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             When you hear the word drugs what do you think of? Was alcohol on your list? Alcohol is as much a drug as prescription drugs, or illicit drugs. Alcohol is the oldest and most widely used drug in the world. Nearly half of all Americans over the age of 12 consume alcohol. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, a mind/mood altering chemical. The definition of alcoholism is a form of chemical dependency which is an illness characterized by preoccupation with alcohol and loss of control over its consumption such as to lead usually to intoxication if drinking is begun. The term Chemical Dependency refers to a primary illness or disease which is characterized by addiction to a mood altering chemical. The dictionary definition of Chemical Dependency is essentially a pathological or sick relationship of a person to a mood altering chemical substance, a psychoactive drug, in expectation of a rewarding experience. A chemically dependent person is unable to stop drinking or taking a mood-altering chemical despite serious health, economic, vocational, legal, spiritual, and social consequences. It is a disease that affects everyone regardless of their age, sex, race, religion, or economic status. It is progressive and chronic and if left untreated can be fatal. .
             When a person is chemically dependent, they have lost the power of choice over using chemicals. They might be able to stop for awhile, but they will return to its use again and again despite their best intentions and willpower. Dual Recovery Anonymous says that chemical dependency is characterized by continuous or periodic impaired control over drinking and/or drug use, use of an addictive substance despite adverse consequences and distortions in thinking most notably denial.
             Some people use denial as a defense mechanism when dealing with their drinking problem. Typically an alcoholic is the last person to admit that they have a drinking problem.

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