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Alcoholism Essay

1762 words - 7 pages

Alcoholism is a disease of epidemic proportions, affecting 23 million, or 10% of the American population ("Alcoholism" People). Alcoholism is a "physiological or physiological dependence on alcohol characterized by the alcoholic's inability to control the start or termination of his drinking"(Encyclopedia Britannica 210). It consists of frequent and recurring consumption of alcohol to an extent that causes continued harm to the drinker and leads to medical and social problems. Alcoholism is not only confined to of age drinkers, many young adults are also involved in this potentially dangerous activity.In order to understand the controversial issue of alcoholism, it is necessary to explore some background information. Webster's Encyclopedic unabridged Dictionary of the English Language defines alcoholism as "a diseased condition due to the excessive use of alcoholic beverages" (Webster 35). Ethyl alcohol (the kind people drink) is a colorless, flammable liquid that is created by fermenting the starch or sugar of fruits or grains. Alcohol is consumed in the form of beer (which contains about 5% alcohol), wine (about 15% alcohol), and distilled spirits - whiskey, rum, vodka, gin (about 45% alcohol). In a medical sense, the physical effects are quite frightening. There is a great risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer. The brain tissue is destroyed and cannot be replaced (Peele 15). Moderation was the most frequently recommended remedy (Plesser 3). Peer pressure contributes to more and more underage consumption alcohol. "Eight out of every ten high school seniors have tried alcohol more than once" ("Alcohol" Comptons). Under aged may not have much experience with alcohol, so it is hard for them to judge their own limits. Since they are less mature than adults, they are more likely to overact and lose control when intoxicated.What is Alcoholism? Alcoholism is a chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. The disease is often progressive and fatal. It is characterized by continuous or periodic impaired control over drinking, preoccupation with the drug alcohol, use of alcohol despite adverse consequences, and distorted thinking, most notably denial.The rational for continued use of alcohol is centered on common addiction distortions.MENTAL FILTER: Magnify the positive details and eliminate the negative.POLARIZED THINKING: Things are black and white, good or bad. One is perfect or a complete failure.OVERGENERALZATION: To come to a general conclusion based on a single incident or piece of evidence.MIND READING: One thinks one is able to define how people are thinking about himself.CATASTROPHIC EXAGGERATION: One expects disaster, and disaster means the end of the world.I AM CONTROLLED: One feels externally controlled and sees himself as helpless and a victim of fate.I MUST CONTROL: One feels that control is an all or nothing thing. Any ease on the reins will result in a fall so...

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