Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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What is alcoholism? Alcoholism is the chronic, progressive, and potentiality fatal disease. This condition involves a preoccupation with alcohol, and loss of control of consumption of alcohol. Alcohol abuse is the frequent consumption of alcohol, just to become intoxicated. You may have an alcohol problem and continue to abuse it, ignoring its adverse health effects, work and financial effect on your life. Genetics, psychological and social factors also contribute to an alcoholic's addiction. In this report we will try to explain alcoholism's truths.

Alcoholism is the second most common preventable cause of death, smoking killing more. Effecting about fourteen million Americans and killing more than one hundred thousand each year. Since it effects so many people you may have a problem with alcohol, but not know it. This means you engage in excessive drinking, which causes health or social problems, but you haven't lost control of your alcohol abuse.

Alcoholism and alcohol abuse is a major cause in social, economic and public health problems in the U.S.

The annual cost of lost productivity and health expenses associated with alcoholism is more than one hundred billion dollars.

Because denial is nearly always a characteristic of alcoholism it is unlikely that an alcoholic or a person who abuses alcohol will seek medical attention. Often it takes family members, friend or coworkers to persuade someone to under go screening for alcoholism or to seek treatment.

Here are a few sign to look for: Drinking alone or in secret Not remembering commitments or conversations Making a ritual out of drinking, and gets very annoyed when the ritual is disturbed Losing interest in activities that once brought pleasure Irritability as usual drinking time nears, especially if there is little or no alcohol Gulping drinks, ordering doubles, becoming intoxicated because it makes them feel "normal" Problems...