Alcoholism as a Deadly Disease

Topics: Alcoholism, Alcohol abuse, Addiction Pages: 8 (2871 words) Published: February 22, 2013
Alcoholism as a Deadly Disease

From the book “Alcohol and Temperance in Modern History: An International Encyclopedia” the author, Jack S. Blocker Jr.[1] addresses alcoholism as it refers to the pathological use of alcohol…or the disease model. The writer said that “this disease model of drinking behavior is a relatively new concept, and one that still evolving in its meaning,”[1] and a topic that is still vigorously debated. But, then I looked at other sources of authority that are persuaded that alcoholism takes on all the characteristics of a disease, therefore, after examining a lot of the evident I could easily conclude that the disease model of alcoholism indeed has the strongest proposition. In the book entitled “Permit But Discourage Regulating Excessive Consumption” by W.A. Bogart [2] the writer gives an opinion from clinical diagnostic accounts and writes “In general, DSM-IV alcohol abuse and dependence are defined as “maladaptive patterns of drinking, leading to clinically significant impairment or distress. Alcohol abuse is marked by symptoms like recurrent drinking in hazardous situations and recurrent drinking-related legal problems. On the other hand, alcohol dependence is defined by seven diagnostic criteria: “tolerance; the withdrawal syndrome or drinking to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms; drinking larger amounts or for a longer period than intended; persistent desire or unsuccessful attempts to cut down on drinking; spending a great deal of time obtaining alcohol, drinking, or recovering from the effects of drinking; giving up important social, occupational, or recreational activities in favor of drinking; and continued drinking despite a physical or psychological problem caused or exacerbated by drinking.”[2] When I consider his account the disease model becomes even more valid. It is known that alcohol consumption has and will continue to play a prominent role in the history of American culture. Profoundly, it has a detrimental effect on millions of American lives. These effects and the resulting consequences of alcohol dependency do more than affect the life of the user. This disease has touch the lives of the abuser's family and friends and cost the American economy billions annually in lost productivity, rising medical cost and health related expenses.

Therefore, alcoholism is much more than good times and rock and roll. It impacts every fabric of the American and global society. I know in the United States alone hundred of thousands of people die of alcohol-related causes each year. Alcohol dependency kill thousands and it ruin families and drains billions of dollars from the economy each and every year. Plus, I cannot help to recognize there has been a sinister plot to minimize and rationalize it use through commercialism as something harmless and socially acceptable.

I’m aware that alcohol is the most abused drug in the world, therefore, it should not be a surprise that we have such a pronounced alcohol dependency problems in the United States. The most common problem with this addiction is the disease itself.

Alcoholism is a chronic usually progressive disease that includes both a psychological and a physical addiction to alcohol and the maddening chaotic lifestyle that follows. Alcoholics know what will happen to them when they drink but they are so addicted they cannot stop drinking. Alcohol becomes the most important part of the person's life. It begins to totally consume the individual and all their thoughts and actions are somehow associated with alcohol. Alcoholism like other illnesses will become worse without treatment and remain life threatening as long as it is left untreated. Alcoholism is a chronic, life-long disease, such as diabetes. However, if managed properly, damage to the brain can be stopped and to some extent reversed.

In addition to problem drinking, the disease is characterized by more symptoms as was mentioned earlier including an impaired control...
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