Alcoholism Alcoholism is a chronic disease of the inability to control drinking due to both a physical and emotional dependence on alcohol. Furthermore, alcohol consumption is associated with a wide range of adverse health and social consequences, both acute and chronic. Let us take a moment to explore and understand this a little more. The history of alcoholism goes back thousands of years. There is even Greek literature from thousands of years ago that talks about the dangers of abusing alcohol. In the 1920s the United States ended up passing a law to prohibit alcohol. However, alcohol was still being sold and consumed by many and black markets got started. The problem was growing in this country despite all attempts to keep it under control. By 1933 prohibition of alcohol was cancelled and around 15 million Americans struggled with alcoholism and it remains a serious threat in our society. As a matter of fact, since alcohol has been around, we have those problem drinkers along with people who drink moderately and those who stay away from alcohol altogether. We also know that intoxication alters the mental, behavioral and physiological capacities of a drinker. Frequently we see that intoxicated people experience the loss of physical coordination, general loss of intellectual abilities, incoherence, and mental confusion. These effects of alcohol intoxication depend on various factors such as the consumption amount, the spacing of drinks, the individuals weight and size, and how recently or if they have eaten. Unfortunately, alcohol- related problems both individual and those that affect society at large continue to impose social and economic burdens. In addition to the wide range of adverse health issues, there is a wide range of social issues including domestic abuse, child abuse, traffic accidents, fires, homicide, suicide, robbery, rape, and assault have all been linked to people drinking and misusing alcohol. A lot of the health problems have been caused or made worse by peoples drinking to the point of having to be hospitalized. Because alcohol can profoundly alter motor control and behavior, it is one of the most dangerous drugs. As of a matter of fact sudden abstinence by chronic alcoholic produces severe withdrawal syndrome and is more likely to cause death than withdrawal from narcotics. In order to safely withdraw from alcohol, the alcoholic should seek medical help for guidance and a treatment plans. The plan should assess the alcoholic as a whole meaning not just the addiction but the symptoms they are experiencing as well like anxiety, tremors or depression. They should look at programs such as residential treatment programs or outpatient to help with establishing and having a supportive and/or structural environment as well as to see what may work best for the individual. With helping get drinkers back to sobriety will bring down the numbers of alcohol-related deaths and fatalities caused by intoxicated people. Not to mention in the United States, members of the minority groups are affected more by alcohol-related problems. The alcohol-related death rates are higher among blacks than whites. Sadly, alcoholism may strike at any age. But there are a few things which ca lead towards alcoholism: anxiety depression, history of alcoholism in the family and social acceptance of drinking. Some people develop the symptoms of alcoholism after months of heavy drinking while it may take years for others. In fact, the structural perspective would argue that drug abuse is a response to weakening societal norms. As society become more complex and rapid social change occurs, norms and values become unclear and ambiguous. For example, results in social strains, advertisers glorifying the use of alcohol, a person suffering from feelings of estrangement, isolation, and turmoil over appropriate and inappropriate behavior, situational and/or it can be from biological or physiological reasons. In either case from the structural functionalist perspective drug use is a response to the absence of a perceived bond between the individual and society and to the weakening of consensus regarding what is considered acceptable.