Alcoholism is an addictive psychological state wherein the affected becomes dependent on alcohol and is unable to control his or her drinking even when it causes serious problems. Alcoholics have the need to drink more just to get the same effect – they develop a physical dependence to alcohol.
It’s sad to say that those who have alcoholism cannot predict how much they will drink, how long they will drink or what consequences they will have to face because of drinking. Also, it is possible to already have a drinking problem even if it doesn’t reach the stage of being an alcoholic.
Some of the symptoms that an individual has a drinking problem are:
- Not being able to determine that they drink too much at times
- Causing repeated problems in life because of alcohol
- Being somewhat, yet not completely, dependent on alcohol
There is also what they call ‘binge drinking’. This refers to the pattern of drinking wherein a male can consume 5 or more drinks in a row and a female can consume 4 or more drinks. Binge drinking may lead to the same health problems and social trouble related to alcoholism. This drinking problem is usually experienced by teenagers and young adults which later leads to alcoholism.
Alcohol and the Hispanic Community
As of today, the Latinos are the largest minority group living in the United States. Their population is continuously growing in number and according to research, they have drinking problems that differ with that of the non-Hispanic whites and other racial groups.
So how much do the Hispanics drink? In general, the Spanish are less likely to drink as compared to non-Hispanic whites and other people. However, members of the Hispanic community who choose to drink can also consume more alcohol compared to non-Hispanic whites and other citizens of the country.
Factors that predict the drinking behavior of the Spanish people include acculturation, gender and attitudes. Acculturation refers to adapting to a new culture as a whole. This is the most critical factor in determining the Hispanic community’s drinking practices because as they live and breathe the American ways, their alcohol consumption is also affected. Research has shown that both Hispanic men and women tend to drink more as they become acculturated to American life.
Traditionally, Hispanic women do not drink alcohol if they are not attending family gatherings or private parties. However, this practice is slowly changing as they become more influenced by the American ways. Some Hispanic women even drink alcohol as much as Hispanic men are consuming nowadays.
Furthermore, Hispanic men who were born in the U.S. and are not Protestants are more likely to drink compared to others. Some of them even drink heavily and lead to developing alcohol problems. Puerto Ricans and Mexican Americans also drink more than Cuban Americans.
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