Statistics about alcoholism
One in four admissions to hospital in the UK is alcohol related
Sixty per cent of British suicides are alcohol related
Alcohol is implicated in forty per cent of domestic violence cases and thirty-nine per cent of fires
It is an illness that affects the body and mind, is compulsive in nature and considered to be an addiction. It was first reported by Senecca in ancient Rome as something very close to insanity. The Italian for alcoholic is alcoolisto; the French is alcoholique and the German is alkoholiker.
Many people mistakenly believe that alcoholics are only people who need to have a drink in the early morning or are down and outs sitting on park benches drinking cans of lager. While those examples are likely to be true, there are many ‘types’ of alcoholic who manage to function within a ‘normal’ life. The lonely builder who only drinks eight pints of beer at the pub five times a week or the respectable lady magistrate who drinks three glasses of sherry in an evening can both be alcoholic.
Like most addictions, alcoholism comes with practice. The more often you drink, the more likely you are to become dependent. Nobody knows why some people become alcoholic while others do not. Many recovering alcoholics maintain they were born that way wired together differently and that, if it wasn’t alcohol, another addictive substance would be their undoing.
Strange fact: The ancient Greeks believed that putting a piece of amethyst in one’s glass or in one’s mouth while drinking prevented drunkenness. The literal Greek translation of ‘amethyst’ is ‘not intoxicated’.
Obvious fact: Alcohol accentuates your real mood. If you are feeling depressed, alcohol will briefly raise your serotonin level but only briefly, before you feel even worse. If you are feeling euphoric or hypomanic, drinking alcohol will make you higher.