Jackie Cole Professor Franco English Comp II 14 June 2011 Alcoholism a Disease Alcoholism is an extremely dangerous disease that has a way of manipulating anyone who allows it to consume them by turning their life around like a merry-go-round, resulting in problems within their home, school, work, and social relationships. Alcoholism has no prejudice it affects millions of Americans every day. Alcoholism is a chronic, often progressive disease in which a person craves alcohol and drinks despite repeated alcohol related problems.
About 18 million people in the United States abuse alcohol and estimates suggest that more than 70 million Americans have dealt with alcoholism in their family (UMMC). With extreme numbers like this it’s a wonder how alcohol and products that contain alcohol are even legal. I recently read a poem called “Say You Love Me” written by Molly Peacock. The poem was about a father of two young girls who was an alcoholic. It reminded me of a time in my life when I was so young and innocent, but scared to death of the alcoholic man that I loved so much, my father.
Throughout the poem Peacock tells the story through the eyes of one of the young girls who is extremely horrified of their father who came home late from work one evening drunk. The poor child has so much sorrow and emotion in her voice that I can feel her fear and resentment as I read through the poem. At the beginning of the poem the child asks, “What happened earlier I’m not sure of. Of course he was drunk, but often he was. ” (Peacock 60) Just like in the poem, most alcoholics drink often, most daily, for no reason other than to satisfy their cravings.
How do people let something so simple, like alcohol, take control over them? Becoming addicted to alcohol is often a gradual process that happens as alcohol that is consumed changes the level of chemicals in the brain until eventually the person craves alcohol to make them feel good again. When alcohol is consumed, it is absorbed into a person’s bloodstream. From there it affects the central nervous system (the brain and the spinal cord), which controls virtually all body function (NYADMC).
The more alcohol that a person consumes the greater the chance of addiction is. The Department of Transportation states that, “The younger a person is when they begin drinking, the greater the chance of them becoming addicted to alcohol at some point in their life. More than four in ten people who begin drinking before the age fifteen eventually become alcoholics. ” Coming from a family that has battled alcoholism for many generations I know firsthand what the extremely powerful, addictive potion can do to people when consumed in excessive amounts. Give an example from your own personal experience of what you have went through) Alcohol can be used in moderation to help people relax and enjoy social events, but when someone goes past the point of social drinking they are more than likely an alcoholic. Alcoholics usually shows signs of addiction such as drinking alone, craving alcohol, not being able to control the amount they drink, trouble at work, increased amounts of alcohol needed for the same effect, blackouts, and withdraw symptoms like nausea, headaches, sweating, anxiety, and liver disease (UMMC).
Once someone becomes an alcoholic it is very hard for them to stop drinking because alcoholism is a disease. I can remember my father, who was an alcoholic for as long as I can remember, promising us kids that he was going to stop drinking. He would try so hard and be so proud of himself until the evening came and he just had to have another drink. I know that he had every intention to dry out and be a good father, but the disease was far to advanced for him to just up and quit like he always said he would.
Children who are around alcoholics on a daily basis are changed by its crippling effects (add in a (;) then finish the sentence)Emotions of fear and resentment replace the outgoingness and enthusiasm that is commonly found within a young child’s heart. Those who are affected place resentment on the alcoholic, themselves, or their family and friends that act as the child’s protector. This type of resentment is expressed in the poem “Say You Love Me” when the author writes, “There wouldn’t be a rescue from my mother, still at work. ” (Peacock 61)
Most people who are alcoholics are ruthless, disrespectful, and scary to others. They tend to have trouble keeping friends and attending social gatherings, because the alcohol causes them to do and say things that they normally would not do or say. The more they drink the louder and more obnoxious they become. Until eventually, they begin to feel alone which makes them drink more. Their family and friends are also affected by their behavior, and experience some of the same feelings of loneliness. Peacock states, “There was no world out there, so there we remained, completely alone. (Peacock 61) A person’s career can also be negatively influenced by the use of alcohol. Most jobs require an employee to be on time, rested, and ready to perform their duties in a safe and effective manner each day. When someone becomes an alcoholic these qualities may not be a priority for them any longer. I can remember that my father had a hard time maintaining employment when I lived at home, because he would always show up to work late or have a lingering odor of alcohol which got him in trouble at work.
His inability to hold down a job forced my mother to work two jobs just to support our family and maintain our home. Alcoholism is a horrible life altering disease that affects not only the alcoholic, but all the people the alcoholic is involved with. Family, friends, colleges, co-workers, and millions of other people are affected by this disease that can cause a poor little, innocent child to be scared to death of the strongest, most respected man in her life, her father.
People who are alcoholics pray for a day when alcohol does not control their lives. They dream of what life would be like without alcohol having such a strong hold on them that it potentially ruins their lives. The only way to eliminate the negative implications caused by alcoholism, and make their dreams come true is for alcohol to no longer be available to those who allow it to control them. ( love the ending) Works Cited Merickel. New Jersey. Prentice Hall. 008, 2005, 2002. National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign (NYADMC). “Above The Influence. ” Web. 2010 Reading Literature and Writing Argument: With Additional Research and Documentation Materials. (Peacock)Peacock, Molly. “Say You Love Me”. Custom Edition for Oklahoma City Community College. 3rd ed. Eds. Missy James and Alan Merickel. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2008. Print. University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). “Alcoholism. ” Web. 2011