Alcohol abuse has proven to be universally detrimental to people’s health; however, different socioeconomic conditions in various countries affect its prevalence. In the United States alone, alcoholism has increased by 49% from 2000 to 2010 (Ingraham, 2017). There is a direct positive correlation between alcoholism and factors such as the education levels, the religious views, and awareness programs and initiatives in the United States, Ethiopia, and Mexico.
The United States population of approximately 312 million is almost four times Ethiopia’s of approximately 87 million, with Mexico’s population being about in the middle, at approximately 118 million (World Health Organization, 2014). The population and development level of each country directly affects the percentage of the population with Alcohol Use Disorder. For example, 22.3% of adults in the United States have Alcohol Use Disorder, while Ethiopia’s and Mexico’s are 6.4% and 8.7%, respectively (World Health Organization, 2014) (The World Bank, 2018). This is most likely because drinking has become somewhat of a culture in some parts of the U.S, and the population directly affects its growth (Galbicsek, 2018). The United States’ status as a developed country allows for greater consumption of alcohol in general, whereas the underdeveloped status of Ethiopia hinders its accessibility. As Mexico is classified as a developing country, its alcohol use will most likely rise along with its progress of development. The United States’ development as a country overall and Mexico’s advancement, could easily be considered the most prevalent factors in the rise AUD in both countries.
The higher rate of education in these countries has shown a surprisingly positive correlation with AUD rates. The United States has an education attainment, the percentage of people age 25-64 with a secondary degree (high school diploma or GED), of 90.1%. Their percentage is significantly higher than Mexico’s 33.6%, and almost fourteen times that of Ethiopia’s education attainment of 6.5% (OECD). These percentages go hand in hand with the aforementioned percentages of adults in each country with Alcohol Use Disorder. In comparison, religion has a very insignificant effect on each country’s rate of alcohol abuse. 70.6% of the United States identifies as Christian (Pew, 2015), and 78% of Ethiopia’s population also identifies as Christian (Mitchell, 2017). Mexico’s dominant religion differs from the other two countries, with 81% of the population identifying as Catholic (Lesley, 2018). There appears to be no correlation between dominant religions in these countries and the rate of AUD, however, this could be affected by other factors within the different religions of each country.
The availability of awareness programs in the United States, Mexico, and Ethiopia also correlate differently with the rates of AUD in each country. The United States implicates alcoholism awareness programs for children beginning at young ages through public school, yet the percentage of adults with AUD is significantly higher than those of Ethiopia and Mexico. This is most likely because, despite every negative aspect of alcohol taught in school, there is overwhelming access to alcohol in the United States. In contrast, Mexico, and Ethiopia have significantly less awareness of the negative effects of alcohol, but less overall access. The lack of initiative for awareness in Ethiopia is likely the most prevalent factor in the development of AUD since citizens are more likely to abuse alcohol in times of stress when they are not fully educated on its effects (Teferra et al., 2016).
If I were a healthcare administrator/counselor, I would initiate programs to effectively treat addiction based on the socioeconomic factors of the place to which I was contributing to. For example, my programs in the United States would focus more on the removal of the normalization of alcohol. Alcohol is arguably the most dangerous drug in the world, mostly due to its acceptance in society. To effectively implement this in the U.S, I would focus on advertising the negative effects of alcoholism in social media and intensifying the consequences for alcohol-related crimes. On the other hand, Mexico’s rate of AUD is less high since it isn’t as developed as the U.S. As a result, my preventative actions would revolve mostly around stopping the spread of alcohol abuse normalization so that alcohol is commonly considered an extremely life-threatening drug. Furthermore, my strategy for prevention in Ethiopia would be based on the rise of general education about alcohol. In order to do this, the school systems in both Ethiopia and Mexico could focus on spreading facts through schools/media, and applying high consequences in response to alcohol-related crime.
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