HMH Newsletters and Provider Health Columns
Each year, nearly 90,000 individuals will die from alcohol-related causes in the U.S., making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in America. Of this number 62,000 are men and 26,000 are women.
Alcoholism, or alcohol dependence, is a disease that had four major hallmarks:
What many people do not understand is that alcoholism has little to do with willpower. Alcoholics are subject to powerful cravings and uncontrollable needs that will prevail over their ability to say no to that first drink or even that sixth drink.
In the past, scientists have credited alcoholism to be genetic. So if Grampa Linus was an alcoholic, little Billy had a predisposition; however, scientists are now seeing that genetics are not the whole story and that certain factors in a person’s environment may have more to do with a genetic risk for alcoholism to play a part in their life. Environmental factors include how he or she lives, friends, culture, peer pressure and even how easy it is to obtain alcohol.
If you have ever thought you or a loved one might have a dependence on alcohol, it is best to examine the following questions:
If you answered yes to any one of the above questions, it might be time to find help.
Dr. Joplin obtained his associate’s degree in nursing in 1972, his bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1985 and his M.D. in 1992 from the University of North Texas at Ft. Worth. His specialties include ER medicine, Family Practice medicine and obstetrics. He and his wife Pam have been married for 38 years and have two children. In his spare time, Dr. Joplin enjoys composing and performing music and has had 14 of his songs in the top 100 of Christian country music charts.