Research Paper on the Social Aspects of Alcohol Abuse and its Effects


Pick one of the following topics covered so far this semester: Poverty, Education, Race/Ethnicity, Gender, Alcohol/Drugs, or Crime.
This paper has four sections:
Introduction and thesis statement
Include 5 important facts about the topic and cite your sources of information
Provide specific details about your topic as a social problem, and/or list pros and cons of the topic
Sociological paradigm
Refer to your textbook and analyze the topic using one of the three main paradigms (Conflict Theory, Functionalism or Symbolic Interactionism).
conclude by discussing how you are personally affected by the topic your chose.
Your paper should be about 1,000+ words (which is 3 - 4 pages, double-spaced).
Use info from at least three different resources and list your references.



Type of Paper Research Paper English Style English (US)
Subject Area Sociology Writer Category Copper
Academic Level High School Sources 3
Number of Pages 4 page(s) / 1100 Words                      Referencing Style                      APA
Spacing Double Spaced





Research Paper on the Social Aspects of Alcohol Abuse and its Effects


Alcohol undeniably tops the list for the most frequently used drug not only in the United States, but also across the globe. Its adverse effects, which may be physical, emotional and mental cut across all walks of life and are far-reaching. For instance, shocking statistics show that one of the primary causes of increased mortality in America is alcohol, where more than 80,000 Americans die every year due to cases related to alcohol abuse. Additionally, most road accidents are influenced by alcohol use and mostly affect the youth (Hadland et al., 2017). The direct effects of alcohol use are felt by the individual, and involve detrimental physical effects such as impaired judgment, liver damage, cardiovascular complications and long term effects such as permanent brain damage (Sullivan et al., 2010). Alcohol abuse is a major social problem that has led to numerous consequences and losses on the community and the nation in general, and continues to wreak havoc on the youth of America. It has contributed to violence and crime among other major issues that will be discussed in detail in this paper.


Violence and crime

Alcohol abuse promotes violent tendencies in individuals which manifest in different ways such as battery, sexual assault, murder, theft and rape. An individual’s judgment and perception becomes impaired, hence perpetuating aggressive behavior. Most perpetrators of violent crimes that are under the influence of alcohol partake in vices that affect the society as a whole. Increase in crime rate in the society causes fear and anxiety among the members and leads to loss of life and damage to property. According to statistics by the World Health Organization, 35% of American citizens that have committed violent crimes were either drunk or intoxicated (WHO, 2015). On the victim’s part, alcohol affects judgment and the ability to assess high risk circumstances hence leading to incidences of sexual assault (Abbey, 2002).

Public Health Hazard

Excessive intake of alcohol is detrimental to an individual’s personal health causing ailments such as Cancer, liver cirrhosis, cardiovascular complications and brain damage. Additionally, it leads to various mental and emotional conditions such as depression, poor concentration, stress, anxiety and sexual malfunction (Sullivan et al., 2010). The number of people suffering from these diseases has increased, leading to a public health hazard. The economic impact felt by the families of these individuals and the nation as a whole is great. Medical expenses and hospital bills financially drain the society and may ultimately lead to poverty. Sometimes the financial burden may also lead to disagreements and conflict within the family unit and may perpetuate negative emotions such as depression and may even lead to suicide.

Poor work and academic performance

Alcohol abuse negatively affects the work performance of employees in a company or organization. This in turn affects the overall productivity of the company and the country. When employees abuse alcohol, it affects their thinking and concentration. Most times, the quality of work delivered is below par or very poor. Some individuals may be constantly absent from their places of work due to drunkenness and at times may cause accidents in the work area due to intoxication. This affects the rest of the employees and may lead to financial losses in the company. The country in turn performs poorly economically leading to major revenue losses.

In schools and institutions of learning, alcohol abuse causes poor academic results and absenteeism. In extreme cases, it may contribute to school dropouts perpetuating the cycle of unemployment. This in turn affects the productivity of the nation and causes an economic crisis further leading to crime and a dysfunctional society.

Road Carnage

Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a major cause of road accidents in the United States. It causes death, injury and damage to property. It is estimated that the loss caused by road carnage as a result of alcohol abuse is approximately 40 Billion dollars according to the Highway Traffic Safety Administration. All this affects the society financially and economically. The youth is the most affected according to shocking statistics and most fatalities involved young people below the age of 24.


Most alcohol addicts may end up misusing their income and spend it all on drugs causing loss of a sustainable source of employment and eventually lack of necessities such as shelter. It is estimated that 38% of individuals that lack homes in the United States were alcohol addicts.


Unemployment due to constant alcohol abuse may lead to poverty as a result of wastage and mismanagement of finances. Individuals end up spending a lot of money on alcohol and ignore other expenses. This ultimately leads to debt and bankruptcy.

Functionalism theory

According to this theory, different aspects of society depend on each other to effectively function as a whole. In order for cohesion and maximum productivity, all these aspects need to function in the right way without any disruptions. Functionalists strongly acknowledge the role of social cohesion in helping the society attain its maximum potential. Without cohesion, the system is bound to fail.

Alcohol abuse leads to the malfunction of various systems in the society such as family and education and as a result, the society fails to function as a whole due to the lack of cohesion. For instance, a family member abusing drugs and alcohol may deprive the rest of the members of their basic needs, leading to disagreements and even violence. Additionally, mismanagement of family resources due to constant alcohol use may lead to bankruptcy and poverty. These consequences ultimately lead to crime hence the society breaks down. When these aspects are all linked together, one effect spreads and affects other systems in the society.

Likewise, the education sector may fall prey to the negative effects of alcohol use among students and school staff. Poor performance in academic work leads to incompetence in the nation’s workforce and as a result, the economy may take a nosedive. This problem cuts across all sectors such as the medical sector and the business sector. Alcohol use therefore leads to the breakdown of systems in the society and the nation in general.


Alcohol abuse is a topic I strongly relate to since my friends are heavy drinkers who indulge in activities that involve the consumption of alcohol. I have fallen victim to peer pressure a number of times and even felt the negative effects of this drug firsthand. Depression and anxiety due to pressure from school work and toxic family members has at times driven me to indulge in alcohol abuse. Witnessing a number of my close friends and family lose their jobs and scholarships due to alcohol use, I personally think that there should be more awareness on the detrimental effects of alcohol and how to deal with alcoholism and other drug related disorders.




Abbey, Antonia. (2002). Alcohol-Related Sexual Assault:A Common Problem Among College Students. Journal of Studies on Alcohol Supplement. (14) 118-128.

Hadland, S., Xuan, Z., Vishnudas, S., Blanchette, J., Swahn, M., Heeren, T., Voas, R., and Naimi, T. (2017). Alcohol Fatalities and Alcohol-Related Motor Vehicle Crash Fatalities Among Young People in the US. Vol 139.

Sullivan, E., Harris,R., and Pfefferbaum, A.(2010). Alcohol’s Effects on Brain and Behavior. (33) 127-139.

The World Health Organisation. (2015). Violence Prevention: Preventing Violence by Reducing the Availability and Harmful Use of Alcohol.

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