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Definition: Alcoholism

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alcoholism is a powerful craving for alcohol which often results in the compulsive consumption of alcohol, an addiction. The cause of this craving is heavily debated, but the most popular beliefs are that it is (1) a chemical or nutritional imbalance, (2) a genetic predisposition, (3) a neurological effect caused by runaway learning mechanisms, or (4) an inability to curb one's own desire for enjoyment. As a result, the etiology and nature of alcoholism are both currently being debated within the medical and scientific communities and the very definition of alcoholism is a part of that debate.

Some believe that alcoholism is a biological disease; at the moment some are more willing to accept that the problem has a biological basis (as opposed to just being a problem of weak willpower or poor moral character) if the word disease is attached. Those who oppose the term disease don't necessarily believe that the problem is a willpower issue because there are many physical conditions (broken bones, blood clots, and embolisms, for example) that are not disease related.


Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcoholism

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