Alcoholism Nature vs Nurture

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What has a greater power over our lives: Genetics or the environment? Addictive behaviors are all too common, and their causes are often highly debatable. Alcoholism is one of the oldest and least understood of these types of behaviors. Today, as genetic knowledge expands, it is possible to explore whether or not the addictive behavior of alcoholism is genetically based. To understand, we must first have a definition of what alcoholism is and the difference between the concepts of nature and nurture. Once these are understood, we'll look at the role that both nature (genetic) and nurture (environment/ upbringing) have been said to play in alcoholism.

The definition of alcoholism can be described as a chronic illness, which is marked by uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages that interferes with physical or mental health, and social, family or occupational responsibilities (Medical Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.. n.d.)This dependence on alcohol has only been diagnosed as a medical disorder recently in the medical field. Like many other diseases, it has a predictable course, but whether it’s influenced environmentally or genetically is still up for debate. The disease can also be called progressive and fatal which means that the disease can persist over a long period of time, bodily changes progress as the drinking continues and can cause premature death through overdose, suicide, motor vehicle crashes and complications of the brain, liver, heart, and other organs. Alcoholism can be detected by four basic symptom’s, they are, tolerance which is the increasing need to drink excessive amounts to feel its affects, also impaired control which is the problem of not being able to stop oneself from drinking at any given time. Craving is another symptom characterized by a strong compulsion to drink, and lastly is physical dependence which shows withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, sweating, nausea or shakiness (Nature vs. Nurture: A Continuing Debate |...
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