FC: Alcoholism Visual Essay #2 Hannah McMillan 3.13.12
1: Alcoholism is a very general term that covers a broad range of problems related to alcohol. Usually alcoholism means consuming alcoholic beverages uncontrollable, almost like a need to drink in order to survive, which is extremely bad for a person’s health and relationships. Many things or combination of things including social environment, stress, mental health, family history, age, ethnic group and gender can cause alcoholism. Alcoholism is a major issue starting with the physical and mental harm it can cause a person. Drinking too much over a long period of time can cause many things including problems with the liver, pancreatitis, epilepsy, heart disease, sexual dysfunction or could even be fatal in some cases. It also increases the risk of cancer, damage to the central and peripheral nervous systems. Beyond the physical problems cause by long-term alcohol abuse, many psychiatric disorders are commonly seen. These include confusion, schizophrenia, panic disorder and many others.
2: The problems with long-term alcohol abuse certainly do not end with physical and mental health problems, though. Alcoholism causes numerous problems in a person’s social life as well. The more minor of social problems caused by long-term alcohol abuse start with loss of employment, drinking at inappropriate times and public disorder. While many of these seem relatively harmless to the general society, these issues can easily lead to many more major issues such as child abuse, domestic violence, rape, burglary, or assault. These issues are much more serious and effect not only the person drinking, but also their friends, families, co-workers, neighbors and generally anyone they may happen to come into contact with at any given time. It is in situations like these when alcoholism because a major social issue instead of just a personal health issue.
3: Alcoholism not only causes many social problems, it is commonly caused in part by a social setting. In today’s society, drinking is such a common part of socializing with family, friends, co-workers or other peers. People drink with dinner, on dates, at parties, sporting events, and many other things. In any given time, if a person turns on the Television or radio during commercials he or she could easily see commercials for several different beer or alcohol brands in one sitting. Even newspapers, magazines, and books advertise for beer and liquor companies. Alcohol is everywhere you look.
4: The functionalist perspective would label alcoholics as an essential part of society. Because every person has a role in society somehow, it is only fitting that alcoholics play a role as well. The functionalist view would take notice of how one became an alcoholic, what their history is and which parts of it effected the choices made in leading to alcoholism. This perspective would also look at what role the person plays once he or she becomes an alcoholic and how he or she affects those in their social group.
5: These pictures demonstrate alcoholism in many ways. The first picture shows the minor effects alcohol can have on the body such as vomiting and hangovers, signs that one has had too much to drink. The next three images show people drinking in ways and places that are entirely inappropriate. Proving that once addicted, people will do whatever they need to get their fix. The last two images demonstrate how alcohol has become such a social thing. Drinks are fixed to be attractive and taste good, and it is almost expected for people to drink when in groups.
6: Right: [Man adding Alcohol to his Coffee]; [date unknown]; [Artist unknown]; [© Radius Images/Corbis]. | Above: [Young woman throwing up in a toilet]; [date unknown]; [L. Moore]; [© L. Moore/Corbis].
7: Right: [Drinking and Driving]; [date unknown]; [Whisson/Jordon]; [©Whisson/Jordon/Corbis]. | Left: [Portrait of woman drinking alcohol at work]; [date unknown]; [Artist Unknown]; [© Juice Images/Corbis].
8: Left: [Watermelon and raspberry granita]; [November 02, 2009]; [Brachat, Oliver]; [© Brachat, Oliver/the food passionates/Corbis]. | Right: [UK - Liverpool - The Brink Bar]; [December 06, 2011]; [Colin McPherson]; [©Colin McPherson/Corbis].
10: A little heaven on earth...