Many specialists today are in a debate on whether alcoholism is a disease or not. I looked up the word disease in the new American Webster dictionary. It stated that a disease is a condition ill health, or malady. Malady is defined as any disordered state or condition. Alcoholism causes illness and disorder.
Someone who is an alcoholic has a dependency on the drug alcohol. If you are dependent on alcohol, you can acquire many illnesses both physical and mental. Physical illness from alcoholism can include stomach problems, digestive problems, headaches, kidney problems, liver disease, problems with nervous system and trouble with immune system, just to name a few. Mental illness can include depression, anger, irritability, lack of concentration, and low self-esteem.
Some alcoholics believe that in order to have a good time doing something they have to be under the influence of alcohol. Therefor if they do not have alcohol then they think life sucks and is no fun. This can also limit what a person can do because you may not be able to do some things under the influence of alcohol with out getting a punishment. For instance if you wanted to go somewhere in a car and you’re an alcoholic then you will be breaking the law if you are drunk driving. Some people do not know why they have to drink in order to have fun. Maybe its because their friends drink and they do not have friends who do not drink. You can ask people, why do you drink. Many answers can come from this question. Because I like to drink, because it makes me feel good and sometimes it’s, I do not know.
So, let us look at the reason for alcoholism. Alcoholism usually comes from years of the use of alcohol but you can become an alcoholic at a young age. You may not be physically dependent at a young age but you can definitely become mentally dependent. Many specialists say that alcoholism is hereditary. In alcoholics anonymous, it is said that if you have an inherited alcoholic gene then you are at high risk of being an alcoholic. One sign that you might have this gene is if you have a black out while over consuming alcohol. It is said that if you black out then you are an alcoholic. A black out is a period while drinking that you can vaguely remember or not recall whatsoever. I do not believe this because there can be a time when some one drank too much for their first time experimenting with alcohol and they blacked out. That could be the first and only time the person would drink because they did not like it. They might not have known that drinking too much would make them black out.
Another reason why people drink is the influences of society. In some movies producers make it look like parties are all fun and they use humor to over come the fact that the kids are doing a bad thing. This may put an impression on a teenager that a drinking party is fun and not dangerous. In reality teenagers party a lot and usually nothing good can come from it. Things get broken; there is drunk driving, fights, unprotected sex and craziness. One thing I do not under stand is how sports have beer companies sponcer their events. You never see pro basketball players getting drunk before a game. I think this advertisement is more centered toward the fans of sports but many of those fans are kids. In addition, many beer commercials you see on television are as if they where advertising for kids. The Budweiser frogs are an example of this. Of course, kids are going to pay attention to computer animated frogs talk and crack jokes at each other. Moreover, for the adult they have the commercials where this beautiful girl is hitting on the guy because he drinks the beer she likes. What I do not understand is why alcoholics are looked down upon by society but we accept these advertisements and sponcers. For some reason people look down on the alcoholic and not the alcohol.
I think that society plays a bigger role than hereditary when it comes to the reason why we drink. If a young child is raised in an alcoholic family then it is more likely that the child will drink. One, the child has easy access to alcohol if it is in the house. The child also sees his or her parents drinking and may think its ok to drink. Parents are role models for kids at a young age. If a child has the so called “alcohol genes” and the parents do not drink it is a good chance that the child will not want to drink.
The strange thing about alcoholism being a disease is that there is not a drug that can efficiently treat it. It is not like a diabetic who takes insulin shots to keep the blood sugar level under control. The most common way to treat alcoholism is by going to a rehabilitation center followed by alcoholic anonymous (AA) meetings. Rehab centers usually do not give drug treatments for alcoholics. Their main means of helping alcoholics is through education and support. The how, what, when, where and why are all covered in rehabs concerning alcoholism. The problem with rehab centers is that the alcoholic has to be willing to get help. If the individual is unwilling to get help then the healing process is very hard or sometimes impossible. This is why alcoholism is strange as a disease because people tend to not want to treat it. Usually when someone has a disease, they would want to treat it.
Alcoholics often think that things are ok when they are not. This is called the state of denial. I think this state is brought on by society because of how it looks down on alcoholics. If society did not have such a negative attitude toward alcoholics then maybe alcoholics would be willing to get help. Support is always better than negativity especially when you are dealing with someone who might be emotionally unstable from being an alcoholic.
Another problem with quitting drinking is fear. Someone who has been drinking for a long time is going to be afraid of not having alcohol because they would have to have new friends and new lifestyles. If you have been drinking heavily and include drinking in every day activities then you may not know what to do when you are sober. This is why it is vary hard for someone who does not like change to stop drinking. Sometimes people have to hit rock bottom in order to stop drinking and get help. Alcohol can make you life get out of control. You can lose money, friends, jobs, opportunities and health due to alcoholism. I would say that if you lose all these things then you are at rock bottom and you need to get help. Hitting rock bottom may scare a person enough to make them want to get help.
Alcoholism may be a unique disease but it can definitely be defined as a disease. It is a disease that is brought on by influences of society, family and pressure. In my mind, alcoholism is a man made disease. Of course man tries to fix it but I think alcoholism is unstoppable. It may be stopped in one case but it just keeps coming. As one alcoholic recovers, there is ten new alcoholics being born. Not in the sense of a newborn baby, but in the sense as a person being defined as an alcoholic. There will always be alcoholism as long as there is alcohol. I think if society would focus more on alcohol as being negative, it would help stop some cases of alcoholism. I think any beer company sponsoring a sport event is ridiculous. This type of advertisement should be banned. I think this would make alcohol less acceptable by the public. I really do not understand why America accepts alcohol and not one other drug. I think alcohol is the number one gateway drug out there. People do things when they are drunk that they would not regularly do sober. Someone may try doing and illegal drugs because they are drunk. So, in order to stop this disease we need to kill it at its roots and that would mean get rid of alcohol altogether.