Alcohol abuse is a very dangerous condition in that it can cause many problems in a persons life and affect many aspects of their lifestyle. Alcoholism (or alcohol abuse) somehow effects everyone's life at some point in time; through a parent, a sibling, a friend, or even personal encounters. Alcohol abuse, as a medical diagnosis, refers to a pattern of behavior characterized by excessive alcohol consumption. This consumption can occur at regular intervals, regular weekend intervals, or during binges, which are considered as being intoxicated for at least two successive days. Difficulty in stopping, reducing the amount of alcohol use, and impaired social/occupational role functioning are all characteristics of alcohol abuse.
A number of theories in the medical feild are used to explain alcohol abuse. These are the biologic-genetic model, learning/social model, the psychodynamic model, and the multidimensional model (McFarland 457). Each different model, for alcoholism have varied explanations as to how and why people use and abuse alcohol.
The biologic-genetic model states that there is a specific genetic vulnerability for alcoholism. There has been extensive studies on factors in the genes that could determine or influence the use of alcohol from generation to generation. However, these studies have shown no hard evidence for an association between alcoholism and inherited factors.
The learning and social model proposes that alcoholism is a process that is slowly developed within a social situation or atmosphere. This model of alcoholism has also been researched by using both human and animal subjects. A conditioning model of alcohol tolerance has demonstrated that specific cues from the environment such as odor, sight, and taste, produce a stimulus that results in alcohol consumption. If ethanol, the addictive ingredient in alcohol , is not supplied, a psychological compensatory response called a craving is produced.