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It was a rainy Wednesday afternoon and little Tommy was struggling to cross the slippery puddle- filled streets. The crossing guard at the corner felt a tug at her leg and it was Tommy waiting to cross. He waited patiently at the corner until traffic seemed to clear. The crossing guard began to lead Tommy across the street when out of nowhere a car sped around the corner and without acknowledging the crossing pedestrians, ended little Tommyþs life. Tommyþs parents were called at work and notified of the horrible accident. Through all the gory details they received the same awful truth that is heard by millions every year, Tommy had been killed by a drunk driver.
Alcoholism is an epidemic in America that affects the lives of many. Alcoholism, as a disease, affects the individual, the family, and society as a whole. Families are torn apart, domestic violence occurs, and innocent bystandersþ lives can be changed forever, just like little Tommyþs. Drunk driving is just one of the many issues involving the abuse of alcohol. Alcohol abuse can lead to further drug and substance dependence. On the individual, alcohol damages bodily processes and organs, and affects personality and temperament. An approach to treating this serious illness is group therapy and individual counseling. The severity of the problem and the willingness of the patient will determine the extent of treatment he or she will undergo.
Though there are many aspects of alcoholism, a major issue at hand is whether or not alcoholism is a genetically inherited disease. Through research studies and surveys, it is evident that alcoholism is, in fact, genetically inherited. Genetic makeup is not the only factor, however. Environmental influences can foster genes and motivate a person to drink. Many people drink due to a neurological imbalance (which causes a psychological disorder). Others use alcohol as an outlet to their daily stresses. There is even a group of people who become alcoholics with an unknown motive. Alcoholism is a disease with many dimensions. This disorder begins as early as childhood and elevates throughout adolescence to its prime stage in adulthood. The early years are the crucial determination point. If a child grows up with constant exposure to alcohol, they will most likely pattern their behavior after the role model. This is how the whole cycle continues. It is unfortunate that so many Americans are affected by this disease and they are not even aware of it.
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