The alcohol disease (also alcohol addiction, ethylism, dipsomania, potomania, drunkenness, alcohol addiction, alcoholism or alcohol consumption disorder) is the dependence on the psychotropic substance ethanol. The mental and/or physical dependence on alcohol is mostly a social and human problem of the individual, but experience shows that it also has a negative effect on his environment such as family and work. Throughout history, there have been and still are various forms of alcohol prohibition in individual countries or even in entire cultural areas such as Islam, the abuse of alcohol or even the consumption of alcohol in general for various reasons by strict prohibitions. A significant example of the dubious success of alcohol bans is the prohibition in the USA from 1920 to 1933.
The boundary is fluid - there is no measurable no/yes point. According to Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Feuerlein (head of the Psychiatric Polyclinic, Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry in Munich and author of recognized standard works) there are five definition criteria from a clinical point of view. These are 1. abnormal drinking behaviour, 2. somatic alcohol-related harm, 3. psychosocial alcohol-related harm, 4. development of tolerance and withdrawal syndrome (physical alcohol dependency) and finally 5. development of "withdrawal syndromes on the subjective level" with in extreme cases total loss of control, as well as the centering of thinking and striving for alcohol (psychic alcohol dependency).
If only the first four criteria are fulfilled, one speaks of alcohol abuse (alcohol abuse), with the fifth criterion of alcohol dependency. According to estimates of the German Head Office against the dangers of addiction, about eight million Germans (10%) are considered at risk of alcohol, of which 2.5 million are considered to be alcoholics. 20% of accidents at work and 20% of traffic deaths are due to the influence of alcohol. These data can be proportionally converted to the population of Austria (almost 9 million).
A typological classification was developed by Professor E. M. Jellinek. The US psychiatrist is regarded as the "pope" of alcoholism research; his major work "The disease concept of alcoholism" from 1940 led to the general recognition of alcoholism as a disease, the typology of alcoholism was published in 1960. Jellinkek assumes four or five types, which he...