FRANK A. SEIXAS, M.D., CONVENOR; SHEILA BLUME, M.D.; LUTHER A. CLOUD, M.D.; CHARLES S. LIEBER, M.D.; R. KEITH SIMPSON, D.O., D.P.H.
SEIXAS FA, BLUME S, CLOUD LA, LIEBER CS, SIMPSON RK. Definition of Alcoholism. Ann Intern Med. 1976;85:764. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-85-6-764
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1976;85(6):764.
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Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive, and potentially fatal disease. It is characterized by tolerance and physical dependency or pathologic organ changes, or both—all the direct or indirect consequences of the alcohol ingested.
1. "Chronic and progressive" means that the physical, emotional, and social changes that develop are cumulative and progress as drinking continues.
2. "Tolerance" means brain adaptation to the presence of high concentrations of alcohol.
3. "Physical dependency" means that withdrawal symptoms occur from decreasing or ceasing consumption of alcohol.
4. The person with alcoholism cannot consistently predict on any drinking occasion the duration of the episode or the
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Tobacco, Alcohol, and Other Substance Abuse.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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