• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

KEY FEATURES: Two opening chapters introduce readers to the theories and perspectives used by social scientists to study drugs and alcohol, and to the larger trends in legal and illegal use of controlled substances. Six chapters on alcohol provide comprehensive coverage of the most widely used and abused drug in America. Lively discussions of alcohol and drugs in American popular culture brings the topic to life and relatable. Two appendices contain case histories from the authors' field research of individuals with alcohol and substance use disorders.

Chapter 8 Alcoholism
Thomas S. WeinbergGerhard FalkUrsula Adler Falk
Perspectives on and Explanations of Alcoholism

Any serious discussion of drinking behavior inevitably turns to a consideration of alcoholism. Although no one can give a precise count of how many Americans are alcoholics, it is undoubtedly a serious problem. For example, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) for 2015, there were 10,797,088 arrests made that year for all crimes. Of that number, 1,089,171 arrests were made for driving under the influence (DUI) and 405,880 arrests were made for drunkenness (FBI 2015, Table 29, “Estimated Number of Arrests,” https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2015/crime-in-the-u.s.-2015/tables/table-29). These two offenses account for almost 14% of all arrests. If we also consider arrests for disorderly conduct (at one time there was an offense called “drunk ...

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