BSIP LAURENT / BOUHIER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP LAURENT / BOUHIER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Alcoholism. Woman sitting holding a drink with assorted bottles of alcohol on the table in front of her. The blurring of the image reflects the alcohol's effect on her. Alcoholism or alcohol dependence is an illness characterized by regular, compulsive, long-term, heavy alcohol consumption. Personality, environment and the addictive qualities of alcohol all contribute to this problem. 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. Psychotherapy, often in groups, or social therapy may also be required.
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