Problem with alcohol?

I once wrote that I learned to drink alcohol in Korea. I didn’t drink back home since my father was an alcoholic (as in he drinks almost everyday) and I was afraid that it could be in our genes (?). My father was never in an alcohol rehab. Alcoholism is not something people recognize and get treatment for where I came from. I firmly believe though that people should recognize when it is a problem and should be treated for it.

FYI, “soju” or the Korean alcohol is the number one selling spirits in the world yet there are only about 48 million Koreans in the planet. Almost every legal aged individual here drinks on occasion, including my mom-in-law who’s almost 70. Where I came from, it’s vulgar for women to drink. I don’t even remember my mother drinking anything alcoholic. She had the will not to accept any when she was here twice.

Recognizing a problem with alcohol is not well accepted because of the drinking culture. Salarymen drink almost every night and yet you can’t really say that they are alcoholic, socially speaking that is. Men and women drink after a climb in the mountain. Soju and beer are served on birthdays and wedding banquets (which are usually held in daytime). When families meet, it’s inevitable that there will be alcohol on the table.

I once asked my husband if there is an alcohol rehabilitation center in the country. He wasn’t sure or he didn’t know if there is any.

5 comments

  1. betchay, is there a way of finding if there are a number of koreans suffering from cirrhosis of the liver and alcohol related vehicular accidents etc. etc. a friend married to a german says that cirrhosis of th eliver is common in germany as they drink beer like water. in many kdramas, hard drinking seem to be encouraged. there are so many drinking scenes in kdramas if you compare hollywood, japanese drama series with them. drinking seems to be encouraged and almost always a deux de machina. they don’t show that hard drinking is connected to cirrhosis of th eliver, heart, lung, problems etc. etc.

  2. My father had a drinking problem and wouldn’t get help for it. We purchased a breathalyzer from http://www.safety-devices.com and we set goals for him to lower his BAC% every night. It took about a month to lower his drinking to a beer a night. Now he may have one beer a week which is acceptable to our family since it does not alter his mood.

  3. @Chris: Good for your father that he is willing to cut back on his alcohol intake. That means he acknowledges your concern for his health.
    I was trying to help my father with his alcohol problem, and we ended not talking for a very long time now. It makes me sad, but I guess I cannot really help someone who is unwilling to help himself.

  4. Good for your mother! While I don’t shun cultures or people who drink, I hate that recent research has praised the benefits of alcohol. Those studies show that alcohol is bad, but at least you get this out of it. Basically, it’s like saying, “you’ve lost an arm, but at least you’ve lost 20 lbs!”

    My friend is in Korea, is not a drinker except socially. Hates it too, haha. But when you’re Korean, what can you do?

    @ellen
    I bet cirrhosis is a concern, but probably not as common as in Germany. Germans and Koreans handle alcohol different (specifically alcohol dehydrongenase), consume different amounts and types, and have a different diet (which does affect alcohol and the liver).

  5. haha! upon reading this article I remember one of our korean applicant (im not a HR, its just happens that my boss wants me to test the english capability of that applicant and try to know his personality), he’s about 40+ years old. I asked him why he chose to work here in philippines. he has a good job in korea. and then he answered me “because in korea, I can only remember two things.One is my work, and the other is dringking”..^^ According to him, he spends more of his time drinking than working..haha!

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