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Study finds alcohol intoxication behind 90% of hate crimes

People under the influence of alcohol are more likely to carry out hate crimes, with intoxication acting as an “ignitor” to venting prejudice, suggests a recent study. Researchers from the Cardiff University surveyed 124 individuals who experienced accidents and violence-related injuries across three UK cities: Blackburn, Cardiff and Leicester. Around 23 victims (18.5 percent participants) reported to have been attacked by people motivated by prejudice. Significantly, alcohol intoxication was the common connection in 90 percent of these targeted attacks, revealed the study published recently in the journal Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health (CBMH).

Of the 23 people who reported prejudice as the motive of the attack, seven described the appearance of their attackers as the perceived motive. Five of the 23 victims cited racial tensions within their communities, while eight cases were linked to religion, race or sexual orientation of the victims. Three victims mentioned their place of residence as the cause of the attack. However, all 23 victims encountered the attacks away from their homes, the study found.

A majority of respondents recommended limiting alcohol consumption as an effective strategy to reduce the risk of attacks, which was approved by the authors too. “Our findings suggest that tackling alcohol abuse is not only important in regards to the health of individuals but also to the health of our society. Additionally, we have learned that emergency room violence surveys can act as a community tension sensor and early warning system,” advised Professor Jonathan Shepherd, director of the Cardiff University Crime and Security Research Institute.

Alcoholism in US

Alcohol-related problems offer significant public health challenges in the United States. According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 136.7 million Americans aged 12 or older (about 50 percent of people in this age group) consumed alcohol in the past month. Of them, 16.3 million people were heavy drinkers. The survey also reported that around 9.2 percent of adolescents aged 12 to 17 were alcohol users in 2016, which indicates significantly high percentage of underage drinking.

However, the good news is that alcohol addiction can be treated with timely professional help. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) suggests that nearly one-third of people who receive treatment for alcohol problems do not exhibit any further symptoms one year later. Although many therapeutic approaches are available to treat alcohol problems, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Depending on the type of severity of symptoms, different treatment strategies may work for different individuals. Typically, experts recommend three prime treatment approaches to deal with alcohol addiction and dependence:

Behavioral treatment: Behavioral treatment or counseling aims at altering drinking behavior and pattern through expert advice or counseling by mental health experts. In behavioral counseling, experts try to equip patients with skills needed to curb or reduce drinking. Patients are also trained to build amicable social support system and learn how to avoid the triggers that might cause a relapse. Some effective behavioral treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational enhancement therapy, brief interventions, and marital and family counseling.

Medications: People battling alcohol-related problems can also be prescribed medications to help stop or reduce their drinking and maintain sobriety. Medicines may be administered alone or in combination with behavioral counseling.

Mutual support groups: Peer support can also help individuals grappling with alcoholism overcome their addiction problems. Meeting and conversing with people with a similar situation help see the problem in new light while those who have successfully attained sobriety can boost their confidence. Mutual support groups, in combination with treatment led by health professionals, can act as an effective added layer of support.

Seeking treatment

If you or a loved one is grappling with alcohol addiction or dependence, contact the 24/7 Recovery Helpline for credible information on alcohol abuse rehab centers in the U.S. and best treatment strategies. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-441-4405 or chat online with one of our representatives to know more about one of the finest alcohol addiction treatment centers near you.

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