History Of Alcoholism And The Justice System

2-3 pages in APA format about the history of your selected population. Include citations and references including NASW’s Code of Ethics. Use the select questions below, to guide you:

Population: History of Alcoholism and the Justice System

  • How has this group been treated historically in our culture? What is the history (e.g., laws, experiences, etc.) related to this type of treatment or discrimination? What assumptions, beliefs, or attributions appear to drive this treatment or discrimination of this group?
  • What are examples of specific oppressive or discriminatory practices that this group has encountered as they interact with various institutions? You may include social, economic, educational, faith, and health care institutions in your discussion, as well as any other institutions of relevance.
  • What examples of strength and resilience are, or have been, evident within members of this group?
  • Discuss how NASW’s Code of Ethics applies to working with this population.


Alcoholism has been a prevalent issue in society for centuries and its treatment within the justice system has varied throughout history. Historically, alcoholism was considered a moral failing and individuals struggling with it were often subjected to discriminatory practices. This treatment or discrimination was driven by a variety of assumptions, beliefs, and attributions, including the idea that individuals struggling with alcoholism were weak-willed and lacked self-control.

One example of oppressive or discriminatory practices that individuals struggling with alcoholism have encountered is criminalization. For much of the 20th century, individuals struggling with alcoholism were often arrested and incarcerated for public intoxication and other alcohol-related offenses. This resulted in a disproportionate number of individuals struggling with alcoholism being incarcerated, which only perpetuated the cycle of addiction and criminal behavior.

In addition to the criminal justice system, individuals struggling with alcoholism have also faced discrimination within other institutions, including social, economic, educational, faith, and health care institutions. For example, individuals struggling with alcoholism have faced barriers to employment and education, which can limit their ability to achieve financial stability and independence. Furthermore, many religious institutions have viewed alcoholism as a sin, leading to further stigmatization and discrimination.

Despite these challenges, individuals struggling with alcoholism have also demonstrated strength and resilience. Many have overcome their addiction and gone on to lead successful and fulfilling lives, often with the help of supportive family members, friends, and community organizations. Additionally, many advocacy groups have formed to support individuals struggling with alcoholism and raise awareness about the need for effective and compassionate treatment.

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics provides guidance for social workers working with individuals struggling with alcoholism. The code emphasizes the importance of promoting social justice and addressing discrimination and oppression, as well as the need for social workers to provide culturally competent and respectful services to all clients. This includes addressing the root causes of addiction and advocating for policies and practices that support individuals struggling with alcoholism.

In conclusion, the history of alcoholism and the justice system is marked by discrimination and oppression, but also by strength and resilience on the part of individuals struggling with addiction. The NASW Code of Ethics provides guidance for social workers to address these issues and promote social justice for this population.


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