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Middle-Aged Alcoholics and Young Drinkers

  • Howard T. Blane

Abstract

The ideas and research put forth in this volume depart dramatically from traditional approaches to alcohol problems. They reflect a new sociopolitical consciousness of the interdependent economic, social, behavioral, and medical importance that alcohol, drinking, and behavior coincident with drinking assume in American society. In this chapter, I argue that alcoholics are not the only population with high rates of socially costly alcohol problems: another population shows equally high problem rates entailing equally high social costs. The second population consists of frequent heavy drinkers, drawn largely from among young adults between their immediate post-high-school years and their middle 20s. Many specific problems and conditions characterize both groups, a fact offset partly by disinctive differences in some problems, but mainly by the way problems cluster within or across individuals in each group and, most significantly, by differences in social perceptions concerning alcoholics and frequent heavy drinkers. Despite high problem rates, no public resources have been allocated to the frequent heavy-drinking population; on the contrary, nearly all available resources have been funneled to alcoholics. The wisdom of this de facto policy has not been debated.

Keywords

Binge Drinking Heavy Drinking Drinking Behavior Drinking Problem Disorderly Conduct 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Howard T. Blane
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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