Earlier this month, a disruption happened on a plane when a drunk man became violent on a flight from Phoenix to Boston. The intoxicated man began exercising by doing pull-ups on the overhead bin. When he was asked to stop what he was doing, he refused and fought back. The flight that was supposed to go straight to Boston had to be diverted to Kansas City and the boozy man was thrown out of the plane.
If this story sounds almost like yours, don’t be surprised. It’s not rare to hear stories like this. Almost every week, we see a new horror story or viral video related to a drunk individual who gets crazy and makes a mess. Drinking alcohol shouldn’t be the major problem but the way some people react after they are intoxicated can trigger a difficult situation.
According to the International Air Transit Association, nearly 10,000 passenger disruptions were recorded back in 2016. A third of those disruptions were caused by people who were intoxicated. Perhaps, to keep these inappropriate acts from happening, serving alcohol on airplanes should have a stronger limitation.
Phoenix and its Struggle with Alcoholism
If you are in Phoenix, Arizona, you probably heard of a firefighter who was found dead while on duty in July. However, his death was not work related. His medical report listed his cause of death as an accident from acute intoxication with combined effects of drugs: ethanol, diazepam, oxycodone, and fentanyl. You also hear cases of drivers who have twice legal blood alcohol limit and cause a fatal accident. You will hear more of similar cases.
It’s not a surprise to find alcohol rehab Phoenix treatment centers spread across the city. With the rising numbers of alcohol addiction, the city itself has become a safe harbor for addicts to get treatment from different states like Ohio, Nevada, and New York. As a matter of fact, the state of Arizona has launched the first 24/7 substance helpline in the country as a way to reach out more addicts.
Why Does Someone Drink?
The short and simple answer to this would be social standards. Have you ever thought why you were exposed to alcohol at such a young age? This is because of the social aspects of alcohol. Some of the typical social reasons that tend to lead to alcoholism include:
- Stress. This is the number one reason why people drink. Society tends to perceive alcohol as the stress-reliever, but the truth is it is the cause of stress on its own.
- Peer pressure. A lot of children begin to be exposed to alcohol at the young age of 12 and begin drinking around 14. This may lead to an addiction.
- Mental health issues. About 20 percent of those with clinical mental health issues struggles with alcoholism.
- Social acceptance. This can include trying to gain acceptance from family and friends, craving attention, self-medicating, and simply trying to cope with an issue in life.
- Accessibility of alcohol. Despite the legal drinking age, alcohol is still easily accessible. In many homes, people do not find any problem getting alcohol.
As the brain becomes used to the alcohol, it crosses over into being addictive. This is the point where without alcohol the brain won’t function properly. Other than the social aspects of alcohol, genetic factors can also be a strong influence on alcohol addiction.
How Common is Alcoholism?
When it comes to drug choices, alcohol ranks in the top five in America. If you look closely at the statistics, no other substance is more abused in the USA. Out of every 12 adults, at least one suffers from alcoholism. There are over 17.5 million alcoholics in the USA. In 2015, Arizona was reported to have the fourth highest alcohol-related death rate.
So, the question is why is alcohol so addictive? What makes so many people want to drink? It turns out the answer is inside your brain.
Alcohol and Neurotransmitters
The type of alcohol found in most adult beverages is called ethanol. When you consume alcohol, the ethanol causes chemical reactions in the brain. These reactions are very addictive.
The science behind this can be very complex; to make it simple, the main reason why alcohol is addictive is that it becomes as something the consumer “needs to have” to feel normal.
Now, of course, this all depends on different things such as sociological reasoning, genetics, endorphins, and neurotransmitters. But if you know someone who can’t seem to go about their day without thinking about drinking alcohol, that is the main indication of alcohol dependence.
How Can You Help Addicts?
The simplest way is by understanding the habits and symptoms of alcoholism. It may seem easier to say it than actually doing it, addicts can react differently. Sometimes, their reactions can cause major problems such the disruptions in the public settings like on an airplane.
If you know someone who struggles with alcoholism and in serious need of help, do not ignore them. An addict can get better from alcohol addiction. All they need is time and dedication. Even if you fail once, always remember that nobody is perfect. Eventually, they will get there.