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Alcoholism Essay 8

902 words - 4 pages

     Causes of Alcoholism Alcoholism has become a dramatically important health concern in America today. Alcoholism is a fairly common problem. In fact, it has become the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Many people have to deal with this disease on a daily basis. People become addicted to alcohol just like any other drug. Some people do not consider alcohol a drug, but it can affect the body in similar ways. “Alcohol has about the same addiction potential as cocaineâ€? (Prentiss). “In 1956, the American Medical Association named alcoholism as a diseaseâ€? (Prentiss13). Alcoholism has serious health risks such as cirrhosis, cardiomyopathy, and certain cancers. “Alcoholism is ...view middle of the document...

These genes increase levels of certain liver enzymes, causing nausea, flushing, and rapid heartbeats among those who drink. On the other end of the spectrum, some people genetically have a higher tolerance to alcoholic beverages. Higher tolerance to alcohol can lead to heavier drinking which can result in an addiction. Many Caucasian people carry genes that affect brain function and can increase the risk of becoming an alcoholic. According to Dr. Mary-Anna Enoch, a research physician at the national Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “Genes work both ways, with some protecting people against alcoholism and other genes raising the risk for the disease.�(Join Together) Addictive tendencies seem to run in families. So the more people in a family with an addiction problem, the more future generations become susceptible. If someone knows that there is a history of alcohol abuse in their family they should avoid alcohol. Everyone needs to know his or her family history completely as possible to check for genetic susceptibility. So then maybe this disease can be prevented. Alcoholism is an addiction to a substance just as serious as any drug addiction. Misuse of any substance may result in dependency. Some people begin to drink and are not able to stop. Of men aged 18- 25 years, 60 percent binge drink (Thompson). Binge drinking can lead to addiction and dependency. Even a single incidence of binge drinking in adolescence can trigger a change in the brain leading to dependency and addiction. If someone cannot control the amount they drink, or can’t stop once they start, then they shouldn’t drink at all. Also, people who drink for the effect can lead to...

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