PAUL BROWN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL BROWN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Alcoholic. Artwork of a sweating and anxious alcoholic imagining a glass of beer. Alcoholism or alcohol dependence is an illness characterized by habitual, compulsive, long-term, heavy consumption of alcohol. There is no single cause; personality, environment and the addictive qualities of alcohol all contribute. Withdrawal symptoms such as severe shakes, hallucinations and convulsions, develop in sufferers if drinking is suddenly stopped. Many alcoholics require medical help (detoxification) in getting over these withdrawal symptoms. Psychological and social therapy, often in groups, can help alcoholics to stay sober.
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