The Impact of Sociopolitical Systems on Teenage Alcohol Abuse

  • Richard E. Horman


If one assumes the “disease model” for alcoholism, there is no reason to discuss the impact of sociopolitical systems on teenage alcoholism. The disease model would define the etiology of the problem as being biologically based. As a result, sociological and political phenomena would not have any significant impact on the problem. For the purpose of this discussion, however, I submit that the disease model is invalid and that the problem of alcoholism can be defined only as a highly complex political and behavioral problem. I believe further that alcoholism is in and of itself symptomatic of deep and significant societal and psychological problems. Unfortunately, we have come to label alcoholism as a disease when it is merely a symptom of underlying diseases. Because we have decided to classify alcoholism as a disease, we have decided that the appropriate treatment objective for this disease is abstinence. It is unfortunate that we have given this complicated problem an easy label and an easy cure.


State Store Alcoholic Beverage Capita Consumption American Sociological Review Young Driver 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard E. Horman
    • 1
  1. 1.National Psychiatric InstitutesUSA

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