The drug abuse and alcohol addiction are said to be surpassing the class difference because it is linked with various other factors including income, employment, education and family relations. The cultural and social stereotypes are associated with people belonging from different classes. For example, middle and lower class people have no access to many life luxuries, so they are under attack of various preconceived notions. It is assumed by society that lower class people will be addicted to drugs and alcohol. It shows the prevailing views about the substance abuse in lower classes and underlying biases on cultural and social variation in status. It is said that due to the socio-economic factor, the drug abuse and its usage varies.(Schecter, Arnold J)
It is argued by proponents of this matter that drug abuse is influenced by various other factors also. It is examined that many drug abuse cases and addicts are affected by socialization factor and the environment which is surrounding them. Although the social difference and class division divide the setting of both classes. People belonging from different classes tend to socialize in a unique cultural environment. Lower class people are reported to be involved with illegal drug abuse and drug-related activities. There is another persisting assumption about the drug abuse which reflects the biased views attached to this matter. It argues that many drug abusers were reported from lower class ethnic minorities. (Schecter, Arnold J)
The cultural patterns also determine the use of a drug and whether it’s abused or not. Alcohol has been used for hundreds of years, and factual findings are evident to its use for medical purposes and other. But this study mainly focuses on how a social setting influences the use of a drug. They have established certain ground rules for the use of drugs such as alcohol. In the past and even in recent times, alcohol is used as a medical remedy in certain medicines. But certain behavior patterns have been associated with its excessive use to determine drug use. For example, it is an important notion to discuss here that people tend to believe that an alcoholic or drug abuser would be an unemployed, recently divorced, unsuccessful or uneducated person, who has no other meaningful indulgence. This so called reality about a particular status has been developed by many factors like media portrays these images.
In addition to that, these pictures penetrate into the minds of people in society and ultimately they believe that this reckless behavior regarding alcohol use is prevalent in the lower class. While the upper class, who also use alcohol have been reflected as civilized and sophisticated human beings, who indulge in this activity occasionally for celebration purpose etc. While it is not necessarily true because a millionaire has chances to be a drug abuser. It is believed by experts that people belonging from the higher hierarchy of the societal setup or upper class also become drug addicts due to variant factors such as unfulfilled relationships, failures and excessive use of the drug which leads to obsessive addiction.
It is also believed by experts on this matter that, some cultures and societies have not developed protective measures and normative behaviors regarding drug abuse and excessive use of alcohol. So when the people are exposed to drugs, they tend to use those drugs in an uncontrolled manner which gives rise to this issue. Some of the analysts point towards the direction of “anomie,” and how when a society is bombarded with a sudden influx of foreigners and their outside cultural norms, the natives may adopt the unhealthy way of life including drug abuse. It must be noted that these people will-will belong from the lower class because they are already leading a sub-standard lifestyle. Once the influx of people comes in, they are stressed out with the idea of constant battle and competition for resources. It can be proved through the example of Native American, it is believed that very few groups had been exposed to alcoholic beverages, but this situation transformed with the arrival of British.
The loss of cultural values and decreasing norm system is blamed for the growing drug abuse issue. It is stated that now the line is often blurred between classes when it comes to substance abuse. It is reported that higher drug abuse levels have been found in those people who do not associate themselves with one particular culture primarily Native American culture. There is a term used for this drug abuse, ” chronic alcoholism.” It is said that no matter how much arguments can be constructed to illustrate that alcohol addiction and drug abuse can be present in any class, but it is usually present in those people have been suffering from socio-economic traumas. The drug abuse issue varies within classes, and it also differs at a significant level among the youth of variant cultures. Such as the drug abuse level will be different t in Native Americans as compared to Indian immigrant youth or another of that matter. (Winfree, L. Thomas, and Curt T. Griffiths)
It is also argued about those young immigrants who move to a country with flashing lights of opportunities. They have been previously protected by the support and monitoring of their family members. Bt when they come to a new land with high expectation to fit in this culture, they tend to adopt the lifestyles of existing native people. It is examined that if an individual society has dominant alcohol drinking behavioral patterns, then the immigrants or outsiders might adopt to drug abuse or increase their use of drugs such as alcohol. Which is not only harmful and unhealthy for the society. But it links a cynical notion with those people who cannot adjust to the current cultural differences. (May, Philip A.)
The socio-cultural and economic factors are taken into account regarding the use of alcohol, and it is reported that it results in many harmful effects and even mortality. The health risks erupting from the excessive misuse of drugs and alcohol abuse happen due to social influences at large and individual choices. The social level covers the class differences and division persisting within society. It is stated that almost approximately 3.3. Million people die due to the excessive use of alcohol. The interaction of individuals within a certain social setting is also considered significant because sometimes a person is present in social surroundings where drug abuse is promoted, and alcohol is misused. It was also reported that social and cultural disparities give rise to drinking among lower classes especially focusing on youth belonging from the Asian and African-American background. According to a study conducted on different minorities in the USA, it was reported that drinking alcohol has increased in the both genders at an alarming rate over the past few years. (Sudhinaraset)
It is also analyzed that media and marketing factors also play a critical role in drawing these diversions among classes and particular groups regarding drug abuse and excessive usage of alcohol. According to a persisting research, it was argued that people are exposed to the availability of alcohol through advertisement of its usage in movies, television programs, and social media networks. The studies conducted on this topic revealed that many young adults such as college students started high rate of alcohol use under the influence of alcohol advertisements. It was mainly focused in the United States, which also revealed that drug abuse and cases of increased alcohol consumption were present in certain environments, where alcohol was culturally appropriate or accepted. The problem which was the result of this issue that alcohol use was portrayed as a positive thing, which leads to regular drinking habits and “binge drinking,” it ultimately leads to drug abuse and “chronic alcoholism.”
It is debated that class difference is critical in drug abuse and alcohol use. But it is also essential to discuss that media and marketing strategies of companies generating alcoholic beverages mainly focus on younger women. It is also shown on TV that women belonging from lower class status end up drug addicts because of their unfortunate circumstances or they become regular drinkers. For example, a television program called “That 70’s Show”, the mother in this role is shown a binge drinker, who tries to hide her financial situation and family problems through drinking. It is shown that small class people try to cope up with their issues through running away from them. Another recent example is illustrated infamous show, ” The Big Bang Theory,” where “Penny’s” character appears as a failure, and she is an actress belonging from low-class family. Who comes to LA to try her luck but miserably fails. Her failure is often mocked and shown in the show as “bit of a drinking problem.” It was previously discussed that Kendal’s’ book also indicates that society tries to believe in the reality which is shown by media. (Grenard)
It is also proved through study that marketing strategies on alcohol are mainly targeting a particular class and minority groups .i.e. Indian immigrants, African American Community, Latinos, etc. These companies make it colorful and exotic advertisement to lure the targeted community into their trap, which ultimately leads to chaos in society. Because this kind of things disrupt the balance of society and create distortion in the moral structure of society. The result of drug abuse and increased usage of alcohol comes with negative and unhealthy consequences. (Alaniz, Maria Luisa, and Chris Wilkes)
The discrimination based on class difference and racial status also reveals perceptions about the drug abuse matter and alcohol use. It was shown that most of the educated African-American men had experienced more discrimination. In addition to this, it was argued that discrimination for Afro-Americans also dictates the notion of drug abuse and alcohol use among their community. It was especially believed that young adults in Afro-American community indulge in drinking and substance abuse problem. Which is not only discriminatory but it is empirically incorrect. (Kwate, Naa Oyo A., and Ilan H. Meyer) This research further shows that how drug abuse and alcohol use is not under the influence of socio-economic perceptions, but it involves racial, gender and sexual orientation also.
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Winfree, L. Thomas, and Curt T. Griffiths. “Youth At Risk: Marijuana Use Among Native American And Caucasian Youths.” International Journal Of The Addictions, vol 18, no. 1, 1983, pp. 53-70. Informa UK Limited, doi:10.3109/10826088309027284.
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