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Alcoholism - what is it?
The AMA and World Health Organization define alcoholism as a physical disease. A Federal Verdict in 1982 ruled, "Alcoholism is a physical disease and not a mental disorder ...This court is unaware of any disease that so directly and persistently results in death." (3rd leading cause of death in the US).
Alcoholism results in loss of control. Once a drink is taken after sobriety, the alcoholic cannot control nor predict whether the drinking will be "normal" or "abnormal." The alcohol controls the alcoholic -- not vice versa.
It is a physical disease and not a lifestyle choice. It is an actual impairment of the body's health that prevents the person from functioning normally. Alcohol is a powerful chemical. It disrupts and alters brain chemistry and body systems. (This is affirmed by hundreds of research papers.) This damage requires specific biochemical repair, as well as therapy.
It causes not only pain to the alcoholic but also to family and friends. It is characterised by a pattern of alcohol use that causes a serious impairment in
Alcoholism is also known as "alcohol dependence." It is a disease that includes alcohol craving and continued drinking despite repeated alcohol-related problems, such as losing a job or getting into trouble with the law. Alcoholism includes four symptoms:
(with recognition to http://www.medicinenet.com/Alcohol_Abuse_and_Alcoholism/article.htm )
Last update: 16 December 2003
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