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Who is an alcoholic?

Myths/facts | Types | Causes | Effects

Some accepted definitions……

WHO, 1951: "Alcoholics are those excessive drinkers whose dependence on alcohol has attained such a degree that they show a noticeable mental disturbance or an interference with their mental and bodily health, their interpersonal relations and their smooth social and economic functioning; or who show the predominant signs of such developments. They, therefore, require treatment"

American Medical Association: "Alcoholism is an illness characterised by preoccupation with alcohol and loss of control over its consumption, such as to lead usually to intoxication if drinking chronically or by progression with a tendency toward relapse. It is typically associated with physical disability and impaired emotional, occupational and/or social adjustments as a direct consequence of persistent excessive use. In short,alcoholism is regarded as a type of drug dependence of pathological extent and pattern,which ordinarily interferes seriously with the patient's total health and his adaptation to his environment."

Alcoholics Anonymous: "Alcoholism is a two-fold disease -- an allergy of the body coupled with an obsession of the mind." Thus, alcoholism is a disease of chemical dependence (alcohol). It is a condition in which the usage of alcohol is associated with problems in any area of one's life on a chronic basis.
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