Alcoholism in the 21st Century

1743 Words May 4th, 2001 7 Pages
Alcoholism in the 21st Century The dictionary describes alcoholism as continued excessive or compulsive use of alcoholic drinks. However, this disease is much more complex. Alcohol abuse is a growing problem in the United States today, causing more and more deaths each year. It affects nearly everyone in the U.S. today, either directly or indirectly. Over half of Americans have at least one close relative that has a drinking problem. About 20 million people in the United States abuse alcohol. It is the third leading cause of preventable deaths, and about 100,000 people die each year from alcohol related incidents (Peacock 11). Alcohol is not a new invention of modern societies. It has been around through many different ancient …show more content…
Along with causing the people around them problems, alcoholics also bring down society. The economy wastes billions of dollars each year on costs of alcoholism. In 1992, about $103.6 billion was in lost productivity of alcohol-related illness or premature death. Another $18.8 billion was used for treatment and medical costs of alcohol abuse. The cost spent on alcohol related automobile crashes was $13.6 billion, and $12.7 billion went towards alcohol related crimes (Peacock 56-57).
Underage drinking is becoming a threatening problem among teens today. The media, especially, is not helping in the process to stop underage drinking. A new joke being told is that a mother was asking her young child what sounds different animals make. The child was answering correctly, until the mother asked, "What does a frog say?" to which the child answered, "Bud." Though this may seem amusing to some, it shows the reality of what we are exposing the future leaders of our country to. Children in the U.S. will be exposed to alcohol consumption through the media as well as real-life observations about 75,000 times before they reach the legal drinking age (Peacock 66).
Another problem with underage drinking is that many teens do not know the true facts about what they are drinking. Students in grades 7-12 consume 1.1 billion cans of beer and 35% of all wine coolers sold in one year. However, one out of three of students doesn 't know that all wine coolers contain

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