The term alcoholism has been used over the years as a vague, poorly understood, and sometimes morally flavored term. Alcoholism is described as a primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations . This is a disease, which has destroyed many people and families, and is a constant burden on our society. For many years alcohol has been the most widely abused substance in America. Alcoholism is a disease with many possible causes, and several detrimental effects on the alcoholic and those around them.
The causes of alcoholism are highly controversial, but include both genetic and environmental factors. The main factor is genetics; the idea that addiction is passed on to children through inherited genes. In comparisons of genetic and environmental factors, the genetic factor seems to be more closely associated with the development of alcoholism as a disease. Meaning environment may encourage drinking, but the continuing urge to drink is due to genetics. In a recent study, 28.1 % of sons of alcoholic biological mothers were also alcohol abusers. Environmental factors simply make it harder for an alcoholic to resist the drink. We are surrounded by the message that alcohol is fun, sexy, desirable and harmless. As alcohol is portrayed as harmless, why wouldn’t youths flock to it as a social tool for a feeling of popularity or comfort in themselves? As drinkers start younger, there must be a stop of the glamorous portrayal of alcohol consumption. A shocking 31.1% of youths had their first drink, other than a sip, before age 13 Worse yet is the fact that most adult alcoholics began drinking at age 11.
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