Alcoholism: Disease, or Choice?
“The medical definition of alcoholism is a chronic and fatal disease characterized by tolerance, physical dependence, and pathological organ changes, (Pace, “Alcoholism is a Disease”).” In the novel Lush, by Natasha Friend, the protagonist, Samantha, has an alcoholic father. “Having an alcoholic parent can be very traumatic for children and teens, (Teter, “My Father the Alcoholic”).” For most of her life, Sam keeps her father’s drinking problem a secret, until she finds trust in someone in her local library, with whom she shares her secret with.
In this novel, the social issue presented is alcoholism. The main characters father is an alcoholic. For most of her adolescent life, Samantha hides her fathers disease from everyone. She never has friends over her house, and she never shares information of the problem her father has with anybody. Sam always wanted to tell someone about this drinking problem, but she was never sure who. For a long time Sam stuck it out and didn’t tell anyone about her fathers issue, but after a while her father got really out of control. He started hitting her brother, and her mom, and he was always yelling and trying to argue with somebody in her house. Sam then decided she was going to write a letter to someone in the library asking for their advice. Sam’s father being an alcoholic affected her life greatly. It made her
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keep secrets from her best friends. It also made her go to a party and drink alcohol because she thought it would help her relieve the stress of her problems.
“The issue of alcoholism was very realistically portrayed in this novel. Many teens have alcoholic parents, and there are even meetings and support groups for teenagers, (Teter, “My Father the Alcoholic”).” These meetings help children of alcoholics express their issues and share their experiences with each other. The way the author presented the issue of alcoholism in the novel showed she was against it. However, by having Sam’s father go to rehab, she showed the reader that she felt there was still hope for him. When she wrote about him coming home from rehab sober, she also showed the reader that everyone deserves a second chance. Also, by showing that Sam could finally tell her friends about her father, she showed that it is okay for one to talk about his or her problems and that one doesn’t always have to keep everything bottled up inside.
“Based on much research, alcoholism has been classified as a disease by the medical community. Alcoholism is characterized by the inability to control alcohol consumption, preoccupation with alcohol, and distortion in thinking, (Pace, “Alcoholism is A Disease”).” Many experts argue whether or not alcoholism is a disease. “Terence Gorski says that no, mild forms of alcoholism are not diseases, however, severe alcoholics clearly suffer from a biological disease, (“Alcoholism Should be Treated As a Disease”).” “Alcoholism, also known as alcohol dependence syndrome, is a disease
characterized by cravings, loss of control, physical dependence, and a need for more and more alcohol. Building tolerance to alcohol is also a sign of alcoholism. Alcoholism is treatable and the sooner a person is able to acknowledge a need for help, the better his or her changes for recovery are, (Mitchell, “What is Alcoholism”).” “Alcoholism is very much preventable, by realizing when to stop drinking. Nobody ever died from abstinence, and controlled drinking is also fine, (Gorski, “Alcoholism Should be Treated as a Disease”)”
Alcoholism, or alcohol dependence, is a chronic disease, which is common in our world today. In the United States, 1 in every 13 adults is either an abuser of alcohol or an alcoholic. This disease includes a craving from the victim in spite of any problems or consequences, which they may have or have had. Consequences of this disease are often very severe; for example, job problems frequently ...
In conclusion, alcoholism can be classified as a disease, depending on the severity. There are also treatments and facilities for alcoholics, and groups and meetings for the families and friends of alcoholics.