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Jewish Alcoholism

It remains a commonly held notion that members of the Jewish community suffer from substance abuse at rates lower than other cultural groups. Alcoholism is one form of substance abuse that research supports as being less among Jews than other cultures and religious groups. As reported by Eng, Hanson, and Isralowitz (2002), “Research indicates that, although a high proportion of Jews are light drinkers, relatively few are heavy drinkers...and that the alcohol abuse and alcoholism rate among Jews is lower than that of other major Western religious groups, particularly Catholics and Protestants” (p. 415). Alcohol use is highly limited in Jewish tradition, a reason often given as part of the explanation behind the fact that the lifetime rate of alcohol abuse is 11% in Jewish men and 28% in Catholic and Protestant men (Itzhak et al. 1997: 7). Additional socioeconomic factors often provide some explanatory support as to why the rate of alcohol abuse and dependence is two and a half times as high in Catholic and Protestant men as Jewish men. For instance, Jewish men usually have higher levels of income and education than non-Jewish men which gives them a higher willingness to seek out and a better means of affording substance abuse services and rehabilitation. Strong community ties and a strong reliance on faith are also used as reasons that help Jewish men cope better with substance abuse.

Despite such statistical evidence demonstrating that Jewish men appear to have lower rates of alcohol abuse and dependence than other men, recent research and new discoveries show that this may be more myth than reality. Other studies in the literature support lower rates of alcohol abuse in Jewish populations than non-Jewish ones. For example, recent survey data from Los Angeles and New Haven, Connecticut reveal that Jewish men had a 2.8 percent rate of alcoholism versus approximately 14 percent for non-Jewish men (Engs et al. 2001: 416). ...

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Jewish Alcoholism. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 11:10, April 21, 2019, from https://www.lotsofessays.com/viewpaper/1685760.html