Alcohol abuse or alcoholism
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Alcoholism is defined as the addiction to alcohol (ethanol) content in alcoholic beverages. This chronic condition is characterized by loss of control over alcohol consumption, the presence of physical dependence (drug addiction, withdrawal symptoms) and tolerance (the need to increase doses, as the body adjusts). Alcoholism, which is considered an addiction, causes physical, psychological and social problems. The progression in time is a major feature of addiction. Use without damage precedes the misuse (including harmful use and risk use) without dependence, finally leading to addiction. Alcohol is a psychoactive substance which causes an addiction, but is also a toxic substance which has adverse effects on health. Abstinence is often preached to stop the development of addiction and return to normal life. There are two major forms of alcoholism among different types of people: - A continuous consumption of low alcoholic beverages. This form is not usually accompanied by a feeling of guilt, as the person considers the consumption "normal"; - A frequent consumption of hard liquor. This form is accompanied by a strong sense of guilt and the person denies having a problem. The only way to stop the growth of the disease would be total abstinence. De-addiction can be done in hospitals that offer the facilities to do so (there are specialized services for alcoholics). If the withdrawal is too brutal, it may be accompanied with delirium hallucinations and tremors, which may lead to death. Many associations can help the sick alcoholic, whether sober or not. These associations are often called MAB (Movement of former drinkers).