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Women and Alcohol In this assignment I had been given the task to choose a client group and a drug or group of drugs which may be misused by that group Then review the available evidence relating to prevalence and critically analyse the treatment options available along with their theoretical underpinnings and finally debate the issues from a harm reduction standpoint Thus I have chosen Women as my client group and Alcohol as the drug which may be misused by that group So broadly speaking what is alcohol abuse And what is alcoholism There is a slight difference between the two terminologies A fairly recent publication provided by Athealthcom a leading provider of mental health information defines alcohol abuse as a pattern of drinking in which a person uses alcohol in a way that is harmful to themselves or others Alcoholism or alcohol dependence is more seen as a disease The World Health Organisations definition of Alcoholism 1952 read in part Alcoholics are those excessive drinkers where dependence on alcohol has attained such a degree that it shows a noticeable mental disturbance or an interference with their bodily and mental health Similarly Kellers definition 1960 in Faugier and Kennedy 1989 p56 also refers to the disease model Alcoholism is a chronic disease manifested by repeated implicative drinking so as to cause injury to the drinkers health or to his social or economic functioning The weaknesses of such definitions are that they avoid the exact explanation of the word and concentrate on the effects of the condition The most common features of alcoholism are described by Gossop 2000 p78 as i an increased physiological tolerance to alcohol ii withdrawal symptoms and craving when alcohol is not available iii inability to drink moderately It is generally agreed that in our society there exists a double standard in respect of attitudes towards male and female alcoholics and indeed towards the
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