Culture Shapes Drinking Habits
Whether young people get drunk as a purposeful
behavior or an an unintended consequence depends on what country they
live in, according to research in seven countries. The research shows
that our youth are more influenced by their culture than by either
gender or age. The research found some similarities in comparing those
- The introduction of alcohol was typically done by parents
during a family celebration.
- Alcohol consumption was primarily associated with enjoyment
- Drinking mostly took place at gatherings and public venues.
- A "successful" drinking experience involved socializing and
- An awareness of drinking as a means of self-medication.
The cultural extremes between the USA and other
countries seem to be focused in the general attitude or beliefs about
the purpose for alcohol. For instance, in the USA, drinking is not seen
as a part of routine family activities. It is primarily taboo. So, our
youth tend to see drinking as a form of rebellion, recreation, and
escape. In cultures like Spain and Italy, the use of alcohol is seen as
a part of daily living.
Extreme drinking happens in all cultures. One of
the road blocks to effective recovery is the shame that is attached to
our behaviors. Is it possible that our culture, in regard to its
attitude toward the use of alcohol, may actually promote the shame that
stops so many from seeking help for the addiction?
Adapted from "Swimming with Crocodiles"
Four Anger Styles
Stuffers avoid any conflict and just deny or bury
their feelings. "Peace at any price" is their motto. These folks get
Withdrawers use passive-aggressive means to
express their anger. They use non-obvious, indirect ways to get back at
those they are angry at. These folks get lonely and feel totally
Blamers like to put their problems and
responsibilities on someone else, anyone else. They are good at name
calling, attacking, and putting others down. These folks get scared.
Problem solvers can admit they are angry and then
look at why they are angry. They have learned to put thinking in
between their emotions and their actions. These folks stay pretty stay