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Being an Alcoholic and the Broader Impact of Alcoholism on Society

Sociological imagination refers to thinking and seeing beyond the narrow scope of societal opinion. With the help of it, an individual is able to temporarily detach from the societal bondage and chains. This particularly applies to activities and utterances that are considered controversial in a particular community. Such include drug abuse and the perception of the society concerning drug abuse, teenage pregnancy and the aftermath, and alcoholism among others. Some people find it hard to accept failure, and they constantly find themselves making comparisons between themselves and others. Whereas it is a positive attribute to stay on course by keeping up with what happens around, a person needs to strike a balance between societal and personal influence upon his or her actions. For instance, the examples of a pregnant teenager and an alcoholic given above, failure of either party to find his or her place within the society may yield into a weakness (Hanson, 2012). Individuals who undergo these events more often than not find themselves on the opposite end of the community beliefs and teachings and may even be branded failures. Indeed, letting societal interpretation and judgment get in their heads usually results in unfavorable if not devastating results. It, therefore, calls for a decisive approach in weighing the good aspects of societal contributions and personal preferences if the subject is to live an accomplished and satisfactory life. Furthermore, ignoring the wise counsel of members of the community and sticking to the criticized activities may only cause more friction.

Alcohol and drug abuse are commonly associated with sociopaths and social misfits. It is, therefore, no wonder that alcoholics are considered failures in life (Doyle, 2012). They often get derogatory terms and get unequal treatment due to their condition. Even then, in the face of all the stigma and segregation, alcohol consuming has been shown to have a positive side to it. Research has demonstrated that moderate consumption of alcohol has numerous benefits accruing to it. For instance, one research has revealed that moderate consumption of alcohol is good for the heart and general body health. In addition, taking moderate amounts of alcohol has been shown to have a positive bearing in the social world (Doyle, 2012). Alcohol is considered a social drink that helps make conversations easier and gets even strangers talking like long-term friends. Its consumption dates back to the old days of yore when soldiers carried barrels of beer to battlefields. It was used to set up a celebratory mood after the win. The use of alcohol has even been mentioned in the Bible. All these facts point to a long-standing presence of the drink in the human evolution. Alcohol has made headlines, sometimes for the wrong reasons. This is especially true in cases where the subject develops a habit of drinking frequently, thus leading to addiction.

Alcoholics find it hard to survive without a drink. Just like drug addicts, the deprivation of alcohol causes far-reaching ramifications to their social lives (Hanson, 2012). The story does not end there. Continuous and unregulated consumption of alcohol causes the body to demand more of its intoxicating effects. As a result, the alcoholic is forced to increase the dosage every time to keep his or her nerves calm. The body gets so used to being under the influence of alcohol that when the person goes for some time without taking a binge, symptoms are manifested. It is not uncommon therefore to see an alcoholic under rehabilitation getting sweaty, nervous and having a fever. All these are side effects of withdrawal. However, the damage is not only done to the subject's body, but also his or her social life in general (Doyle, 2012).

Due to the effects of alcohol that have been preached and documented, the society got used to considering alcohol and alcoholics from a different perspective. Alcohol consumption has been known to cause people to engage in activities out of the ordinary. This is especially so if the drink is excessively consumed. Alcoholics commonly find themselves withstanding the worst of judgment by the society (Woititz, 1990). The judgment comes with the stereotypic perception of their lives and activities. Some of these perceptions are warranted as excessive consumption of alcohol leads to various grim results.

Excessive consumption of alcohol may result in impaired judgment. Alcohol influences the subjects thinking and reasoning and may cause him or her to engage in activities they would otherwise not be engaged in if they were sober. Some of the consequences of such poor judgment may not disappear with the rest of the community paving way for discontent and disgruntled feelings (Hanson, 2012). For instance, excessive alcohol consumption may lead to accidents and other grave consequences. The aftermath may be the loss of lives and property. As expected, the community may not take that lying from an alcoholic. In a way, this is one of the factors that contribute to the stereotypic perception of alcohol consumption. At such point, relations between the alcoholic and the rest of the society get on a downward trend. Feeling left out of the equation may only aggravate the situation as the alcoholic, feeling like a black sheep, would see the need to withdraw and refuse to open up to people around him or her. This will make the situation even worse.

Alcohol consumption could also be one of the causative factors of promiscuity, one of the most talked about and despised ills in the society. Alcohol not only interferes with the judgment of the alcoholic but also his or her hormonal balance, predisposing the subject to wild escapades. Irresponsible sexual behavior likely results from this. Sometimes this culminates into full-blown grave situations such as rape cases (Woititz, 1990). The law and the society, in general, are not really forgiving, especially when it comes to matters of promiscuity. Alcoholics, therefore, find it hard to prove themselves contrary to the presumptions and expectations of the society. The result is the kind of treatment that is becoming characteristic of alcoholism, being looked down upon.

One of the gravest consequences of alcohol consumption to the alcoholic is the effect that continuous and excessive consumption of alcohol has on his or her relations with people around. Due to their unpredictable and sometimes wayward behavior, alcoholics quite often find themselves in everyones bad books. Friendship is dissolved under these circumstances and alliances are broken. Family time is also taken up by drinking time hence causing great harm to the family unit (Doyle, 2012). The alcoholic may find amending these broken ties a daunting task, especially if the immediate turnaround is not made. The society views such people as those lacking foresight and they commonly go without any meaningful recognition. A child may fail to recognize the presence of a parent in his or her life under such circumstances. Sometimes, a child may even find it hard relating to parents as the only feeling he or she may have towards them is the shame (Hanson, 2012). Alcoholics thus have a great challenge of keeping friendship bonds and family ties alive while at the same time satisfying their bodily needs.

There exists a thin line between personal and societal judgment and it is a debatable issue in the society. With an open-minded approach, alcoholics and the other types of people who commonly find they flow against the currents can devise ways of remaining in touch with the society and their inners personalities. Social imagination could very well go a long way in helping through this journey.