ALCOHOLISM


Alcoholism is described by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence as “A chronic disease marked by a craving for alcohol which characterizes by impaired control over drinking, use of alcohol despite adverse consequences, and distortion in thinking, most notably denial” (Encarta Encyclopedia). Denial comes about when people do not accept that they are alcoholics and they suffer from an illness.


Alcoholism is a world-wide discussed problem which has touched my life in a direct way as I have been witness, since I was a child, of how alcoholism has affected my grandfather’s life. My grandfather’s drinking harmed him, affecting not only his health, but also his job and financial position. Since alcohol threatens not only the person who drinks, but also the surrounding community, my family has been directly affected by my grandfather’s illness. The most outstanding consequence of my grandfather’s unstoppable consumption of alcohol has been the disintegration of my family. As a result of my grandfather’s illness, my grandparents got divorced. The effects that their separation has had on me has motivated me to research and write about ALCOHOLISM.


Alcoholics cannot control their dinking, even when it becomes the underlying cause of serious harm. They develop a strong urge to dink despite the awareness that dinking is creating problems in their lives. Alcohol dependence affects a broad cross section of society around the world. This illness touches successful business executives, skilled mechanics, laborers, homemakers, and church members of all denominations. Alcoholism is a serious problem worldwide; in the United States, the wide availability of alcoholic beverages makes alcohol the most accessible drug. That is why alcoholism is the most prevalent of the nation’s addictions.


There are several causes that make people drink. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, the most significant are: Physiological causes, environmental causes, and psychological influences. Recent investigations have explored the chemical action of alcohol among both normal individuals and individuals who suffer from alcohol-use disorders, particularly alcohol dependence. Studies suggest that some people may have a physical trait that enables them to drink large quantities of alcohol before feeling its intoxicating effects. These people have an enhanced tolerance for alcohol. Studies show that alcoholism runs in families. Alcoholics are six times more likely than nonalcoholics to have blood relatives who are alcohol dependent. (Alcoholism Causes, 365).


Alcohol-use disorders likely result from a complex interaction of biological influences and environmental factors. Environmental factors that may affect the development of the disease include personal behavioral skills, peer influences in early life, parental behavior, social and cultural attitude toward alcohol use, life stress, and availability of alcohol beverages. Many drinkers develop a psychological condition known as denial, in which they are unable to acknowledge that alcohol use lies at the root of many of their problems. Denial was long thought to be a personality trait shared by all persons who suffer from alcohol use disorders. Recent research suggests that denial may be a psychological response to negative feedback people receive about their drinking. (Alcoholism Causes, 366).


As alcoholism has causes, it also has effects. Alcohol affects not only people’s health, but also their social and emotional life. It affects people physically, because when a person consumes alcohol, the stomach rapidly absorb it depressing the functions of the central nervous system, including the brain. Alcohol also affects people’s social life. Even though alcoholism is consider by health professionals as a disease, society’s attitude toward individual with drinking problems remain confused. However, society view people who drink to excess as irresponsible, immoral, and weak of character.


“Until the mid-20th century, the typical picture of the alcoholic was of someone without steady employment, unable to sustain family relationships, and most likely in desperate financial straits”. (Dr. John Marcony, 523).


Drinking may become a technique for coping with problems, many of which have been brought about by alcohol use. Drinkers may neglect responsibilities to their families, as my grandfather did, seriously damaging relationships with their parents and children. Their productivity at work declines, often resulting in job loss. Despite numerous negative consequences experienced as a result alcoholism, drinkers remain in denial about their problem. They continue to claim to their friends and family that they can stop drinking any time they want to. But in reality, alcoholics find it difficult to control their alcohol use.


Fortunately,