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Alcoholism

  • By: Constance A. Barlow & Cheryl Leah Barry
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Alcohol is a culturally acceptable, legal drug that is part of the lives of many women. However, alcohol dependency can occur when alcohol is continually consumed despite negative consequences to one's overall health and well-being. The American Medical Association considers alcohol dependence, also commonly known as alcoholism, to be characterized by tolerance, the need to consume increasing amounts of alcohol to feel its effects, and the appearance of physical symptoms when alcohol use is discontinued. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 4th edition, text revision (DSM-IV-TR) a standard for diagnosis in psychiatry and psychology, defines alcohol dependence as the repeated use of alcohol despite recurrent adverse psychological and physical consequences such as depression, blackouts, and liver disease. Two types of alcohol that are commonly abused are ...

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