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Sociology 3501 Final Notes

Sociology 3501 Final Notes - FINAL Chapter 12 Drinking and...

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FINAL Chapter 12 – Drinking and Alcoholism In this section we discuss the extent of drinking and its consequences. A number of different terms are used: moderate drinking, problem drinking, and alcoholism Moderate drinking Typically defined as consuming no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men. A drink is usually 12 once beer, a 5 ounce glass of wine, or a 1.5 ounce shot of liquor Problem drinking (AKA alcohol abuse) Occurs when some aspect (usually more than one) of life is affected by this drinking ie personal relationships, health, or work/school. May lead to alcohol dependence. The amount of alcohol depends on the person. Alcoholism The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines it as strong cravings, loss of control (one beer turns into 10 even when it causes vomiting or illness), physical dependence (may get ill when you stop drinking), and tolerance (takes more alcohol to get intoxicated or to just function; note that at some point in the disease tolerance may drop due to liver damage or decreased liver function Extent According to the text, 63% drink (most moderately) and about 1/3 abstain and about 6% are alcoholics – this corresponds to the percentage of respondance 12+ years of age who are heavy drinkers (drank 5 or more drinks on one occasion on each of at least 5 of the prior 30 days) Effects Mental and physical impact – alcohol is a depressant and it may reduce sensor motor skills. It does not improve dancing, sexual performance, or driving and it does not cause people to insult or harm others (this is more of a self fufilling prophesy – we expect it to make us this way, so it does in our eyes). We may even excuse people’s bad behavior because they are drinking – distorts perception and removes our filter Differing degrees of intoxication Size of person affects intoxications (one reason why women on average get drunk quicker – the other is because they metabolize alcohol differently) Percentage of alcohol in beverage
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Alcohol is absorbed directly into the blood so that food can deter absorption as can mixing alcohol with some mixers (some actually speed up intoxication however like diet soda) People develop a tolerance for alcohol so that it takes more to get drunk Setting or Mood The same drink can make you relax or feel happy. Our expectation of the drink has a lot to do with what the drink will make us feel. Social and Health related consequences of drinking In 2000 there are 85,000 deaths because of excess or risking drinking in the US – making alcohol the third leading cause of death Alcohol and Motor vehicle crashes 2002 – Alcohol related crashes accounted for 41% of all traffic related deaths 1995 – 36% of all crashes fatalities among 15 – 20 year olds were alcohol related More than 2/3 of children who die in motor crashes were riding with a drinking driver Alcohol and Unintentional Injury Approximately 31% of those who die from unintentional injuries in the US are intoxicated. This including:
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Sociology 3501 Final Notes - FINAL Chapter 12 Drinking and...

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