If the alcoholic stopped drinking he or she would

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If the alcoholic stopped drinking, he or she would experience severe withdrawal symptoms. Effects on Family and Society here are an estimated 14 million alcoholics in the United T States. Alcohol use is a major factor in the four leading causes of accidental death—car accidents, falls, drownings, and house fires. Alcohol also plays a major role in violent crimes, such as homicide, forcible rape, and robbery. For example: About 40 percent of violent crimes, totaling about 3 million annually, are alcohol-related. Two-thirds of victims who encounter domestic violence report that alcohol was a factor in the crime. Nearly half of all homicide victims have alcohol in their bloodstreams. Often, alcoholism has indirect, as well as direct, effects on people associated with alcoholics. These people may be involved in a process known as codependency. Codependents learn to ignore their own needs and focus their energy and emotions on the needs of the alcoholic. In the process codependents lose their trust in others, their self-esteem, and, at times, their own health. Treatment for Alcohol Abuse lthough alcoholism cannot be cured, it can be treated. The A process of learning to live an alcohol-free life is called As many as two-thirds of all alcoholics who try to recover do so with proper treatment. The goal of treatment programs is to stop or control the intake of alcohol. Counseling and medication can help an alcohol user set goals to deal with problems of alcohol abuse. living without alcohol, is a lifelong commitment. Many resources are available to help people who have a drinking prob- lem. Help is also available for the families and friends of problem drinkers. Some of these programs are described in Figure 22.4. Sobriety recovery 578 Chapter 22 Alcohol domestic violence For more information on dealing with family crises, see Chapter 11, page 286. S TEPS TO R ECOVERY Step 1: Admission The person admits to having a drinking problem and asks for help. Step 2: Detoxification The person goes through detoxification , a process in which the body adjusts to functioning without alcohol. Step 3: Counseling The person receives counseling to help him or her learn to live without alcohol. Step 4: Recovery The person takes responsi- bility for his or her own life.
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Reviewing Facts and Vocabulary 1. Identify three serious effects of alcohol abuse. 2. Define sobriety. Explain why sobriety is a lifelong commitment. 3. What steps must an alcoholic take during the recovery process? Thinking Critically 4. Analyzing. Explain how damage can occur in the body of the developing fetus when a pregnant woman drinks alcohol. 5. Synthesizing. Alcoholism can have devastating effects on people associated with an alcoholic. Explain ways that these individuals can be affected, and tell how and where those living with an alcoholic can get help.
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