Alcoholism a Social Problem?

1593 WordsJun 23, 20107 Pages
The Social Problem The social problem that was identified in the helping relationship is a return to alcohol use or relapse. The participant in the helping project admitted she had been in substance abuse treatment twice, but was unable to remain abstinent from alcohol use. This, according to her is a relapse, however, Miller (1996) identifies relapse as a return to alcohol and/or drug dependent behavior in a person who has previously achieved and maintained abstinence for a significant period of time beyond withdrawal. Unfortunately, the participant was unable to remain abstinent for any significant period of time, therefore does not meet the definition of relapse. Hence, we will discuss relapse, but the core social problem…show more content…
Milam and Ketcham (1983) report that in 1804, Thomas Trotter wrote a paper that first introduced the concept of alcoholism as a disease. The essay was very controversial at that time in history and the controversy continues to this day. Trotters’ paper not only challenged the popular Christian church opinion that the alcoholic is sinful and depraved, but he implied that the alcoholic is not responsible for his behavior and should not be judged but treated. Trotter also managed to upset the medical profession by implying that they were now to assume responsibility for treating more than just the physical ailments that accompany alcohol abuse. The disease concept of alcoholism was met with such disapproval by the church and a complete lack of professional cooperation that the concept eventually faded into oblivion. Unfortunately for the alcoholics, they continued to be relegated to the same institutions that housed the insane and feeble minded, Milam and Ketcham (1983). This treatment continued until AA entered the dark world of the alcoholic. While there were religious groups like the Oxford Group, which was an evangelistic Christian movement from the 1920s, where alcoholics were told they lacked moral principals, along with other forms of treatment which used barbiturates and belladonna, but nothing to provide the alcoholic with hope for a sober future. Agency
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