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Article Critique about Alcohol & Society

The research efforts of recent years aimed to shed light on the interconnection between alcohol outcomes and socioeconomic factors. In terms of homelessness, the literature on alcohol outcomes and housing status reflects a clinically significant and unequivocal association. Nevertheless, there is a strong need for further studies to adequately address and assess the needs and peculiarities of the marginalized category of the population. It is likely to be more affected by substance-use disorders, medical and psychiatric disorders, criminal justice services, and disproportional use of high-cost health care services.

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Content and Methodology Overview

In 2014 the World Health Organization stated the approximately 5.9% of deaths worldwide and around 139 million disability-adjusted life-years were the outcomes of alcohol consumption (as cited in Collins, 2016). Collins (2016) says that “the alcohol-related disease burden is precipitated in part by acute intoxication, which decreases reaction time, perception and motor skills, and inhibitions and is thereby associated with an increased risk for traffic accidents, self-inflicted injuries, suicide, falls, drownings, alcohol poisoning, and interpersonal violence” (83). There are several alcohol consumption longer-term effects also contributing to the disease severity through different medical conditions (for example, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and liver cirrhosis). Moreover, they may result in psychiatric disorders such as alcohol use disorder, depression, and others. Collins (2016) underlines the significant positive interconnection between adverse alcohol-related outcomes and alcohol abuse itself in terms of social determinants of these outcomes.

The alcohol-related problems, the frequency and quantity of the individuals alcohol abuse, and their risk of alcohol use disorder are determined through a variety of factors. They include but are not limited to, macro- and chrono-level determinants covering peer and family influences, geopolitical contest, biological predisposition, psychological factors, historical time, prenatal alcohol exposure effect, and sociodemographic features. In turn, the last include race, gender, age, culture, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and religious affiliation. All the factors mentioned above transact over time and interact to reveal alcohol-related consequences such as alcohol-related outcomes and drinking patterns.

In the reviewed article, the primary focus concentrates on one specific aspect of the complex systems set. This aspect is the relationship between alcohol-related consequences and socioeconomic status, including educational level, housing status, employment status, and economic or income factors. The synthesized data is mainly collected from meta-analyses of the past decades covering adult populations. Additionally, the systematic reviews from the English-language sources were studied. It is noteworthy some of these researches were limited to only one country, whereas others were cross-national. There is a need for the overall use of caution for these findings interpretation as the political and cultural contexts characterized by the likelihood of this phenomena widely differ. Moreover, the article reviews the population-based researches, especially those not addressed in terms of included reviews. These Collinss (2016) studies directly approach the association between alcohol consumption and its outcomes and socioeconomic status. Though most of the researches included only adults, some of them also reviewed adolescents when studies and meta-analyses were appropriate for their involvement.


Summarizing the findings gathered in the article, it might be suggested that individuals with low socioeconomic status bear disproportional outcomes of alcohol-related consequences. Simultaneously, people with higher socioeconomic status might consume analogous or more amount of alcohol with less adverse effects. Future research should more thoroughly investigate the mechanisms of these interconnections. The multilevel interventions addressing economic disparities of vulnerable and marginalized populations should be developed based on this knowledge.


Collins, S. E. (2016). Associations between socioeconomic factors and alcohol outcomes. Alcohol Research, 38(1), 83-94. Web.

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