In terms of self-regulation of behavior, it can be argued that alcohol problems stand apart from other types of substance abuse. The differences derive not from scientific findings but from popular beliefs. Public attitudes generally view excessive eating, smoking, and use of drugs as largely under an individual’s control. Thus, it has been popularly assumed that people engage in these excessive behaviors by choice. Popular conceptions of alcohol problems, however, are somewhat more clouded. While there appears to be considerable ambiguity about the nature and treatment of alcohol problems among the general public, a majority of paraprofessionals and professionals in the alcohol field have long supported an ideology that views alcohol problems as largely beyond an individual’s control. This stance has greatly complicated research and treatment directed toward exploring the extent to which alcohol abusers can control their drinking.
KeywordsDrinking Behavior Alcohol Problem Physical Dependence Blood Alcohol Level Alcoholic Anonymous
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