Essay by ClubcoleyHigh School, 11th gradeA+, September 2003

download word file, 6 pages 3.0

1. What is alcoholism? 2. How do people become alcoholics? 3. What are the

effects of alcoholism? 4. How do you diagnose alcoholism? 5. Is there a cure for

alcoholics? 6. What is the treatment? What is alcoholism? Alcoholism is a chronic

illness or disorder. Alcohol effects many parts of the body. Alcoholism is also a brain

disease.(NIDA 1) There are many stages to alcoholism. The two main stages are abuse

and dependence. Alcohol abuse is maladaptive pattern of alcohol use manifested by

recurrent and significant adverse consequences related to the repeated use of

alcohol.(NIAAA 7) Alcohol dependence involves a cluster of cognitive, behavioral, and

physiological symptoms that result from repeated self-administration that usually results

in tolerance, withdrawal, and compulsive drug-taking behavior.(NIAAA 7) There are

three types of drinkers. The daily drinker, the weekend drinker, and the binge drinker.

Binge drinkers are the most dangerous, they are the most likely to die of alcohol


How do people become alcoholics? Nobody knows how people become

alcoholics. Many people believe that it is a genetic trait passed down. Studies have

shown that alcoholism may be genetic. If it is genetic it is in an indirect way. Others say

it is a learned maladaptive coping behavior. This means that drinking is a bad coping

behavior learned through parents or friends. More than forty percent of people who

began drinking at the age of fifteen or before were classified as dependent at some time

in their lives.(NIAAA 7) Compared to people who didn't drink until the age of twenty-

one people who started at age fifteen were twice as likely to develop an abuse problem

and four time more likely to develop dependence problems.(NIAAA 7) The risk of

alcohol dependence and abuse decreases steadily with each increasing year of...