Do you consider alcoholism a brain diseas? Explain your

Expert Answers
lynn30k eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yes. Long-term alcohol use very definitely affects the brain, to the point of "permanent and debilitating conditions that require lifetime custodial care"; that quote is from the below link.

Drinking while pregnant can cause fetal alcohol syndrome, which can include affecting the brain. I'm not sure if this is what you had in mind, but the results can be very severe and sad.


pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I guess I don't really see where this can be discussed by anyone who isn't a neuroscientist.  Addiction seems to me to be at least partly a failure of will power on the part of the individual.  But that's just a prejudice.  There are scientists who say it is a brain disease, as in this link

I don't know enough to know if they're right.  But it seems that scientists have to decide this based on their observation of brains, etc.  In other words, I don't know how I or anyone else can really claim to know.

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My understanding of alcoholism indicates there are both  psychological and physiological ramifications of long term use and abuse of alcohol. Consuming alcohol is a choice. Consuming alcohol over and over is a choice. The choices lead to addiction, but the addiction is not something one chose to have. That being said, alcohol destroys the brain cells, can cause brain damage and other health impairments in fetuses, and changes the body and brain chemistry. So yes, as disorganized as this seems, I would say alcoholism is a brain disease.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yes, because addiction is both physical and psychological, so the brain is primarily affected.  The body develops addictions based on the brain's signals, and also suffers withdrawals based on brain chemistry, so I would say that is an accurate characterization of alcoholism. While some also say that alcoholic predisposition is genetic, and there is significant evidence to say that is true, the development of that predisposition depends on brain chemistry that is altered when drugs such as alcohol are introduced.

krishna-agrawala | Student

Alcoholism is a bodily disorder in which a person has an overwhelming desire to drink alcohol. An alcoholic feels overwhelming compulsion to drink. Many people drink to escape temporarily from anxiety, frustration, and tension. This is not necessarily alcoholism

Alcoholism frequently is passed on to a person genetically from parents to their children. Though exact cause of alcoholism are not established clearly, some researchers believe that it may be because of reduced level of endorphins, which is a substances in the brain that relieve feelings of stress and pain. Some alcoholics may be born with a reduced level of and may drink compulsively to regain feelings of well-being. Alcoholism may also be caused by psychological pressures, such as stress

Alcoholics try to make their life less stressful by drinking. Unfortunately, though alcohol gives temporary feeling of relief, it actually reduces the level of endorphins even more, and thus, increases the need to drink.

giorgiana1976 | Student

Both, in popular science and the scientific one, addiction is characterized as a disease of the brain. Experts say that addiction occurs when human behavior becomes vulnerable. Often, a dependent person identifies himself with his vices and convince himself that this is part of his nature. Hence the concept that there may never heal. But with help, increasingly more people are able to escape the dependence that controls their life.Moreover, one can escape the addiction without professional help, but only with a great will and support from people close. Trying to escape from a defect is made most often in several stages. Thus, it may not get rid of smoking or alcohol abuse in the first attempt. But one thing is impossible. Giving up a vice is a dramatic change for the dependent. Therefore, the best way to give up is perseverance and ability to "embrace" a new life.

A study made by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse in the U.S., on a sample of 42,000 ex alcohol consumers , showed that only 20% of them have dropped the vice with the help of a professional. The rest were abandoned it by their own volition. Psychologists say that medical treatments are effective. But, the best ways to waive a defect are those who make the patient. For only he knows whicha are his limits. However, it is very important that the suffering of addiction to be supported by the close ones. A high efficiency has a call to a psychotherapist. They have the ability to motivate the patient who wants to quit. Often, the specialists method is to make the quitting person to believe that he should not give up, but just reduce the amount. Finally, it appears to abandon the vice.

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