Alcoholism in Police Officers

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There are many social problems today in America. They can be minor problems, or they can be major problems, but they are still problems that are of concern and can be adjusted. These social problems may seem different in the eyes of other individuals, what may seem major to one could seem like nothing to another, but they are still problems. One that interests me and I feel is of major concern happens to be alcohol abuse in police officers. Alcoholism itself is a major social problem, but when mixed with policing it may be more dangerous than we think. It all starts with the feeling of being stressed out on the job. Police feel that they have too much to deal with on the job, which I feel is true. In the field of law enforcement, officers tend to get involved in some intense situations and see some horrific tragedies. After work, they feel that a way to relive this stress is to stop at a bar on the way home "pound" a couple of beers. Whether it is beer or hard liquor, it may just seem like a little thing to do after work, but it can become an addicting routine. Recently an article appeared in the South Bend Tribune discussing three local police officers who had been cited on alcohol related charges in the town of South Bend, Indiana. The local police therapist, Hal Brown, encounters alcohol related issues often when counseling officers and their spouses. For example, a wife will complain that her husband will often stop at a bar before coming home so that he could "take the edge off" from a rough day on the job. (Gallegos) Brown observes that "a significant difference exists between downing a couple of beers after work and crossing over to excessive drinking" which results in marital difficulties. After a while of this same routine, this excessive drinking creates a communication barrier between husband and wife diminishing the strength of the relationship. Many police officers cross the line between relieving themselves of work related stress and creating a...
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