Alcoholism Essay Research Paper I am sitting

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Alcoholism Essay, Research Paper I am sitting at home playing Nintendo with my roommate, jake, when I hear a knock at the door. I wonder who in the world would be coming over this late at night, because it’s after midnight. As I open the door, the tired, bloodshot eyes of my upstairs neighbor, Steve, stare at me. ?Hi Sam,? Steve says. As he attempts to enter my apartment, he stumbles on the slight rise where the weather strip runs under the door. As he trips, his forehead smashes onto the edge of the coffee table leaving a deep and bloody gash. I run in the bathroom and grab a towel while Jake tries to help Steve. It doesn’t take us long to realize that Steve is going to need stitches and is in no condition to drive. He smells strongly of alcohol. We place a make-shift

bandage on his cut and throw him in Jake’s Chevy truck. On the way to the hospital, Steve starts complaining about being really cold. He is talking incoherently and half crying. I ask Steve what he has been doing, and he just hangs his head down mumbling about drinking. Steve isn’t a social drinker. He drinks alone. He explains that he has been drinking by himself all night long. Steve is not a young college kid experimenting with alcohol. Steve is over thirty years old. Steve drinks nearly every night. Steve is an alcoholic. Alcoholism is a disease that affects many people in the United States today. It not only affects the alcoholic, but also their family, friends, co-workers, and eventually total strangers. The symptoms are many, as are the causes and the effects.

Alcoholism is defined as a pattern of drinking in which harmful consequences result for the drinker, yet, they continue to drink. There are two types of drinkers. The first type, the casual or social drinker, drinks because they want to. They drink Dodd 2 with a friend or with a group for pleasure and only on occasion. The other type, the compulsive drinker, drinks because they have to, despite the adverse effects that drinking has on their lives. The symptoms of alcoholism vary from person to person, but the most common symptoms seen are changes in emotional state or stability, behavior, and personality. "Alcoholics may become angry and argumentative, quiet and withdrawn or depressed. They may also feel more anxious, sad, tense, and confused. They then seek relief by

drinking more" (Gitlow 175). "Because time and amount of drinking are uncontrollable, the alcoholic is likely to engage in such behaviors as [1] breaking family commitments, both major and minor; [2] spending more money than planned; [3] drinking while intoxicated and getting arrested; [4] making inappropriate remarks to friends, family, and co-workers; [5] arguing, fighting and other anti-social actions. The alcoholic would probably never do such things, nor approve of them in others unless he was drinking" (Johnson 203). The cause of alcoholism is a combination of biological, psychological, and cultural factors that may contribute to the development of alcoholism in an individual. Alcoholism seems to run in families. "Although there is no conclusive

indication of how the alcoholism of families members is associated, studies show that 50 to 80 percent of all alcoholics have had a close alcoholic relative" (Caplan 266). Some researchers have suggested that in several cases, alcoholics have an inherited, predisposition to alcohol addiction. Studies of animals and human twins have lent support to this theory. Alcoholism can also be related to emotional instabilities. For example, alcoholism is often associated with a family history of manic-depressive illness. Dodd 3 Additionally, like many other drug abusers, alcoholics often drink hoping to "drown’ anxious or depressed feelings. Some alcoholics drink to reduce strong inhibitions or guilt about expressing negative feelings. Social and cultural factors play roles in