Alcoholism is a chronic disease in which the victim loses control over
drinking, resulting in adverse physical, emotional, and social
consequences. Excess consumption may occur periodically, as in binge
drinking, or continually, as with those who drink on a daily basis.
Alcoholics are preoccupied with drinking, yet often deny that a problem
exists, even in the face of obvious evidence. Over two-thirds of
alcoholics are male. Long-term abuse of alcohol can damage almost every organ.
It's the most common cause of liver disease; it can harm the pancreas,
heart, testes, and immune system. Chronic over-consumption
is also linked to cancers of the upper digestive tract, such as the mouth
and esophagus. Symptoms that indicate a problem with alcohol include
a loss of time from work, or financial problems due to drinking; feeling
guilty or having a memory loss after getting drunk; a decrease in
ambition or concern for loved ones; drinking alone; craving alcohol at a
certain time each day; and drinking in the morning. If you believe you
or someone you know has a drinking problem, seek help from a friend, family member, doctor, or Alcoholics Anonymous chapter in