The Horror of Alcoholism
Alcoholism is a baffling and powerful disease. It affects all people from all walks of life. It has been medically proven and recognized by most of society as a disease. However, for some people who either have not been affected or just do not have any knowledge of the disease, it is considered more as a weakness of character. Alcoholism has many effects, on the alcoholic them self, towards their family and friends, and on their health, on their spouse and children, mentally and physically, but the good thing is there is help out there for all of these people.
Alcohol is the most widely used and abused drug in the U.S. today. It is found in all beers, wines, and whiskeys. The alcohol in all these drinks is the same, only the percentage of alcohol and the flavor of the drinks are different. From a chemist point of view, alcohol would be seen as ethyl alcohol or ethanol (Berger 17).
Alcoholism is a condition in which individuals drink alcohol regularly and to excess. They continue to drink alcohol even thought this results in serious harm to their physical and mental health (Berger 11). Alcoholics are compulsive drinkers, individuals who cannot keep their drinking under control. Alcoholics intend to have only one or two drinks, but find it impossible to stop and end up drinking more. Once the start, alcoholics will almost always drink themselves to drunkenness (Berger 19).
"Alcoholism does not necessarily mean getting drunk every day" (Berger 11). The American Medical Association states:
Alcoholism is a disease that can be arrested but not
cured. One of the symptoms is an uncontrollable desire
to drink. Alcoholism is a progressive disease. As long
as alcoholics continue to drink their drive to drink
will get worse. If the disease is not arrested, it can
lead to insanity or death. The only method of
arresting alcoholism is total abstinence (Berger 21).
Alcoholics' brain cells have adapted so much to alcohol that they cannot function normally without it, which is what causes withdrawal. Alcoholics have a high tolerance and ability to drink large quantities of liquor without appearing drunk (Graeber 63). Alcohol abusers find every way to deny they have a problem. "They do not drink as much as other people do, they can hold their liquor, they're in control" (Kowalski 7).
Alcoholics have many traits such as being hyperactive, having a short attention span, being unable to deal with frustration or pain, and having trouble coping with difficult situations. Also, they are described as unstable, unpredictable, and impulsive (Berger 39). Alcohol robs the drinker of the ability to tell right from wrong, safe from dangerous, and appropriate from inappropriate. Drinking makes it harder for them to think clearly and quickly, to coordinate and control their body (Berger 12).
Alcohol affects every organ system in...