Chemical dependency also known as alcoholism affects ten to twenty million Americans a year will die from their dependency prematurely unless they get help (Cummings).Along with, diabetes, cancer or cardiovascular difficulties, chemical dependency is too a disease with signs, symptoms and treatment.In 1996, the American Medical Association (AMA) declared that alcoholism was a disease, not the result of a person's low morale.The (AMA) defined alcoholism as "an illness characterized by preoccupation with alcohol and loss of control over its consumption such as to bad usually to intoxication" (Silverstein 20).The National Council on Alcoholism states alcoholism is a "chronic, progressive, and potentially fatal disease marked by repeated drinking that causes trouble in the drinker's personal, professional, or family life" (Silverstein 20).The craving for alcohol can be as strong as the need for food or water.In 1784, Dr. Benjamin Rush of Philadelphia defined alcoholism as a disease.He concluded that alcohol was an addictive drug and described "habitual drunkenness as involuntary (Silverstein 23).Alcohol contributes to 100,000 deaths annually, making the third leading cause of early death, behind cancer and heart disease (Silverstein 14).Itis a fatal disease that unfortunately cannot be cured, but can be controlled.Like many other diseases, alcoholism is chronic and last of lifetime.
Until the (AMA) recognized Alcoholism as a disease medical and psychiatric professionals believed that ir was a symptom of some other underlying emotional or psychological disorder.Alcoholism is often labeled as the disease of denial, alcoholics hide their symptoms and deny and problem (McAuthur).They would often attribute symptoms of nausea andheadaches to the flu or memory loss to old age, making it hard to doctors to diagnose their illness.In 1987 the American Psychiatric Association listed…

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