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.
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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
SEIXAS FA, BLUME S, CLOUD LA, et al. Definition of Alcoholism. Ann Intern Med. 1976;85:764. doi: https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-85-6-764
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1976;85(6):764.
Tobacco, Alcohol, and Other Substance Abuse.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
Conditions of Use