Essay by adam_prskaloHigh School, 12th gradeA+, October 2002

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Alcoholism is an overwhelming desire to drink alcohol, even though it is causing harm. Alcohol is a drug. In the United States alcoholism is the most widespread form of drug abuse, effecting at least 5 million people. About one third of high school students in the US are though to be problem drinkers. Many already may be alcoholics.

A person who is dependent on alcohol is called an alcoholic. Drunk drivers account for one half of all fatal automobile accidents each year in the US. Alcoholism also creates many severe physical problems. More then three drinks a day over a few weeks causes destructive danger in the liver. Changes in the brain and nervous result in crazy behavior. A family or individual with an alcoholism problem is in serious trouble because the alcoholic's main goal is to get something alcoholic to drink. The drinking continues until the person is drunk.

Family, friends and work are little concern compared to the need for alcohol. Drunkenness limits the alcoholic's control of normal behavior and to perform the easiest functions. Many resources can help but two rules apply to recovery. One is that the alcoholic must accept the fact that there is a real problem and must decide to stop drinking. An alcoholic must also realize that any form of alcohol is literally poisonous. When in recovery an alcoholic could never take another drink.

Drinking during pregnancy, which can result in serious birth defects, remains a significant public health problem despite a variety of prevention efforts that have been shown in recent years. According to national data collected in 1999 by the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System , a telephone survey of the U.S. population, 12.8 percent of pregnant women consumed at least one alcoholic drink during the past month, a decrease from...