Alcohol Dependence

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Alcohol is the most commonly used and highly abused drug in the world. In the United States alone, 17.6 million people suffer from alcohol dependence, or better known as alcoholism. Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive disease marked by a growing compulsion to drink and impaired control over drinking that eventually interfere with health and social behavior. It is an addiction that effects more people than just the alcoholic. Over 100,000 Americans die as a result of alcohol abuse. Results prove that alcohol played a role in half of the homicides, suicides and traffic deaths in the United States. It is estimated that alcohol causes 30% of automobile fatalities in the United States (Yi et al., 1999). Alcohol dependence is a disease that affects a person both physically and mentally. For some unlucky people, alcoholism is in their genetics. However, genetics is not an excuse for alcoholism. Even though alcohol dependence is more probable in people with alcohol weakness in their genes, alcoholism could be prevented. 50% of children of alcoholics do not become alcoholics themselves later in life (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2005). This statistic proves that alcoholism is preventative.

Psychological dependence occurs when the mind takes control of a person's drinking. Craving is a psychological effect that causes an alcoholic to need or urge to have a drink. It becomes a physiological effect when the person physically needs alcohol to survive. Another psychological effect of alcohol dependence is loss of control, the inability to stop once starting drinking. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcoholics believe that they cannot resist taking a drink and cannot curb thei...

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... tissue is replaced by scar tissue, is the most dangerous effect of alcohol on the liver. According to the American Liver Foundation, about 10-20% of all alcoholics develop cirrhosis. Alcohol could also cause brain damage, pregnancy complications and social difficulties, such as unemployment and family problems.

Alcohol dependence is a disease that is very tough to live with. From the psychological effects to the long term health effects, it does serious damage to the human body and the mind. As a college student, I never realized the severity of alcoholism. Drinking in moderation is fine, HOWEVER if drinking becomes a habit and that person cannot stop thinking about alcohol or cannot stop drinking, professionals suggest that they get professional help. Stopping the addiction while it is still developing is one way to curb the number of alcoholics in the world.
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