what people I am surrounded with, into drinking more (in the past) and drinking less(to my disbelief I'm surrounded now by people who don't like drinking at all:)). So if you live in country where it's socially accepted to drink more, of course it would be easier to get into it.
  19. Metalhead

    Metalhead Member

    Alcohol abuse is connected with poorer results for overwhelming consumers by method of social elements. In this way, individuals with alcohol reliance regularly are defamed and have a higher possibility of getting to be unemployed and dejected; subsequently, they have a tendency to live in more packed quarters with lower shots of recuperation, so its a horrible wheel of ruin.