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The alcoholism a disease

Alcohol addiction was defined as a disease and described per se for the first time by several doctors from England and Germany at the end of the XVIII-th century. However, it took awhile until this concept was officially accepted.

Despite the fact that World Health Organization (WHO) also declared the alcohol addiction a disease, this statement still brings ironic and doubting smile on people's faces. Nevertheless, this statement can be proved by medical and juridic facts.










We talk about a disease when there are present physical and/or psychological changes which: differ from a normal healthy state, might be subjectively or fairly perceived, request medical attention or treatment,
are not consciously cause by the person, and can cause work impaired abilities.


The disease represents an involuntary imbalance caused by external and internal factors; involves a specific group of symptoms of a medical disorder and undergoes a predictable and progressive evolution.

According to this definition, alcoholism or alcohol dependency syndrome is a primary and chronical disease with a progressive evolution influenced by a complexed interaction of personal and environmental factors. It displays a predictable evolution, often fatale, characterized by (1) loss of control over alcohol consumption, (2) constant or periodical alcohol consumption, (3) constant preocupation towards alcohol, and (4) alcohol consumption despite its negative consequences.

Alcoholism is a primary disease because is not a symptom of another medical condition, and it causes physical and psychological symptoms or emphasies the already existing symptoms. As a disease, alcohol addiction can be diagnosed according to the main intoxication consequences caused by the alcohol suck as liver, stomach, central and peripheral nervous system lesions.

Alcoholism, as a chronic disease, refers to its permanent character. An alcoholic has to struggle with this disease for the rest of thier life similar with patients that suffered from heard attacks or diabetes. All these conditions are caused by similar factors, such as unhealthy habits and inability to cope with stressful life events. A long-lasting improvement of the medical condition can be obtained only through behavioral and bahit changes. A diabetic can live a normal life as long as they keeps their medical condition under control, and an alcoholic can also live a guality life if they quit drinking.

The treatment goal in patients with chronic diseases is to reduce the impact of the stressful events and improve the quality of life, not to restore the initial health state. A chronic disease onset (alcohol addiction, diabetes, heart problems) is also influenced by genetic factors. However, even if the genetic factors play an important role, they do not directly cause the disease.

The alcohol addiction has a predictable and progressiv evolution. According to this statement, the alcohol addiction undergoes a similar evolution in all alcoholics. Also, left untreated the disease worsen.

Unfortunately, alcoholism is a disease with a negative impact over multiple aspects of the individual's life, such as family life, finances, profession, social, emotional, and intellectual dimensions.

Loss of control and incapacity to be abstinent are two other signs of alcoholism. When a peson becomes addicted to alcohol, they forever lose the ability to control the alcohol consumption (ability that cannot be regained with treatment).
When a person becomes so addicted to the alcohol that they cannot control their life without it, they won't ever be able to return to a normal drinking (where the alcohol consumption is kept under control).

However, this disease is so perfidious that not even the addiction specialists can effectively predict who will become alcoholic.

The alcohol addiction treatment focuses on alcoholic's personality as a complex structure, targeting each aspect of the alcoholic life including the behavioral dimension. It dose not treat symptoms.

However, the alcohol addiction is a complex problem, and its specialists come from different fields than specialists that treat common medical disorders. A positive contribution to a better outcome in alcohol addiction treatment is offered by psychologists, social workers and alcohol addiction therapists. Effective results are also obtained in support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

Even if the alcoholism was declared a disease according to all its characteristics explained above, it is still not a disease in its usual meaning. Its negative health effects are not the cause of the disease, but are essensial for its diagnose.
Alcoholism is also a disease that is not contagious. Only the alcoholic is responsible for their disease.

Another major difference between usual, common diseases and alcoholism is that the pacient is actively involved in their own treatment. When treated by appendicitis, the pacient is passive during the surgical procedure, and the treatment outcome depends on the surgeon's skills. Also, there is no medication that can effectively treatment the alcohol addiction.


The alcoholsim is a disease where the outcome mainly depends on the patient's
active role in their own treatment.
One of the mottoes used by the addiction specialist is
"I help you to help yourself".


  »  Alcohol consumption
  »  The Alcohol
  »  Alcoholemy
  »  Alcohol abuse
  »  Drunkenness
  »  Dependence
  »  The Alcoholism
  »  The alcoholism a disease
  »  Alcoholism's casualty
  »  Evolution of dependency
  »  Loss of control
  »  Consumption's effects
  »  Co-dependency
  »  Alcoholism treatment
  »  Avoid the consumption


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