Alcohol and Drinking - Alcoholism as a Disease

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Alcoholism as a Disease

Unfortunately, alcohol brings on the risk of many diseases. "Recent evidence indicates that a wide variety of diseased conditions are brought about by a substance that coats the body's red cells, causing them to adhere to one another in clumps. These clumps, sometimes called 'sludge,' can be created by the ingestion of alcohol"(Burgess,p.130). Alcohol has a disastrous affect on all of the body's organs, the main one being the brain. "At death, the brain of the dependent drinker or alcoholic invariably will reveal enormous numbers of small areas of atrophy in which brain cells have been destroyed"(Burgess,p.131). The brain begins to shrink when under the influence of alcohol. This means that the space that a brain cell took up is now gone because the cell has been destroyed. "In extreme cases most of what is left [of the brain] may be nothing but connective and structural tissue. The neurons themselves, the cells that do the work of the brain, have been destroyed"(Burgess,p.132). If drinkers, casual or heavy, knew more about alcohol and the effects this drug has on the brain, the number of drinkers would probably drop to a very low amount of people. Unfortunately, this type of material is not made available to many people unless people got suddenly interested to look up the effects alcohol has on the body.

There is another type of disease people do not know about called the D.T.'s. This disease is that of body convulsions. This disease is commonly mistaken as being epilepsy, but it is caused by alcohol. It is caused by people trying to quit drinking. The body is suddenly taken off a sedative and is having withdrawals. The withdrawals are convulsions which also kills brain cells.


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...t also all of the innocent people that are involved. With so many scary things that can happen to the body, why enhance death when a person ca try to prevent it?

Works Cited:

Burgess, Louise Bailey. "Alcohol and your health" 1973.

Denzin, Norman K. The Recovering Alcoholic. New York: Sage Publications, 1987.

Works Consutled:

Berger, Gilda. Alcoholism and the family. New York: Franking Watts, 1993.

Graeber, Laurel. Are you Dying for a Drink?: Teenagers and Alcohol Abuse.

NewYork: Julian Messner, 1992.

Kowalski, Kathiann. "The Dangers of Alcohol." Current Health 2 February 1998: 6-7. CD-ROM.

Marlatt, Alan G. "Alcoholism: Disease or Addiction?" Professional Counselor October 1996: 104.

Schulte, Brigid. "How to Deal with a Family Alcoholic." Knight-Ridder Newspaper 23 December 1997. CD-ROM.

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