By Jyotsna Gulati (A Clinical Psychologist at Tulasi psychiatric and rehabilitation centre)
Alcoholism is a chronic disease, progressive and often fatal. It is among the most common psychiatric disorders in the general population. Alcohol is the most widely abused substance worldwide. People might not think of alcohol as a drug, perhaps because it is so common, or because it is ingested by drinking rather than by smoking or injection. Alcohol misuse is associated with considerable morbidity and mortality (1 million deaths annually), social and legal problems, acts of violence, and accidents. The lifetime prevalence of alcohol dependence is 8 to 14%. The incidence of alcoholism is still more common in men, but it has been increasing in women. Serious drinking often starts in adolescence; approximately 40 percent of people develop their first symptoms between 15 and 19 years of age. For people with alcoholism, drinking becomes the primary medium through which they can deal with people, work, and life.
Progressing alcoholism will significantly disrupt the life of users and their families.