Alcoholism: Supported by Empirical Evidence

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Alcoholism: Supported by Empirical Research
Ellie Smith
Vanderbilt University

Globally, alcohol abuse disorders have become a problem for seventy-six million people (Orford, Natera, Copello, Atkinson, 2005). Addiction is a disease, not merely a social disorder. The disease not only affects the inflicted individuals, but can also be detrimental to family members and the greater community. Causes of addiction can be grouped into three categories: psychological traits, the family, and cultural beliefs. In order to remedy this problem, researchers have suggested psychosocial treatment, participation in Alcoholics Anonymous including abstinence from the drug completely, and having drug abuse education to
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Extent of Problem Alcoholism has become a widespread concern in our society, with one third of Americans becoming dependent on the drug at some point in their lifetime (Read, 2010). According to a 2010 survey of Americans aged twelve or older, over 51.8 percent reported being current drinkers of alcohol, an estimated 131.3 million people (U.S. Department of Health and human Services (HHS), 2010). Nearly one quarter of persons aged twelve or older participated in binge drinking at least once in the thirty days prior to the 2010 survey, translating to nearly 58.6 million people. In 2010, heavy drinking was reported by 6.7 percent of the population aged twelve or older, equaling roughly 16.9 million people. Results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions indicate that four percent of the population at a given time is dependent on alcohol; however, most never seek treatment (Read, 2010) (Hasin, Stinson, Ogburn, & Grant, 2007). In 2009, two million people over the age of twelve received treatment for an alcohol related problem. Of those who reached out for assistance, only twenty-five percent remained abstinent for the first year following treatment completion (Hasin et al., 2007).
Use of alcohol causes a reduction in self-control,
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