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Alcoholism is a disease in which a person has an overwhelming desire to drink alcoholic beverages. A person who has this desire is called an alcoholic because he/she feels forced to drink. Alcoholism is considered one of the most serious problems in the world. Alcohol creates many problems in our society and people's personal lives. A large number of people in the world die from different diseases caused by alcohol. According to the Maclean's magazine, " In 1993, 3,062 people died from diseases directly related to alcohol consumption such as cirrhosis. Alcohol was also involved in almost 16,000 other deaths in fires, motor vehicle accidents, acts of violence and other incidents." (37) Many people think that alcoholism in an incurable disease, but they are wrong. An alcoholic can be treated in many ways, but of course, he/she has to recognize that he/she is an alcoholic and wish to be cured. Some ways of treatment, such as Alcoholics Anonymous(AA) and psychotherapy are possible solutions of alcoholism. Also government should take some acts to solve this problem.
Alcoholism is an increasing problem, which has many objectionable consequences. "Excessive drinking involved in 70 percent of deaths from falls, 69 percent of drownings, 83 percent of fatal fire accidents, 40 percent of accidental deaths in the job, 50 percent of highway fatalities, 52 percent of spouse beatings, and 38 percent of child abuse." (Allan Luks, 13) So alcoholism causes many troubles. It can destroy a person's life: relationship with family and relatives, and even one's attitude toward life.
Why do people start to drink? There can be many causes. Some people began drinking alcohol because of psychological pressures such as stress or depression when they were disappointed about something or having big personal problems. Alcoholics believe they can make life bearable only by drinking. A person also can become an alcoholic while using alcohol during holidays, parties, or relaxing. From this can begin alcoholism, because some people are weak and can't resist the temptation to drink more and more. These causes lead to the human's dissolution, occupational injuries, and degradation of personality. Here in Lithuania every day we can see such people, who drink all through the weeks and even months. Such people are a shame to society, so to escape this there has to be found a solution of how to stop this bad habit.
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One way to stop alcoholism is treatment. This disease can't be cured, but it can be arrested and its damage healed. To arrest it, the alcoholic must stop drinking immediately and completely. He/she also must change his/her attitude toward life and his/her way of living. The responsibility for these changes is put on the alcoholic himself/herself because only he/she can make them. However, he/she can't change anything without help. Alcoholics have to choose the way back to a normal life through some source of help.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an effective and the oldest method of dealing with the problem of alcoholism. It is worldwide organization of men and women who help each other solve their common problem of alcoholism. They also offer to share their recovery experiences with others who have a drinking problem and want to do something about it. The AA organization's only goal is personal sobierty and the only requirement is that the person must have a desire to stop drinking. The Twelve Steps program provides the way to recovery. All the members have the same destiny, so they listen to and learn from each other. They share their thoughts and feelings. It's the best method of recovering from alcoholism.
Another way such as psychotherapy may also be successful in helping alcohol-addicted patients. A well-qualified therapist who communicates with the alcoholic does psychotherapy. In fact, therapists counsel, but the alcoholic has to help himself. The addict has to be open and trust in the therapist. Also he has to realize that he has a problem. Of course, the therapist has to be involved in the patient's problems. He/she has to talk, share, and help alcoholics to live without alcohol. It's really hard for an alcoholic, but if he/she can't reject the temptation of drinking, the treatment will not work out. An alcoholic has to learn to live without alcohol and respond to stress in a different way that drinking. Such person has to be occupied with some activity that would be interesting to him/her. An alcoholic has to trust in people who want to help him/her and believe that he/she will overcome all the difficulties.
Also government should take some restricting acts of selling alcohol. For example, there should be higher prices on alcohol. People wouldn't drink much if alcoholic beverages were expensive. Sellers of the different stores should not sell alcohol to anyone who is not 21 years. In the United States alcohol is prohibited before that age, so in Lithuania such law should be made. In our country alcohol can be purchased at 18 years old. It's very dangerous for a young organism to use alcohol. It accepts alcohol more easily and, after some time, can become addicted to it. So government should consider that and think about people's future.
Such solutions as Alcoholics Anonymous and psychotherapy can help the addicted person. However, the government and society still have to make some decisions and changes about alcohol selling. People also have to accurate and fall into this incurable disease.
Forest, Gary G. Diagnosis and Treatment of Alcoholism , Springfield, Illinois, 1975.
Jenish, Darcy. "The Battlefield of Addiction." Maclean's, 19 July 1993. 36-37.
Luks, Allan. Will America Sober Up? Boston Beacon Press, 1983.
Wegschedier-Cruse, Sharon. Another Chance. Hope and Health for Alcoholic Family. Palo Alto, California: Science and Behaviour Books, Inc., 1989.