Perspectives on Alcoholism

Topics: Alcoholism, Alcohol abuse, Alcohol Pages: 4 (2348 words) Published: October 30, 2014

Social Work History Paper
Holly E Brown
Grand Valley State University
Drinking alcohol tends to make people feel happy. Alcohol alters the neurotransmitters in the brain that results in a pleasant feeling. People drink for many different reasons. The consumption of alcohol can also negatively affect the individual, especially when they are drinking in order to cope with life. People may drink in order to manage a loss felt in their life. Others may drink in order to self-medicate or to mask their emotions. Young people may drink because of peer pressure or to cope with a difficult home life. No matter what the reason a person begins drinking, alcohol becomes a problem when it interferes with the individual’s ability to function (Gifford, 2009). Definition of Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive disease. It includes; problems controlling the amount of alcohol consumed, being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, having to drink more to get the same effect, or having withdrawal symptoms when the individual decrease or stops drinking (Gifford, 2009). An individual who suffers from the disease of alcoholism is physically and mentally dependent on alcohol. This dependency prevents them from being able to control the amount of alcohol they consume and how often they consume it. Alcoholism is not defined by the amount of alcohol the individual consumes, but rather its effects on the individual. Once alcohol enters the body of someone suffering from this disease it triggers a craving. The more alcohol consumed the stronger the craving (Gifford, 2009). Alcoholism is a chronic disease. This means that once an individual has developed the disease they will have it for the rest of their life. The disease is also progressive in nature. It grows in strength while it lies dormant in the body. It does not matter if the individual has sustained absence from alcohol for a substantial amount of time. If...

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