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Know more about alcoholism

The Definition of Alcoholism

Alcoholism, a disabling addictive disorder, is a disease in which the afflicted individual compulsively drinks 'alcohol', despite its negative effect on the drinker's health, relationships, as well as social standing. Medically, it is defined as a treatable disease. The term alcoholism was widely used in medicine, but now has been replaced with other concepts as “alcohol abuse” and “alcohol dependence”.

The more the individual uses alcohol, the stronger the body's physical dependence on it becomes. The ensuing tolerance causes the need to drink greater amounts in order to achieve the same effects.


Can it be called a disease?

Well, the American Medical Association regards it as a disease. In cases of alcoholism, the person will crave the substance in the same manner as someone starving from food or water. Individuals will typically continue the consumption of alcohol, regardless of the damage it is causing to their health, their relationships or their finances, as the compulsion is 'uncontrollable'. The various health problems caused by its long term consumption, are detrimental not only to his health but also to the society of which he is a part.

Is it furthered genetically?

Like many other diseases, alcoholism has been shown to be passed genetically. While that has been scientifically determined, an individual's lifestyle, environment and stress level can also play a large role in the development of this chronic disease, as does the ease with which alcohol is readily available. Just because someone is at risk for alcoholism, does not mean he or she will develop it.

'Alcohol' a depressant!!

There are many ways in which people are affected by alcohol - some people are pleasantly relaxed by the drug, while others lose their inhibitions and make decisions they may come to regret, in the near future. It is important to note, that although alcohol may be legal in most parts of the globe, it is still a very powerful and addictive substance. Alcohol has proven to be the principle agent resulting in most of the driving fatalities that occur on America’s roadways.

What leads to the addiction of Alcohol?

  • As a person starts drinking, he will gradually begin to think about the next drink. Thinking about the next drink will gradually turn into an obsession over the next drink.
  • Eventually, a continuous craving for more alcohol will consume his thoughts and actions and an alcohol addiction will develop.

This chain of events is what one can define as the cycle of alcoholism. Alcoholism, or alcohol addiction, is progressive and chronic if left untreated.

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