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Alcoholism Essay

1962 words - 8 pages

Alcohol is the most used and abused drug in the world, for this reason there is no wonderwhy we have alcohol problems. The most common problem is alcoholism. Alcoholism isa chronic usually progressive disease that includes both a psychological and a physicaladdiction to alcohol. Alcoholics know what will happen to them when they drink but theyare so addicted they can't stop drinking. Alcohol becomes the most important part of theperson's life. It totally consumes them, all their thoughts and actions have to do aresomehow associated with alcohol. Alcoholism like other illnesses will become worsewithout treatment and remain life-threatening as long as it is left untreated. Thepsychological dependence an alcoholic has is when they think alcohol is necessary and lifewill not be good without it. The physical dependence an alcoholic has is when their bodybecomes 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, canstrike at any age. Ten percent of the adult drinkers in the U.S are considered alcoholics orat least experience drinking problems to some degree. Surveys have shown that morethan one out of three Americans have a personal friend or relative who has had a drinkingproblem for ten years or longer. Almost two out of three Americans report that theyknow someone who drinks too much. It is estimated that there are 18 million alcoholic orproblem drinkers in the U.S. For every alcoholic there are at least four other people whoare affected by the alcoholic. This means that in the U.S. there are at least seventy-twomillion other people dealing with the disease somehow. Many people believe thatalcoholics are people that are the skid row winos and bums. This is a commonmisconception, actually ninety-four percent of alcoholics live at home, while only sixpercent are the skid row type. Ninety percent of all alcoholics are employed, and manywork for years before their alcoholism becomes so bad that they cannot perform their job.Federal officials estimate that the abuse of alcohol costs the economy well overone-hundred billion dollars every year. Alcohol does this by making people be lessproductive at work, taking more sick days, sustaining on the job injuries, collecting moreworkmen's compensation, and increasing health insurance premiums.Physical EffectsProlonged alcohol use like that of an alcoholic can lead to permanent damage of yourbody. The liver is the organ of the body most vulnerable to damage by alcohol becausethe liver is where the alcohol is broken down. The liver may become worn out from thedaily task of removing alcohol from the blood, this may cause the liver to be unable toperform as well in removing other harmful substances. One of the most dangerousdiseases of the liver caused by long-term alcohol use is cirrhosis of the liver. Cirrhosiscauses the liver to become inflamed and scarred, which eventually kills the liver and theperson....

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