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What is Alcoholism?
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The meaning of alcoholism is
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Hello, my name is Dr. Ingrid Mathieu and I am a clinical psychologist answering the question, “What is Alcoholism?” for About.comAlcoholism is a broad term used for describing problems with alcohol including compulsive and uncontrolled drinking. The American Psychiatric Association determined Alcoholism, or alcohol dependence a disease in 1965, and the American Medical Association followed in 1966. Based on the disease model of addiction, alcoholism is defined as a progressive and chronic illness that affects the body, mind, and spirit of the alcoholic.This means that alcoholism is not a lack of willpower or a weakness. Like many other diseases, it has a course that can be predicted, it has known symptoms, and is influenced by genetics and life circumstances.
Alcoholism can happen very quickly or happen gradually and affects people of all ages, race and gender. According to The World Health Organization, there are approximately 140 million people with alcoholism worldwide.As outlined in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) Alcohol Dependence is defined as:
A maladaptive pattern of substance use, leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by three (or more) of the following symptoms, occurring at any time in the same 12-month period:Although alcoholics can recover from the disease of alcoholism, there is currently no cure. Recovery from alcohol dependence is a life-long process that includes finding a way to stay sober while changing one’s attitudes and behaviors.
Treatment can include Detox, rehabilitation programs, and self-help programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
This is Dr. Ingrid Mathieu, discussing the subject of Alcoholism for About.com. Thank you for watching.
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