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 …show more content…
Another reason why alcoholics drink is to ‘get rid of their problems.’ Famous American comedian Joe E. Lewis said, “I drink to forget I drink.” They use alcohol as a way to cope with stress and problems that may occur in their lives. They believe that they are ‘better off’ when they are drinking because that is when they don’t have to deal with the troubles in their life. They rely on alcohol to take care of their problems. Alcoholics also feel like they have to drink to feel good. Physiological dependence occurs when the body adapts to the high use of alcohol and requires this level of use to feel right or maintain its balance. Tolerance to alcohol is one form of physiological dependence. Tolerance means that after continued drinking, consumption of a constant amount of alcohol produces a lesser effect. The higher a person’s alcohol tolerance, the more alcohol it takes to have the same effect as smaller amounts of alcohol used to have on them. Going through withdrawal from alcohol is another type of physiological dependence. Alcohol withdrawal refers to symptoms that may occur when a person who suffers from alcohol dependence suddenly stops drinking alcohol. Some withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, insomnia and many physical symptoms. (Bayard, Mcintyre,2004) One popular way to help somebody who suffers from alcohol dependence is to give them an intervention. There are a few treatments for alcoholism, both
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