Alcohol is a beverage, a drug and a food. Its use can be considered cultural, psychological, physical and spiritual. Because of its complexity, it attracts specialists, who study it in a wide variety of ways. Epidemiologists measure the extent of the alcohol problem, whilst Anthropologists note differences in ethnic customs. Behaviorists seek antecedents and explore consequences of drinking, whilst Psychiatrists probe for underlying causes. Those concerned with genetics examine biochemical markers in children of alcoholics who do not yet drink, whilst Pathologists study slices of tissue of those who drank too much alcohol.
In earlier times Alcoholism was considered a moral issue, a sin. It was not until Alcoholics Anonymous defined alcoholism as a disease in the 1930’s and got the medical community to accept the concept that a change of attitude began to develop.“No words can tell of the loneliness and despair
I found in that bitter morass of self-pity.
Quicksand stretched around me in all directions.
I had met my match. Alcohol was my master.”