Besides tobacco, alcohol is the only other lethal substance that is legal to purchase and is widely available everywhere.
One of the problems is there are often conflicting views as to the harm that alcohol can do to a person. For example, there have been instances where it has been stated that a glass of red wine daily is actually good for you, especially if you have a heart condition.
In moderation alcohol probably doesn't do too much harm; people have been drinking it for years. However, it's the word moderation that causes all the issues. Alcohol now gets measured in units and you are only allowed a certain number of units per week without harming yourself. Then the units are different, if you are male or female. They are different again, depending on how much you weigh. It also matters as to whether you are drinking on an empty stomach or not.
Drinking alcohol can lead to alcoholism, but there is little way of knowing if you are susceptible to becoming an alcoholic or not. Factually, most people that smoke tobacco drink alcohol; both are addictive substances, but it's not the other way around. Alcohol still is socially accepted in most instances whereas smoking is no longer socially acceptable. People argue that someone who consumes a lot of alcohol doesn't disturb or ruin anyone else's life whereas someone who smokes affects everyone around them.
Most people manage to get through their life without becoming an alcoholic, but there are statistics that indicate that the prevalence of alcoholism is increasing; and affecting people much younger than before. Doctors are seeing an increase in liver disease, again often in fairly young people.
Spotting someone who has a drinking issue or is on the way to becoming an alcoholic can be very difficult. The first thing that starts to happen is they begin drinking on their own, but often the alcohol is hidden. In many instances they never appear drunk and seen to function perfectly in every way. Watch out for changes in personality; they begin to stop doing hobbies, they don't want to socialize, unless alcohol is involved.
Strangely enough, an alcoholic may drink very little, when he or she is out drinking with friends. Alcoholics increase their consumption gradually. A bottle of wine a day becomes two then three, and yet from an external point of view you won't be able to spot any real difference. You may find that they start to eat less; they're full of alcohol leaving little room for food; food takes up valuable drinking time anyway.
There is no cure for alcoholism. Once you have become an alcoholic you will always be an alcoholic; but you can abstain. Unfortunately, as with other additions, there is no way you can stop a person. The only way is when they themselves admit they have a problem and choose to seek help because they want to stop drinking.
Remember, alcoholism is an illness and needs to be treated as one. The more people understand this the more help will be available. Every alcoholic was once a sober person and it's highly unlikely that he or she ever knowingly chose the route to alcoholism.
Article Source: http://goarticles.com/article/Alcohol-and-Alcoholism/6792397/