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Alcoholism. Who is susceptible and why?. Bio/Psycho/Social Model. 1) Individual who responds to alcohol in a certain way. Positive reward. 2) Personality characteristics that encourage use. Impulsiveness. 3) Member of social group where A) pressure to drink. College Fraternity.

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Alcoholism

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Alcoholism l.jpg

Alcoholism

Who is susceptible and why?


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Bio/Psycho/Social Model

  • 1) Individual who responds to alcohol in a certain way. Positive reward.

  • 2) Personality characteristics that encourage use. Impulsiveness.

  • 3) Member of social group where

    • A) pressure to drink. College Fraternity.

    • B) confusion over drinking ground rules.

      Drink with meals or drink to get drunk?


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Physiological factors

  • Biological susceptibility

  • Genetic evidence

  • Family history

  • Children of alcoholics (COA)

  • If father alcoholic,

  • 25% sons affected

  • 5-10% of daughters


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Genetic evidence

  • Twin studies

  • MZ 100% genes

  • DZ 50% genes

  • Reared together

  • Alcoholism in

  • 55% MZ twins

  • 28% DZ twins


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Adoption studies

  • Original studies done in Denmark and Sweden.

  • Child adopted out.

  • Father alcoholic:

  • 18% sons affected.

  • Father non-alcoholic:

  • 5% sons affected.

  • Daughters less affected.


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Males particularly susceptible

  • Male limited. TYPE II alcoholism.

  • More severe, early onset.

  • Many negative consequences.

  • Trouble with law, at school, on job.

  • Environment plays less of a role but can lessen the severity.

  • Adopted COA’s did better than those raised with alcoholic parent.


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Milieu limited. TYPE 1

  • All women and 75% of men.

  • Less severe, later onset.

  • May not be treated.

  • Personality factors important.

    • Reward seekers. Psych dependence.

  • Environment plays key role.

  • Family and social groups.

  • Intoxication as recreation.

  • Good time depends on drinking.


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What is inherited?

  • High initial tolerance.

  • Different rate of metabolism.

  • Alcohol -> acetaldehyde ->

    acetate -> CO2 and H20

  • COA’s higher levels of acetaldehyde.

  • Metabolize alcohol quicker.

  • Hence higher tolerance


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Acetaldehyde effects

  • Acetaldehyde may combine with brain chemicals to give opiate-like high

  • Acetaldehyde also toxic to liver and heart.

  • Medical complications


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Brain response to novelty

  • Brain waves to novel stimuli.

  • P3 waves.

  • Less reaction in alcoholics.

  • And in COA’s before start drinking.

  • Need more stimulation?


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Psychological characteristics

  • Related to biology?

  • Reward seeking.

  • Impulsive.

  • Easily bored.

  • Risk takers

  • Gregarious

  • Push the limits

  • Act out


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Social factors

  • Alcoholism high in some cultures:

    Americans, Swiss, Irish, Poles.

    Low in others:

    Chinese, Greeks,

    Orthodox Jews


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Alcoholism is low in cultures where

  • Children learn alcohol is a beverage.

  • Served in dilute forms.

  • Abstain okay.

  • Parents model moderate drinking

  • Getting drunk not seen as comical.

  • Everyone knows ground rules.


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Alcoholism is higher in cultures where

  • No ground rules.

  • Mixed messages from different individuals and groups.

    Getting drunk okay? Funny?

  • Heavy drinking is encouraged.

  • Drinking a sign of masculinity or adulthood.


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Media images of alcohol

  • Ireland has highest heavy drinking rates in Europe.

  • Youth bombarded with alcohol ads.

  • Have begun to restrict advertising.

  • Change the culture.


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