Essay by peopleschamp101University, Bachelor's February 2013

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Project Proposal: Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a disease where the individual is physically addicted to alcohol. These individuals have a difficult time controlling their alcohol intake. As a result they suffer from significant social, psychological, and medical problems.

The causes of alcoholism are very complex. There is an increased risk of psychopathology when an individual lacks the coping abilities to deal with unfavorable situations (Keyes, Hatzenbuehler, & Hasin, 2011). In particular, children who grew up in high conflict households and lacked nurturing, or at the extreme end, were physically or sexually abused are more likely to develop alcohol disorders (Mulina, Schmidt, Bond, Jacobs, & Korcha, 2008). For adults, divorce and job loss are consistently associated with an increase in drinking, especially for males (Keyes et al., 2011; Saraceno, Munafó, Heron, Craddock, & van den Bree, 2009). However, females employed outside the home are starting to catch up (Keys et al.,

Furthermore, socioeconomic status, education level, social environment and cognition are factors linked to alcohol disuse (Mulina et al., 2008; Saraceno et al., 2009).

There is a wide variety of treatment approaches available to therapists trying to help alcoholic patients. Behavioral approaches to treatment are found to be effective and include coping skills training, relapse prevention and cognitive-behavioral therapy, contingency management, behavioral couples/ family therapies, brief behavioral intervention, facilitated self-change, and aversion therapy (Witkiewitz, K., & Marlatt A., 2011). Medical interventions are sometimes incorporated into these therapies, such as naltrexone, which is a drug that blocks the pleasurable senses that alcohol facilitates (Kodl, Fu, Willenbring, Gravely, Nelson, & Joseph, 2008). In addition, there are 12-step groups like Alcoholics anonymous who use positive reinforcement such as recognizing abstinence anniversaries and gaining social support through sponsorship.


Berking, M., Ebert, D., Hofmann, S.G., Margaf, M., Wupperman, P., &...