Essay on Alcoholism In The 21st Century

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Alcoholism in the 21st Century
     The dictionary describes alcoholism as continued excessive or compulsive use of alcoholic drinks. However, this disease is much more complex. Alcohol abuse is a growing problem in the United States today, causing more and more deaths each year. It affects nearly everyone in the U.S. today, either directly or indirectly. Over half of Americans have at least one close relative that has a drinking problem. About 20 million people in the United States abuse alcohol. It is the third leading cause of preventable deaths, and about 100,000 people die each year from alcohol related incidents (Peacock 11).
     Alcohol is not a new invention of modern societies.
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Edgar Allen Poe, author of popular poems such as “The Raven” and “The Bells”, died of alcoholism at the age of 40 (Selected Poetry).
There is both physical and psychological dependence with alcohol addiction. Physical dependence reveals itself in withdrawal symptoms when alcohol intake is interrupted. Symptoms from withdrawal can vary from muscles cramps, convulsions, or nausea. Sometimes, the severity of these symptoms may be so distressing that a person will keep drinking to keep them away. Psychological dependence includes effects on the central nervous system as a depressant. Results of this can include irritability, depression, or hallucinations (Peacock 39).
As well as changing his or her own life, the lifestyle of an alcoholic usually affects the life of his or her friends and family. Domestic abuse is higher in cases where one spouse abuses alcohol. In 95% of these cases, the men are responsible for abusing their wife or girlfriend. Usually, the violence gets more severe as time goes on. Sometimes the violence will reach out to children, intentionally or unintentionally, and results in child abuse (Peacock 54).
Child abuse in families where at least one parent is an alcoholic is an overwhelmingly increasing problem today. Everyday, one in four children will come home to a parent who has a drinking problem (Botsford). Children of alcoholics have a higher tendency to abuse alcohol or other drugs, as they get older. These

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