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Alcohol Addiction - Historical Perspective

  • Date Submitted: 10/14/2011 09:54 AM
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2. Literature Review
2.1 Alcohol Addiction
2.1.1 Historical Perspective
Alcohol is the oldest known drug in human history. The production of alcohol beverages dates back to as early as 8000 BC and it can still be obtained legally today (Feldman et al. 1997et). Although it provides metabolic energy, alcohol beverages are mainly consumed for their psychoactive, sedative effects. Light to moderate alcohol consumption may have a benedictory effect on heart disease (Puddey and Croft 1999); however, many drinkers lose control over their drinking and develop a series of behavioral responses, which ay include tolerance, sensitization and addiction to alcohol.
Over the past fifty years, researchers have shown increased interest in the study of the family’s role in the etiology, course, treatment and prevention of addiction (Jacob, 1992). Addiction has been determined to have pervasive and negative effects on the family (Edwards & Steinglass, 1995; Preli et al., 1990). High levels of marital problems, mental and physical illness, divorce, unemployment, economic loss, legal conflicts, inadequate parenting, sexual inadequacy, and physical and sexual abuse problems are associated with alcoholism (Edwards & Steinglass al., 1995; O’Farrell et al., 1999; Preli et al., 1990; Rotunda et al., 1995).   Throughout the years, research has produced a wide variety of theories on what the probable causation of addiction might be.  
Specifically, addiction researchers have attempted to determine what factors need to be addressed in the prevention and treatment of addiction.  
Alcohol abuse results in tremendous social and economic costs. It has been estimated that as many as 4.65 ℅ of American adults’ abuse alcohol (Grant et al. 2004) and approximately 100,000 deaths each year are associated with this disorder (Gordis 2000). Economically, alcohol abuse in the USA is associated with a loss of 184.6 billion dollars annually (Gordis 2000). Alcohol abuse is often associated with...


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