Alcohol Use and Abuse: A Theoretical Analyzes

Date: Sep 13, 2019
Category: Public Health

An alcohol is one of the traditional drinks that people have used from the ancient time. Over the years, different means of producing alcoholic drinks has emerged. This has led to the increase in the number of alcoholic drinks in the market. People in the community have always had a choice on which type of alcoholic drink to consume. Increase in the alcoholic drinks in the market has motivated people to get involved in drug use and abuse. Individuals consume alcohol for different reasons. Most people are convinced that alcohol can help them deal with day to day challenges. Most people consume alcohol to feel relaxed. Although, there are many people who are not negatively affected by alcohol, there are people who are adversely affected by it. It is through finding out why some people are affected and why others are adversely affected that someone can understand the difference between alcohol use and abuse. 

Alcohol use refers to the act of consuming alcohol drinks, such as wine, beer, or spirits, which contain ethyl alcohol, an ingredient that can cause drunkenness. Alcohol abuse refers to the psychiatric diagnosis, where there is the recurrent dangerous use of ethanol, regardless of its negative concerns. Alcohol abuse is caused by many interrelated factors, including genetics, social environment of an individual, the way one was raised, and personal emotional health. There have been many studies carried out that relate to alcohol use and abuse. The primary focus of this paper is presenting a theoretical analysis of alcohol consumption and abuse. To accomplish this, the current paper will refer to macro-level theories articles that have an analysis of alcohol use and abuse. There is a need for introduction of intervention measures to deal with the problems caused by alcohol use and abuse in many communities, all over the world.

 

Rational Choice Theory in Relation to Alcohol Use and Abuse

There are several theories that have been derived from different researches undertaken about alcohol use and abuse. These theories deal with different aspects of alcohol use and abuse. One of the key theories used, with respect to alcohol use and alcohol abuse, is rational choice theory. Rational choice theory, which is commonly known as rational action theory or choice theory, is a structure for understanding and frequently formally modeling economic and social behaviors. This theory maintains that people have preferences for different alternatives available to them. Thus, from this theory, it is believed that people always make a choice in every activity and behavior they choose to engage in. To present the connection between the rational choice theory and alcohol use and abuse, two articles will be employed. Thus, the following is the first article used to present the connection between rational choice theory and alcohol use and abuse.

A Self-Theoretical Perspective on the Use–Misuse of Alcohol and Drugs Based on Qualitative and Narrative Data

The general purpose of the study in this article is a misuse of alcohol and other drugs, as well as the available qualitative data on the topic. In order to effectively relate rational choice theory with alcohol and drug abuse, the author of this article uses self-theoretical viewpoints of the individuals that are significant in the analysis of alcohol misuse. In this article, the self-theories used include transpersonal, social constructivist, psychodynamic and cognitive viewpoints. The main question that arises in a study is whether there is a connection between self, mind, awareness and the alcohol use and misuse.

The study in this article adequately meets the requirements of the paper, since it highlights the theoretical viewpoint of alcohol use and abuse. This study is empirical. It employs qualitative research approach that produces numerical data and tries to ascertain causal relationships between self, mind, and awareness and the alcohol use and misuse. In this empirical study, the highlighted fundamental theory is a rational choice theory. However, the authors use rational choice theory in conjunction with other transpersonal, social constructivist, psychodynamic and cognitive standpoints. The researcher did this order to bring out the connection self, mind, and awareness and the decisions made by the individual in getting involved or avoiding alcohol use and abuse.

The study employs qualitative research methods. The reason for using qualitative method is that the method was suitable, while describing the connection between self, mind, and awareness and the alcohol use and misuse in different individuals. The researchers actually used this method in presenting a narrative description of alcohol misuse. Qualitative method is helpful in this research, since it enables the researcher to explain the factor taken into account, while making the analysis of alcohol and drugs use-misuse.

The researchers observed the macro level of analysis. The researcher focused on both alcohol and other drugs. In this case, alcohol use and abuse are studied in connection with other drugs. By focusing on alcohol together with other drugs, it is clear that the researcher focused on a set of variables rather than a single variable. This means that key focus of the study is personal use and misuse of alcohol and other drugs.

In this study, viewpoints are used as units of analysis. The study focuses on different perspectives. There are different views that are being analyzed, focus on a particular aspect means that the researcher used a macro level of analysis. 

In this study, the sample is not clearly defined. The researchers used different cases, while collecting the required data. Data related to people’s perspective was recorded. In the analysis process, theoretical arguments were used to explain the recorded views. Then, the hypothetical arguments were used in making the analysis of alcohol and drugs use and misuse.

In this study, there are steps employed by the researcher to collect the required data, make analysis and come up with the conclusion from the research findings. The first step involved stating the problem. The researcher set the objectives to be met at the end of the study. The other step was identifying the theory to be used in the study. The researcher then collected data by focusing on individual’s perspectives. In the next step, the researcher analyzed data by using the theoretical arguments and relating them to individuals’ perspectives, which relate to alcohol use and misuse. 

In this study, the researcher employed descriptive method of data analysis. The researcher quantitatively described the primary features of data collected in the research. The primary focus of the researchers in the analysis process was describing individuals’ perspective identified in the study. The researcher relates corrected data with the different cases to create arguments about rational choice theory. Thus, the analysis process is theoretical based. Different individuals’ perspectives are related to rational choice theory to ascertain the connection between self, mind, awareness and the alcohol use and misuse. Since the study also described alcohol use and misuse with the use of psychoactive drugs, the result from theoretical-based analysis is used to determine treatment implication.

The results of analysis indicate that there is a connection between self, mind, and awareness and the alcohol use and misuse. The author of the article concludes that there is a self-theoretical viewpoint behind alcohol use-misuse. The limitation of this study is that the researcher only employed a narrative approach. Experimental approach would have made it possible for the author to create a more thorough awareness.

Factors Shaping the Decision of College Students to Walk or Drive Under the Influence of Alcohol: A Test of Rational Choice Theory

The authors in this article test the rational choice theory to gain an understanding of the behavior disparities in regards to driving and walking under the influence of alcohol. The researchers aimed to find out the factors that influence the decision of college students to drive when they have consumed alcohol. The rational choice theory is used in this study that states that people base their decisions on the prospect of increasing their profits and decreasing the costs.

The authors employ this theory to help them understand why individuals opt to walk or drive under the influence of alcohol. The “benefit” may be the availability of the vehicle, while the chances of getting caught by the police may be the “cost”. This research is an empirical study that seeks to understand what influences individuals to drive or walk under the influence of alcohol.

The authors do not state whether the research is qualitative or quantitative; however, the researchers collect numerical data which provides statistic results characteristics of quantitative research. The research employed qualitative and quantitative research methodology. Qualitative involved the survey and questions on Survey questionnaires were used to collect the data. Qualitative studies involve conducting surveys to understand a given phenomenon or explain a particular behavior. The researchers used a survey to find out the students moral beliefs about driving under the influence of alcohol. 

The analysis in this study is macro. It should be noted that macro analysis involves focusing large scale analysis of a set of variables. The researcher examines many variables, such as the moral beliefs, the avoidance of punishment, formal sanctions, moral condemnation and punishment avoidance. The researcher also tests control variables, such as gender, age, and race. The results represent the variables, the means, and the standard deviations. The analysis also provides statistics on the percentage of different ethnic groups in the sample size.

The sample size entailed 301 participants who were randomly selected from a university in Virginia with a population of 3700 students. Data on the dependent were collected using a survey with answers to participants self –reported behavior in regards to public intoxication that is walking and driving under the influence of alcohol. Data on the participants’ questions such as how often one would walk or drive under the influence of alcohol. Data on the variables, such as severity of offense, certainty of offense, moral beliefs, and punishment avoidance were recorded and used for analysis. The researchers used descriptive analysis rating the variables on a scale of 1 to 5 and applying means and standard deviations.

The results show that students will hardly walk or drive if they are intoxicated if they believe the behavior is morally wrong or other people have engaged in the behavior with negative consequences. The students who believed driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious problem had a reduced chance of driving or walking in an intoxicated state. Certainty of punishment did not reveal any difference on whether the students would drive or walk under the influence of alcohol.

The author concludes that the results showed a limited support for the Rational Choice Theory in understanding the factors that influence people to drive or walk under the influence of alcohol. The authors raise caution in this research that some of the students who have been in the university for a longer period may be less likely to walk or drive while drunk. New students find it hard to accept that walking or driving under the influence of alcohol is problematic. These factors should be considered, while interpreting the results of the study.

Conclusion

The two articles used in this paper indicate that many people are involved in alcohol use and abuse. Although most people do not realize that there are negative effectives of alcohol use, the researcher from the two articles indicates that alcohol use has many adverse effects on many people. There is a need for creation of intervention measures that are helpful in dealing with the problem of alcohol consumption and abuse. There are different approaches used by researchers, while carrying out the studies, which relate to alcohol use and misuse to precisely determine the reason for people to get engaged in alcohol use and misuse. There are other studies that seek to explain the effects of alcohol use and misuse, like in the case of the second article. In most studies, like the ones highlighted in this paper, it has been found that alcohol use and abuse has adverse effects that are undesirable in the community. From finding from the studies presented in the two articles analysed, it is clear that there is need for measures to prevent and control the problems that are caused by alcohol use and abuse. The government and other non-governmental agencies need to introduce strategies that aim to dealing with the problems resulting from alcohol use and abuse, in different communities, all over the world. It the right strategies are implemented, there will be a new generation that is free from problems caused by alcohol use and abuse.