The American Council on Alcoholism best defines alcoholism as a primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychological, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. This disease is often progressive and fatal. It is characterized by continuous or periodic: impaired control over drinking, preoccupation with the drug alcohol, use of alcohol despite adverse consequences, and distortions in thinking, most notably denial (http://www.aca-usa.org).
Alcoholism is a very serious problem in today's society. In the United States 13 percent of the adult drinkers are considered alcoholics, or they experience drinking problems to some degree (Sue,Sue,Sue(pg.290). It touches all aspects of an alcoholic's life and community including their physical well being, interpersonal relationships, and spiritual health. Due to the loss in production, health and medical care, car accidents, social programs for alcohol problems, and violence, The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, estimates that alcoholism and alcohol abuse in the United States cost from $40 to $60 billion annually.
One half of all traffic fatalities and one-third of all traffic injuries are related to the abuse of alcohol. The effects of drinking on the major organs of the body are cumulative and are evident after continuous heavy drinking over 5 to 30 years, most notably affected are the central nervous system and the liver. Liver cirrhosis as a result from alcohol abuse is one of the ten leading causes of death in the United States. The rising problem of alcoholism in our society is growing very fast, effecting young and old.
The medical science community has not yet identified the exact cause of alcoholism, but research suggests that genetic, psychological, and social factors influence its development (Brown)pgs.75-78). Some researchers have suggested that in several cases, alcoholics have an inherited, predisposition to alcohol addiction. Alcoholism cannot be cured but there are...