Alcoholism: Supported by Empirical Evidence

Topics: Alcoholism, Alcohol abuse, Drug addiction Pages: 11 (4511 words) Published: January 14, 2013
Alcoholism: Supported by Empirical Research
Ellie Smith
Vanderbilt University

Abstract
Globally, alcohol abuse disorders have become a problem for seventy-six million people (Orford, Natera, Copello, Atkinson, 2005). Addiction is a disease, not merely a social disorder. The disease not only affects the inflicted individuals, but can also be detrimental to family members and the greater community. Causes of addiction can be grouped into three categories: psychological traits, the family, and cultural beliefs. In order to remedy this problem, researchers have suggested psychosocial treatment, participation in Alcoholics Anonymous including abstinence from the drug completely, and having drug abuse education to counteract the social culture in which an addict is surrounded.

Keywords: alcoholism, addiction, effects, causes, treatment

Because alcohol is a legal and socially acceptable drug in the United States, its abuse is often unclear and goes un-noticed. Compared with other more intense drugs such as heroin and cocaine, alcohol is not as harshly frowned upon (Read, 2010). However, with seventy-six million people world-wide abusing the substance, alcoholism has become a prevalent disorder in society (Orfold et al., 2005). Alcoholism is an extensive problem, affecting addicts themselves, their families, and communities. Researchers have found the main causes for the disease, and with support of empirical data, have attempted to alleviate these causes with effective treatment strategies. Definition of Problem

In simple terms, alcoholism is defined as a “progressive loss of control,” including a loss of jurisdiction when it comes to forecasting amounts of alcohol that will be consumed in a given sitting (Read, 2010). Despite consequences alcohol has on communal and professional performance, an alcoholic is compelled to obtain the substance no matter the circumstances. A Two-Part Disease

Alcoholism includes two parts: alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. The four criteria for an alcohol abuse diagnosis include: repetitive drinking resulting in the inability to fulfill a commitment, drinking in dangerous environments, legal problems related to excessive drinking, or continuation of drinking despite relational complications. Alcohol dependence diagnoses depend on the fulfillment of three of seven requirements. These requirements include tolerance, withdrawal, drinking large amounts for extended periods of time, unsuccessful tries at cutting back on alcohol, spending excess time drinking or recovering from drinking, giving up favorable activities for drinking, and lastly, continual drinking, regardless of psychological or physical set back (Kerridge, 2007). Ewing Acronym

The Ewing acronym, CAGE, was formulated in 1984 and is still used today to assess if a patient is considered an alcoholic. The CAGE questionnaire stands for control, anger, guilt, and eye-opener. Control includes the realization of the need to cut back on alcohol consumption. A beginning sign of addiction is when promises to lay off the bottle are broken. Anger is defined as feeling perturbed when confronted about how much alcohol one is consuming. Patients are asked to question how they feel when a spouse, sibling, or other close friend criticizes their habits. If an individual feels guilty about drinking or recognizes a potential improvement in their life without the substance, it is time to realize the extent of the misuse of alcohol. Finally, having the need to wake up and have a drink or deal with a hangover by drinking more is a telling sign of an alcohol abuse issue. If any part of the CAGE questionnaire pertains to an individual, it is probable that he or she is transitioning from an experimental play with alcohol to a serious addiction (Ewing, 1984). Importance of Problem to Society

Colonial Americans did not view alcohol as a harmful substance, with the drug widely accepted in...

References: Branscum P. & Sharma M. (2010). Is Alcoholics Anonymous Effective? Journal of Alcohol & Drug Education, 54(3), 3.
Casswell S., Huckle T., & You R. (2011). Alcohol’s Harm to Others: Reduced Wellbeing and Health Status For Those With Heavy Drinker in their Lives. Addiction, 106(6), 1087-1094.
Cohen, S. (1983). The Alcoholism Problems: Selected Issues. New York: The Haworth Press.
Ewing, J.A. (1984). Detecting Alcoholism, the CAGE Questionnaire. Journal of the American Medical Association, 252, 1905-1907.
Ferri, M., Amato, L., & Davoli, M. (2006). Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs for alcohol dependence. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 3, 1-26. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD005032.pub2.
Fillmore, M. (2003). Drug abuse as a problem of impaired control: Current approaches and findings. Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Reviews, 2, 179–197.
Finn, T.A., & Strickland, D.E. (1982). A content analysis of beverage alcohol advertising. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 43, 965- 989.
Goldman, M., Del Boca, F., & Darkes, J. (1999). Alcohol expectancy theory: The application of cognitive neuroscience. In H.T. Blane & K. Leonard (Eds.), Psychological theories of drinking and alcoholism (pp. 203–246). New York: Guilford.
Jellinek E., Jollifer N. (1940). Effect of alcohol on the individual: review of the literature of 1939. Quart J Stud Alcohol, 1,10-181.
Lender M.E. & Martin J.K. (1982). Drinking in America. New York, New York: Free Press.
Lubman, D., Yücel, M., & Pantelis, C. (2004). Addiction, a condition of compulsive behavior? Neuroimaging and neuropsychological evidence of inhibitory dysregulation. Addiction, 99, 1491–1502.
Lykoyras L., Moussas G., Botsis A. (2004). Examination of type I/type II alcoholism typology in a Greek hospital treatment population. European Psychiatry, 19, 214-218.
Morgan-Lopez A. & Patock-Peckham J. (2009). Mediational Links Among Parenting Styles, Perceptions of Parental Confidence, Self-Esteem, and Depression on Alcohol-Related Problems in Emerging Adulthood. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 70(2), 215.
Nathan P. & Gorman J. (2002). A Guide to Treatments That Work: 2Nd Edition. New York: Oxford University Press.
Obot I., Wagner F., & Anthony J. (2001). Early Onset and Recent Drug Use Among Children of Parents with Alcohol Problems: Data from a National Epidemiologic Survey. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 65(1), 1-8.
Orford J., Natera, G., Copello, A., Atkinson, C., Tiburcio, M, &Velleman, R. (2005). Coping with alcohol and drug problems: The experiences of family members in three contrasting cultures. London: Taylor and Francis.
Pickens R., Preston K., Miles D., Gupman A., Johnson E., & Newlin D. 2001. Family History Influence on Drug Abuse Severity and Treatment Outcome. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 61(3), 261-270.
Ray G., Mertens J., & Weisner C. (2009). Family Members of People with Alcohol or Drug Dependence: Health Problems and Medical Cost Compared to Family Members of People with Diabetes and Asthma. Addiction, 104, 203-214.
Read, Edward M. (2010). Alcohol: Still the Forgotten Legal Drug. Fed. Probation, 74, 43-47.
Rehm J., Room R., Monteiro M., Gmel G., Graham K., & Rehn N. (2003). Alcohol as a risk factor for global burden of disease. Eur Addict Res, 9, 157–64.
Reinaldo A., & Pillon S. (2008). Alcohol Effects on Family Relations: A Case Study. Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem, 16.
Robinson E., Eagle D., Mar A., Bari A, Banerjee G., & Jiang X. (2008). Similar effects of the selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor atomoxetine on three distinct forms of impulsivity in the rat. Neuropsychopharmacology, 33, 1028 –1037.
Rossow, I., & Hauge, R. (2004). Who pays for the drinking? Characteristics of the extent and distribution of social harms from others’ drinking. Addiction, 99, 1094-1102.
Witbrodt, J., & Kaskutas, L. (2005). Does diagnosis matter? Differential effects of 12-step participation and social networks on abstinence. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 31, 685−707.
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Essay on Alcoholism
  • Alcoholism Essay
  • Alcoholism Research Paper
  • Alcoholism Essay
  • Alcoholism Essay
  • Empirical Evidence of Drug Addiction Essay
  • Alcoholism Essay
  • Alcoholism Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free