Alcoholism (including alcohol dependence, ethylism, dipsomania, potomania, alcoholism, drunkenness, alcoholism or alcohol abuse disorder) is the dependence on the psychotropic substance ethanol, The mental and / or physical dependence of alcohol is mostly a social and human problem of the individual, but experience has a negative effect on his environment such as family and work. In the course of history there have been and still are repeated prohibitions of alcohol in various forms in individual countries or even in entire cultural areas such as Islam, alcohol abuse or in principle the alcohol consumption for various reasons by strict prohibition to stop. A significant example of the dubious success of alcohol bans is the prohibition in the USA from 1920 to 1933.
The border is fluid - there is no measurable no / yes point. After Prof. dr. Wilhelm Feuerlein (Head of the Psychiatric Polyclinic, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich and author of recognized standard works) there are five definition criteria from a clinical point of view. These include 1. abnormal drinking behavior, 2. somatic alcohol-related harm, 3. psychosocial alcohol-related harm, 4. development of tolerance and withdrawal syndrome (physical alcohol dependence), and finally 5. development of "withdrawal syndromes on the subjective level" in extreme cases total loss of control, as well as the centering of thinking and striving for alcohol (mental Alhohol dependence).
If only the first four criteria are fulfilled, one speaks of alcohol abuse (alcohol abuse), with the fifth criterion of alcohol dependence. According to estimates by the German National Center against addiction, around eight million Germans (10%) are considered to be in danger of alcohol, of which 2.5 million are alcoholics. 20% of occupational accidents and 20% of traffic deaths are due to alcohol. These data can be proportionally converted to the population of Austria (just under 9 million).
A typological classification is by Professor EM Jellinek. The US psychiatrist is considered the "pope" of alcoholism research; his major work "The disease concept of alcoholism" from...