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    Introduction To Alcohol Abuse Episode-1

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    Alcohol has a checkered history in the United States. Politicians, women's groups, and churches worked together at the end of the nineteenth century to persuade lawmakers to make alcohol illegal. The 18th Amendment, ratified by the United States Congress in 1919, made the sale and distribution of alcohol unlawful. The consumption of alcohol decreased but did not stop. Since the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, millions of Americans have made alcohol a part of their social lives.

    E. M. Jelinek pioneered the idea that excessive and dangerous alcohol usage was an illness in the 1960s. Within a decade, public awareness campaigns on alcoholism as a disease were initiated in the United States.


    The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual—III of the American Psychiatric Association updated the definition of alcoholism in 1980 by distinguishing between alcohol misuse and dependence. People continue to use the phrases "alcoholism" and "problem drinking" to refer to any detrimental use of alcohol, although in fact, alcoholism and abuse have distinct clinical meanings.

    Alcoholism, also known as alcohol dependence, is a disease that is chronic, progressive, and can be fatal. Among the factors are:

    1.      Frequently consuming large amounts of alcohol

    2.      Despite physiological, psychological, or social obstacles, inability to stop drinking

    3.      Increased alcohol tolerance

    4.      When a person stops drinking, withdrawal symptoms appear.

    Alcoholism is a chronic disease in which a person refuses to stop drinking despite the fact that it leads them to miss vital home and work responsibilities. If left untreated, abuse can lead to addiction. Among the factors are:

    • When it's dangerous to drink (e.g., while driving)
    • Excessive and frequent drinking
    • Alcohol causes interpersonal problems with family, friends, and workplace.
    • Drinking-related legal issues

    Prevalence and Incidence

    Alcohol usage usually begins in late adolescence or early adulthood, while some people begin drinking even earlier. According to the National Institutes of Health, the younger a person is, the more likely he or she is to abuse or become dependent on alcohol.


    Over 7.4% of Americans currently abuse or are dependent on alcohol. Men become dependant five times more than women. The majority of persons who are reliant do not obtain adequate medical care.

    In 1997, the United States spent $94.5 billion on alcoholic beverages. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), alcoholism cost $184.6 billion in lost output, medical treatment, legal services, and traffic accident expenditures in 1998.

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