Alcoholism: A Disease

Medical definition, physical & psychological effects, behavioral problems, family issues, types, dependency, treatment. Abstract.

Alcoholism has been classified as a disease by the Joint Committee to Study the Definition and Criteria for the Diagnosis of Alcoholism. The term alcoholism has been used over the years for a conglomeration of symptoms and behaviors in an imprecise manner. It has been a term which is poorly understood, vague and often used with moral overtones (Morse & Flavin, 1994, p. 31). The alcoholic, having a disease, should not be excused from his or her behavior, or the consequences of imprudent actions. For the alcoholic, drinking alcohol is still a decision he or she is able to control.

The revised definition of alcoholism is:
a primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and…

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