First, let’s discuss what is meant by the term alcoholism. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the presence of two or more symptoms (found here: pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/dsmfactsheet/dsmfact.pdf) results in what they refer to as Alcohol Use Disorder, otherwise known as alcoholism. These symptoms are determined by asking simple questions that relate to tolerance, desire to drink, ability to stop drinking, and withdrawal symptoms. Alcoholism can be defined as a state of physical and psychological addiction to ethanol (Hanson, Venturelli, & Fleckenstein, 2015).
Developing an addiction to alcohol is a process that can be understood by examining the various psychological causes that lead to becoming dependent. Certain characteristics have been known to psychologically predispose people to abusing alcohol, such as poor executive functioning, ...
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...sorders can also contribute to the continuing abuse of this substance. The perceived benefits that alcoholics associate with drinking can perpetuate the disorder, especially when paired with denial of the reality of the problem. There are also many neurological and behavioral changes that alcoholics experience. The brain damage that occurs can cause irreversible cognitive and emotional impairment. Alcoholics can become reclusive and abandon responsibilities or relationships they previously enjoyed. While alcohol is a licit drug and highly advertised by main stream media, we should all be aware of the psychological implications that are involved with abuse of this substance. Next time we are faced with an opportunity to drink alcohol, perhaps we will all stop and consider the impact that drink could have on our personality, social life, and mental capabilities.
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