Alcoholism: the symptoms and effects of the disease.

Essay by jac8414High School, 10th gradeA+, April 2003

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An Alcoholic is defined as someone who shows three of the seven symptoms of alcoholism within a twelve month period. In most cases of alcoholism, the person has a family member that is also an alcoholic; this is because alcoholism is genetic. The short term effects of alcoholism are premature deaths due to organ complications involving the brain, liver, heart and other organs as well as over doses, suicides, homicides, and car accidents. The long term effects of drinking can lead to problems with the digestive system such as an ulcer, inflammation of the pancreas, cirrhosis of the liver, serious problems from physical and nutritional neglect, such as anemia and gastritis, central and peripheral nervous system damage. An alcoholic is someone who shows three or more symptoms of alcoholism and usually has suffered from some of the long and short-term effects of being an alcoholic.

To be clinically defined as an alcoholic you must have suffered from three out of the seven symptoms of an alcoholic within a twelve month period.

The first of the seven symptoms is the most common. This is tolerance, as authors Katherine Ketcham and William Fasbury say in their book Beyond the Influence "Tolerance, defines as a need for increasingly larger amounts of alcohol in order to achieve intoxication."# This symptom is also the most recognizable, because you know when you start drinking that it does not take that much in order to become intoxicated. However, the more you drink the more it takes you to become intoxicated. The next symptom is a little more serious then increasing tolerance. Withdraw symptoms are those that are shown in an alcoholic when they do not recieve the needed amount of alcohol to keep their body functioning. The first of these symptoms is hand tremor, when a person...