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What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is a substance disorder in which a person develops a strong craving for alcohol because it makes them feel good or relieves stress or anxiety.  Alcohol abuse occurs when a person continues to use alcohol despite knowing the dangerous consequences.
Ethyl alcohol or ethanol is the type of alcohol that is found in alcoholic beverages.  Ethyl alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that affects regions in the brain that control behavior, so naturally people feel more outgoing and talkative while drinking.  But, if a person continues to drink, the alcohol will slow the responses of the brain and nervous system, which could lead to sleep or unconsciousness.  Unlike the tablet form of drugs, alcohol is absorbed directly into the bloodstream.  Typically, a drink will reach the bloodstream within 15 minutes of consumption and peak in 30 minutes or so.  The rate of alcohol consumption depends on how strong the drink is, if there is food in the stomach, and the person’s weight, size, sex, age, race and family history.
Alcohol is a drug and is addictive.  If you drink too much, your body will build up tolerance and you will have to drink more and more alcohol to get drunk or intoxicated.  If a person suddenly stops drinking, they can suffer from withdrawal.  Heavy drinking affects almost every system in the body, including the nervous, digestive, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, and endocrine systems.  There are many risks and complications that heavy drinking can cause.  Some of the complications include; liver disease, cancer, brain damage, vitamin deficiencies, digestive problems, reproductive and sexual dysfunction, fetal alcohol syndrome and higher mortality rate.
In the Detroit area, Alcoholics Anonymous can be reached by calling 313-921-1967 or the 24-hour hot line at 313-831-5550.  You can also visit AA on the web at Alcoholics Anonymous (
Phone code: 1772


Code 1772

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