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Psychological And Medical Aspects of Habitual Drinking - Essay Example

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In the paper “Psychological And Medical Aspects of Habitual Drinking” the author analyzes the disease concept of alcoholism of behavioral and social scientists. If alcoholism is a biological disease, there can be no doubt that the problem is the exclusive domain of physicians. …
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Psychological And Medical Aspects of Habitual Drinking
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Download file to see previous pages In this clash of ideas, the disease concept of alcoholism seems to hold sway because of the relentless efforts of Alcoholics Anonymous to foster this belief.  AA occupies an important place in any theoretical discussion of alcoholism because it serves as the rallying point for the concept that alcoholics carry a disease that needs medical treatment.   It has been so effective in spreading this idea that a similar institution has been duplicated for alcoholics in many parts of the world.   Another name that invariably comes up once the disease concept of alcoholism is mentioned is that of E. Jellinek who in 1946 published a study that has become the gospel of AA.   The Jellinek study sets forth four propositions that uphold alcoholism as a disease: 1) heavy drinkers show the pattern of ever greater alcohol use leading to ever greater body, mental and social deterioration; 2) once this condition appears, it persists involuntarily; 3) medical expertise is needed to understand and relieve this condition; and 4) alcoholics, like epileptics, are not legally and morally responsible for their drinking and its consequences (Keller, M. & Doria, J., 1991).   In this view, alcoholics cannot control drinking and require medical treatment because they exhibit the same symptoms of a regular disease: tolerance and withdrawal distress and loss of control or inability to abstain until alcoholics hit bottom as derelicts, turn insane or die.  In support of the theory pushed by AA, behavioral and social scientists have come forward one after another. ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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