What Term Should be Used to Describe Alcholism?

1465 WordsFeb 19, 20186 Pages
The majority of people hearing the term "addict" or "addiction" drugs are probably the first thing that comes to their mind. Fewer may think of alcohol because, although people who chronically abuse alcohol are also addicts, the term "alcoholic" or "alcoholism" is used more often in reference to those people. A growing number of people will imagine a person sitting in front of a poker machine, flashbacks of a certain president admitting to being a sex addict, or a teenager with a Playstation controller in their hand. This makes sense since addiction has long been a term associated with drug and alcohol abuse but has become a catch phrase to explain almost anything anyone does to a perceived excess. In the medical field "addiction" is not currently a term used for any diagnosable disorder as the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders uses the disease category "substance abuse and dependence" and under this category the specific drug that is being abused, or the patient is dependent on, is listed with it's own diagnosis code. The newest edition, the DSM V, is changing that and replaces "substance abuse and dependence with “addictions and related disorders.” The APA has gone back and forth between use of the terms “addiction” and “dependence” to describe alcohol and other drug problems (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). I feel the term addiction is more appropriate when talking about substance abuse because

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