Essay by jared_rx7 December 2005

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Well, to begin with what is Alcoholism or an alcoholic? Most people when asked this question just think of someone who drinks a lot, but they don't put any other aspects into thought. According to NIAAA, "alcoholism, also known as "alcohol dependence," is a disease that includes four symptoms: Craving: A strong need, or compulsion, to drink, Loss of control: The inability to limit one's drinking on any given occasion, Physical dependence: Withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety, occur when alcohol use is stopped after a period of heavy drinking, and Tolerance: The need to drink greater amounts of alcohol in order to get high."

Now that we know what supposedly defines someone who is an alcoholic, the question is what is it that makes somebody become an alcoholic? This question brings up a lot of questions because not everybody responds to alcohol the same way, and it is not a natural part of our lives or bodies.

So, why can one person who goes out drinking every night not be affected (more than the temporary high) by the alcohol, but another person who drinks just as often and as much might become an alcoholic. So, the following question needs to be discussed, is alcoholism something that is determined by our genetics?

The first side of the question that I am going to try to show support for is in favor of alcoholism being linked to genetics. People always say that alcoholism is passed down from generation to generation, or more bluntly it's in our genes, but is this true. One way to try to determine if our genes our linked to alcoholism is to try to compare the differences between the gene's of a person that is an alcoholic, and those of a person that is...