Alcoholism affects up to 3% of the adult population in developed countries. It is a disease in the same way that infections and cancer are diseases. It does no good to tell an alcoholic to “pull yourself together” or “stop drinking before it kills you”. They need professional counselling and treatment. The biggest problem faced by families and doctors is the denial by so many alcoholics that they have a problem.
When alcohol is swallowed, it is absorbed very rapidly from the stomach, and commences its actions on the brain and other organs. This of course is one of the attractions of alcohol – it can make you very happy very quickly, and this can lead to addiction in some people. The children of alcoholics are more likely themselves to become alcoholics, and should be very wary when using alcohol.