Essay on Alcoholism Nature vs Nurture Argument

2784 Words Apr 6th, 2013 12 Pages
Alcoholism and the Nature vs. Nurture Argument

Does the environment that one grows up in contribute to alcoholism or is alcoholism determined by genetics? It wasn’t until 1991 that alcoholism was considered both a medical and psychiatric disease by the American Medical Association. Alcoholism is defined in the dictionary as a chronic disorder characterized by dependence on alcohol, repeated excessive use of alcoholic beverages, the development of withdrawal symptoms on reducing or ceasing intake, morbidity that may include cirrhosis of the liver, and decreased ability to function socially and vocationally. (dictionary.com). It is also defined as an addiction to the consumption of alcoholic liquor or the mental illness
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People who live in rural areas have very little to do so some pick up drinking as a hobby and eventually become alcoholics. People who live in dark dreary areas like Seattle or northern Alaska where the majority of the winter is spent in darkness are prone to excessive drinking. (Alaska Town Plagued by Alcohol Crime). Scientists have described this condition as “Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.” Living in geographic areas with a lack of sunlight can cause an interruption to our circadian rhythm, which is our internal clock. The sunlight in the morning is supposed to reset your circadian rhythm, but those who live in dark area’s clocks are not reset, causing an imbalance to their bodies’ internal clock. This imbalance can lead to depression. Depression and alcohol are often linked. Drinking too much alcohol can cause depression, which often leads people to drink more alcohol. Depressed people often self medicate with alcohol in order to change their mood or help them sleep. (Alcohol and Depression) Bethel, Alaska is the perfect example of a town in a rural, blue collar, area with a harsh climate that has extreme alcohol problems. An interesting fact about Bethel, Alaska is that it is known as a “damp” city.” The term “Damp City” means that the sale of alcohol within the cities limits is prohibited but possession is allowed. People are still
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