Essay by Jay HardwickHigh School, 12th gradeA+, March 1997

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Alcohol is the most used and abused drug in the world, for this reason there is no wonder

why we have alcohol problems. The most common problem is alcoholism. Alcoholism is

a chronic usually progressive disease that includes both a psychological and a physical

addiction to alcohol. Alcoholics know what will happen to them when they drink but they

are so addicted they can't stop drinking. Alcohol becomes the most important part of the

person's life. It totally consumes them, all their thoughts and actions have to do are

somehow associated with alcohol. Alcoholism like other illnesses will become worse

without treatment and remain life-threatening as long as it is left untreated. The

psychological dependence an alcoholic has is when they think alcohol is necessary and life

will not be good without it. The physical dependence an alcoholic has is when their body

becomes so used to the drug that it now needs alcohol to function without pain.

Alcoholism is not a disease experienced only by adults. Alcoholism, like any illness, can

strike at any age. Ten percent of the adult drinkers in the U.S are considered alcoholics or

at least experience drinking problems to some degree. Surveys have shown that more

than one out of three Americans have a personal friend or relative who has had a drinking

problem for ten years or longer. Almost two out of three Americans report that they

know someone who drinks too much. It is estimated that there are 18 million alcoholic or

problem drinkers in the U.S. For every alcoholic there are at least four other people who

are affected by the alcoholic. This means that in the U.S. there are at least seventy-two

million other people dealing with the disease somehow. Many people believe that

alcoholics are people that are...