Among all substance-related disorders, alcohol-related disorders (e.g., Alcohol Intoxication and Alcohol Withdrawal) have received most attention in the cross-cultural literature (Westermeyer, 1995). Alcohol use patterns could be the result of cultural traditions in which the consumption of alcohol is expected in family, religious, and social settings. For example, many Hispanics consider heavy drinking an acceptable behavior among Hispanic males (Canino, Burn-man, & Caetano, 1992). This is particularly true in the case of Hispanics who believe in machismo, which, among other characteristics, refers to Hispanic males' ability to consume an excessive amount of alcohol without getting drunk
(Paniagua, 1998). Castillo (1997) reviewed the literature on this topic and found a similar situation in Ireland, Korea, and Japan and concluded that "in these societies, heavy alcohol use is expected and ... required by cultural customs for normal social interaction among males" (p. 162). As noted by Castillo (1997), in such societies males who do not engage in heavy drinking could be exposed to "negative social and occupational consequences" (p. 162). This observation, of course, is the opposite of what one would expect in the United States, where the negative consequences (both social and occupational) resulting from heavy drinking of alcohol are dramatic (e.g., social rejection, inability to find a job because of a history of alcoholism, etc.).
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