Alcoholism commonly refers to any condition that results in the continued consumption of alcoholic beverages despite the health problems and negative social consequences it causes. Medical definitions describe alcoholism as a disease which results in a persistent use of alcohol despite negative consequences. Alcoholism may also refer to a preoccupation with or compulsion toward the consumption of alcohol and/or an impaired ability to recognize the negative effects of excessive alcohol consumption.
- Alcohol abuse and alcoholism have a different physiologic effect on women than on men. Societal attitudes about women and alcohol and internal (self-perception) and external (environmental) factors can create barriers to the detection and treatment of female alcohol abusers.
- Blum, Laura N.; Nielsen, Nancy H.; Riggs, Joseph A.; Council on Scientific Affairs, American Medical Association (September 1998). "Alcoholism and alcohol abuse among women: report of the council on scientific affairs". Journal of Women's Health. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 7 (7): 861–870.
- Who has woe? Who has uneasiness? Who has quarrels? Who has complaints? Who has wounds for no reason? Who has bleary eyes? Those lingering long over wine; those searching out mixed wine. Do not look at the wine’s red color as it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly, for in the end it bites like a serpent, and it secretes poison like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart will speak perverse things. And you will be like one lying down in the middle of the sea, like one lying at the top of a ship’s mast. You will say: “They have struck me, but I did not feel it. They beat me, but I did not know it. When will I wake up? I need another drink.”
- Solomon, Proverbs 23:29-35
- Morpheus' gifts used to come to me in bottles, Beam and black Jack Daniel's, straight up with a frosted schooner of Jax on the side, while the rain poor down in the neon glow outside the window of an all-night bar not far from the Huey Long Bridge. In a half hour I could kick open a furnace door and fling into the flames all the snakes and squeaking bats that lived inside me. Except the next morning they would writhe with new life in the ashes and come back home, stinking and hungry."
- James Lee Burke, A Morning for Flamingos, (1990)
- In my lowest moments, the only reason I didn't commit suicide was that I knew I wouldn't be able to drink any more if I was dead.
- Eric Clapton, Clapton: The Autobiography (2007), pg. 199
- It's not like anything you can beat—no matter how hard you try. … It's just that you can't really help them and it's so discouraging—it's all for nothing.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "An Alcoholic Case" (1937)
- "Jesus," he said to himself. "Drunk for ten years."
- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Lost Decade" (1939)
- "...and another little drink wouldn't do us any harm."
- Habitual intoxication is the epitome of every crime.
- Douglas William Jerrold, reported in Specimens of Douglas Jerrold's Wit (1858), p. 41.
- ‘Tis not the eating, nor ‘tis not the drinking that is to be blamed, but the excess.
- Suddenly he saw them, the bottles of aguardiente, of anís, of jerez, of Highland Queen, the glasses, a babel of glasses—towering, like the smoke from the train that day—built to the sky, then falling, the glasses toppling and crashing, falling downhill from the Generalife Gardens, the bottles breaking, bottles of Oporto, tinto, blanco, bottles of Pernod, Oxygènée, absinthe, bottles smashing, bottles cast aside, falling with a thud on the ground in parks, under benches, beds, cinema seats, hidden in drawers at Consulates, bottles of Calvados dropped and broken, or bursting into smithereens, tossed into garbage heaps, flung into the sea, the Mediterranean, the Caspian, the Caribbean, bottles floating in the ocean, dead Scotchmen on the Atlantic highlands—and now he saw them, smelt them, all, from the very beginning—bottles, bottles, bottles, and glasses, glasses, glasses, of bitter, of Dubonnet, of Falstaff, Rye, Johnny Walker, Vieux Whiskey blanc Canadien, the apéritifs, the digestifs, the demis, the dobles, the noch ein Herr Obers, the et glas Araks, the tusen taks, the bottles, the bottles, the beautiful bottles of tequila, and the gourds, gourds, gourds, the millions of gourds of beautiful mescal . . .
- Drink is in itself a good creature of God, but the abuse of drink is from Satan.
- Increase Mather as quoted in The Truth About Alcohol (2005) by Barry Youngerman and Mark J. Kittleson, p. 129.
- Alcoholism is the disease of more.
- Perhaps the single greatest influence on the scope and direction of alcohol research has been the finding that a portion of the vulnerability to alcoholism is genetic. This finding, more than any other, helped to establish the biological basis of alcoholism. It also provided the basis—and justification—for much of the progress in genetics, neuroscience, and neurobehavior described in the Tenth Special Report. Today we know that approximately 50 to 60 percent of the risk for developing alcoholism is genetic. Genes direct the synthesis of proteins, and it is the proteins that drive and regulate critical chemical reactions throughout the human body. Genetics, therefore, affects virtually every facet of alcohol research, from neuroscience to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
- "10th Special Report to the U.S. Congress on Alcohol and Health", Archived 13 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine., 2000, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, P. xiii.
- One of the principal payoffs of biological research in genetics and neuroscience is the potential for developing medications to treat a variety of alcohol use problems. Neuroscience research already has provided the groundwork for new medications for treating alcoholism. Researchers now are looking for new medications that target the mechanisms of the addiction itself, such as drugs that interfere with the reward properties of alcohol or craving, which are thought to be major factors in relapse. It is likely that no one medication will be effective for everyone nor that there will be the proverbial “silver bullet” of pharmacotherapies for alcoholism. Just as there are different types of medications with different mechanisms of action to treat complex diseases like diabetes, it is likely that there will be a range of medications, coupled with verbal therapies, available to clinicians
- Ibid, p. xiv.
- Mrs. Morse had been drinking all the afternoon; while she dressed to go out, she felt herself rising pleasurably from drowsiness to high spirits. But as she came out into the street the effects of the whisky deserted her completely, and she was filled with a slow, grinding wretchedness so horrible that she stood swaying on the pavement, unable for a moment to move forward.
- Dorothy Parker, "Big Blonde", (1929)
- As an alcoholic, you will violate your standards quicker than you can lower them. You will do shit that even the Devil would go "Dude...."