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Chapter 1 - What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is a disease where people have a compulsion to drink alcoholic beverages in excess, despite the problems it can cause with their health, their family, and how they are perceived by other people. It is the third largest killer, falling into place after heart disease and cancer, and not only does it affect the alcoholic, but also others. The alcoholic’s family and friends are affected the most, of course. But alcoholism also can affect others. The alcoholic who drives his car and injures or kills someone has affected another group of people entirely.

The definition of the term “vicious circle” is when a person has one problem or source of trouble; it seems to lead to another problem, which then aggravates the first, original problem. The problems related to alcoholism seem to fit this definition, as you will see in this book.

When does that beer, wine, or cocktail that seems to be a staple at many social gatherings turn into a liability instead of an asset? For most of us, the consumption of an alcoholic beverage is just a way to fit in with the crowd, or an aid to help us relax at the end of a long and tiring day. But for an alcoholic, it’s not quite that simple.

An oenophile, the proper term for a lover or connoisseur of wine, can really get into a vintage wine with true devotion, but his appreciation has to do with the way the wine tastes, the type of grape used to make it, and the vineyard it originated from - not necessarily the effect that the alcohol in the wine has on his body. The same goes for the home brewer, who makes his own beer at home as a hobby. Yes, he enjoys the flavor he has created, but his passion is in the creation of the brew.

Have you ever watched people participating in a wine tasting event at a party or in the movies? Notice how they swirl the wine in the glass, and sniff its aroma just before taking a sip. After swishing it around in their mouths, they usually spit it out This is because they are only concerned with comparing the taste and mouth feel of the wine, and realize that if they consumed even a little of all the wines assembled, they would become intoxicated.

An alcoholic would not be able to resist swallowing these sips of wine, and would more than likely would go on to drink an entire bottle, maybe more. He or she is physically addicted to alcohol, and craves it much as the body craves sleep or even its next breath.

Yes, alcoholism is a disease, and a common one at that. It affects millions all over the world, 14 million in the United States alone, and it is no respecter of people. Despite the all too common stereotype that pops into most people’s head when they hear the word “alcoholic” a scruffy, tattered man, weaving unsteadily down the street and holding a brown paper sack with a telltale open bottle inside, only 3 to 5 percent of alcoholics in the United States would actually fit into that category. Most alcoholics hold down jobs and have families.

An alcoholic could be that nice lady at Starbucks where you buy your morning coffee, a teacher at your child’s school, your teenage son’s best friend, even the pastor of your local church. Age and social standing have no bearing on who may turn out to be an alcoholic. You probably have at least one person suffering from this disease in your circle of friends. But, how in the world can you tell whether or not someone is an alcoholic?

Chapter 2 - Recognizing the Signs of Alcoholism

Alcoholism’s traits are not too difficult to recognize. One out of every thirteen adults is dependent on alcohol, with the highest percentage in the 18 -29 year old range. This dependency, coupled with an inability to control how much alcohol is consumed, points to the disease. This lack of control is paramount to alcoholism.

It may take a while for someone’s drinking habits to reach the point where they cannot control them, or someone new to drinking steadily may pick up the habit of demonstrating no self control. One thing is for sure; when a person keeps on drinking even though the consumption of alcohol causes serious problems in their life, they are already an alcoholic, or will soon be an alcoholic.

Most of the time, the alcoholic does not realize that his drinking is harming his health, his relationships with his family and friends, and playing serious games with his mind - games that could soon turn into the serious business of brain damage when the nerve cells that carry information into the brain cells are crippled.

But, brain damage is the last thing on the alcoholic’s mind when he is enjoying that first drink of the day - and the second – and the third. It all starts out rather innocently, that need for a drink first thing in the morning to get going. Then, he’ll have a couple


Verlag: BookRix GmbH & Co. KG

Texte: Noah Daniels
Bildmaterialien: wolfmedia2000
Lektorat: Wolfgang Buschek
Tag der Veröffentlichung: 20.01.2014
ISBN: 978-3-7309-7686-9

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