Working with communities Essay Example

  • Category:
    Sociology
  • Document type:
    Article
  • Level:
    Undergraduate
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    3
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    1571

Alcohol problems in King’s Cross, Australia

Alcoholism and social justice

Drinking excess alcohol is not only bad for the drinker in the short run but in the long run as well. Drinking does not just affect the drinker but others as well. There are a number of ways through which the society is affected. For example on the family members and the family life, the drinker may behave badly while on holiday with the family or they may fail to pick a young one from school. In some extreme cases, the drinker may become violent with the family (Miller)

These negative effects spread over to the friendships the drinker have as well as their work life. For example friendships may be broken, time is wasted breaking drinking fights (Insight), and the injuries that come with them, the drinker may fail to show up at work thus the others have to fill up for him making him a non-productive member. These effects also affect even individuals who do not know the drinker for example the noises and other serious impact like trying to break the fights. These examples go to show that drinking does not only affect but also the social setting of the society.

Definition of Terms

Alcohol- an inflammable liquid that is colorless and forms the element that intoxicates in beer, wine and spirits. It also refers to any liquor containing the element.

Alcohol-related- the relationship that exists amongst problems caused by alcohol, the negative effects on the individuals and the alcohol consumption.

Alcopops- a name given to pre-mixed spirits like vodka or rum. These drinks are legally classified as beers making them available in outlets that are not allowed to sell spirits.

Australian National Council on Drugs- an advisory body that supports the Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy. It is made up of people who possess relevant expertise from non-governmental, government and the community sector. It is charged with the responsibility of ensuring the voices of both the individuals working in the drug sector and the non-governmental organizations gets to every level of the government and has an influence of the development of policy.

Drug- it is an element that produces a psychoactive effect on the individual who consumes it. The National Drug Strategic Framework context defines alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs and pharmaceutical drugs all as drugs.

Drugs-related harm- any negative physical, social, legal, psychological or any other effect that is a result of using drugs that is experienced by the individual using the drug, the people they live with or any other person who is affected by the behaviors of the individual using the drugs.

Research done on Alcoholism in Australia

A research done by the National Drug Strategy Household Survey ( (National Health and Medical Research Council)found out that majority of the Australian who are adults have tested alcohol and continue with the drinking for the rest of their lives. Around 90 of Australians have tried alcohol in their lifetimes. This research also showed that alcohol has become more readily available to Australians than it was a decade ago. This is fueled by the vending of alcohol by supermarkets that operate for extended hours. The average alcohol consumed has however has remained the same. However, changes have been experienced in patterns of consumption where preferences have moved towards pre-mixed drinks and spirits and more so amongst the youth. The drinking styles have also become informal for example drinking from containers. Price of alcohol does not affect Australians. A study done of hospital admissions caused by alcohol related problems showed no reduction had happened since the increase of tax on alcopops (Kisely). Dr. Kisely discovered that there was no substantial decrease in the consumption of pre-mixed alcoholic drinks by young people.

A report commissioned by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (Room) found out that some problems associated with drugs and alcohol sometimes become official for example the child protection cases which are spread widely on the population.

Most of the research done are more of generalizations of the Australian society and do not cover specific areas of Australia for example Kings Cross.

Debates Arising

Alcohol advertising happens across various media platforms and the regulations are very inadequate. However much the young people are protected from television advertisements, they are consistently exposed to various other forms of advertising that glorify alcohol. Majority of these advertisements will not clearly state the alcohol-related problems likely to be experienced. According to Prof. Daube, the advertisements done by the brewing companies only seem to serve more of the industry’s sales than promoting the negative effects of alcoholism. However, the CEO of Miller Brewing Company argues that it is good business for the sector to advocate for responsible drinking. He goes further to say that the advertisements are genuine comprehensive campaigns employed by distributors and brewers to promote responsible drinking.

My Point of View

Majority of us do not view alcohol as a drug and as such we do not name the effects of alcohol when we are asked to talk about drug-related harm. We names other drugs such as heroin and cannabis. We drink to celebrate any accomplishments oin our lives. Drinking with our friends give us a sense of belonging as usually we drink with our friends, colleagues and family. The fact that alcohol is harmful to our health does not bother us. Sometimes however we do not drink to get intoxicated but just drink for the fun of it. Drinking has become such a norm in our society that we drink in the presence of young children and do not feel responsible to set good examples to them.

The young people always feel that the dangers associated with drinking only happen to other people and unless if affects them or people close to them, they do not give much attention to the messages brought forward in regards to alcoholism. The Australian National Council on Drugs should come up with campaigns that will make an impact on the both the young and the older generations. The society needs to deliberate on the availability as well as the promotion of alcohol and drugs in the community. Alcohol enjoyment for those who indulge does not have to come with the high price.

Application

What option do we have in light of this knowledge of extensive adverse damage from alcohol related problems? Maybe we should find all those accountable and punish them or treat all alcoholics away, assuming we can get all of them in the same place at the same time. The best alternative however is to appreciate that the problem exists and take it as seriously as we took drunk-driving. We have to re-think our policies in terms of an open market in alcohol, including casks and slabs that are available anytime of the day as well as pubs and clubs that remain open till morning hours.

Rethinking the policies will also involve addressing the issue of constantly subjecting our children to alcohol adverts. If it is determined that there too many worries and costs, then a very somber policy discussion needs to be started on how to reduce them. If we just consider the drinker’s health, one could argue that they be left alone to enjoy their drinking. But then, the risks are higher and the alcohol related problems are more extensive than that. The effects on the society as a whole should be taken into consideration when making alcohol policies.

There is need for continuous conduct of demonstration projects that are of high quality which should be evaluated against a strict criterion to help develop as well as refine standards that will be implemented around the whole country (Cozens). These demonstrations should cover areas such as enforcement of liquor laws as well as its regulation, an education based on alcohol and its effects should be introduced in schools, media programs, and local community based campaigns so as to create awareness and reduce alcohol-related problems.

Assessment and monitoring structures should be utilized to evaluate the policies and interventions effects. These systems should provide an informative feedback to all stakeholders such as health specialists, policy makers, administrators and individuals charged with the responsibility of implementing the programs and policies.

All the strategies that will be employed to deal with alcohol related problem should be guided by proper evidence. Data on alcohol consumption should be collected from various levels of the society as well as sections. This will ensure the methods implemented to curb alcoholism are effective and efficient. For example, cross-sectional surveys conducted periodically will help establish the trends and patterns as well as motivations for alcohol consumptions in specific geographical areas.

Reference List

Cozens, Paul Michael. «Urban Planning and Environmental Criminology: Towards a New Perspective for Safer Cities.» PlanningPractice and Research (2011): Vol. 26, Iss. 4.

Insight. «Punch Drunk.» 21 August 2012. Insight. 30 April 2014 <http://www.sbs.com.au/insight/episode/transcript/492/Punch-Drunk>.

Kisely, Dr.Steve. «‘Alcopops’ tax fails to cut binge drinking in young people.» 6 June 2013. UQ News. 30 April 2014 <www.uq.edu.au/news/articles/2013/06/Alcopops- tax-fails-to-cut-binge-drinking-in-young-people>.

Miller, Peter. Patron Offending and Intoxication in Night-Time Entertainment Districts (POINTED). Final Report, Monograph Series No. 46. Canberra: National Drug Law Enforcement Research Fund (NDLERF), 2013.

National Health and Medical Research Council. «Alcohol and health in Australian.» 6 April 2011. Australian Government: National Health and Medical Research Council. 30 April 2014 <www.nhmrc.gov.au/your-health/alcohol-guidelines/alcohol-and-health-australia>.

Room, Robin. «My drinking, your proble: alcohol hurts non-drinkers too.» 26 February 2013. The Conversation. 30 April 2014 <www.theconversation.com/my-drinking-your-problem-alcohol-hurts-non-drinkers-too-12424>.