Alcoholism is a widely prevalent and a ignored problem in America. If left undiagnosed or untreated, it can cause tremendous socioeconomic and physical impairment which may be lethal to an individual’s life. In males aged 2545, intoxication plays a major role in the four leading causes of death: accidents, homicides, suicides, and alcoholic cirrhosis.

This disease does not spare any segment of society. Rich or poor, educated or illiterate, men or women and blacks and whites are its victims.

Subjectively, alcoholism becomes an illness when the user either drinks when he wishes to refrain or continue to drink past the point at which he had earlier decided to stop. Objectively alcohol use becomes “abuse” or an illness when alcohol ingestion impairs an individual’s social relationships, health, job efficiency or ability to avoid legal difficulties.

Proper treatment can significantly alleviate numerous sufferings associated with it. Six out of ten alcoholics can be helped to stay sober most of the time if they are adequately treated by their participation in Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) groups and other specific interventions such as inpatient treatment depending upon the severity of the illness.

However, the problem is that an alcoholic always tries to use strong denial or minimization, thus making it extremely difficult for the family and health professionals to provide help. In order to know whether you suffer from alcoholism, try to ask yourself the following questions contained in CAGE Mnemonic:

Cut Down: Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?

Annoyed: Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?

Guilty: Have you ever felt bad or guilty about drinking?

Eye-Opener: Have you ever taken a drink first thing in the morning to help yourself feel better or get rid of a hangover?

A patient who answers in the affirmative to two or more of these questions maybe an alcoholic. It is proved that the CAGE questions have a very high predictability and reliability if answered honestly. Do not feel ashamed if you have such a problem. Talk About it.


W: seem to have forgotten our inherited custom of going out for long morning and evening walks. Luxuries of modern life including automobiles appear to have made us lazy. Recently, a research study by Dr. James Wright and his colleagues from University of Massachusetts Medical School has shown that walking may be good for you. The report reminds us that we should not forget our past customs and advises walking as a very good exercise.

Study reveals that regular walking can brighten up your mood, enhance your confidence and decrease anxiety and tension. It can also be helpful in reducing weight.

Walking can lower blood cholesterol and lower blood pressure. It can prevent or at least slow down the progression of osteoporosis. Walking is a good exercise for heart and can keep it healthy.

Article extracted from this publication >> June 24, 1988