Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Imy V. Holt

Second Advisor

Dr. William VanDeventer

Third Advisor

Dr. Merrill R. Wiseman

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Eston Asher Jr.

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access



Alcoholism: The Disease

"Alcoholism is a chronic disease manifested by repeated implicative drinking so as to cause injury to the drinker's health or to his social or economic functioning" (53). Such a definition of alcoholism points to the disease concept which went unrecognized until recent years. In addition to its medical implications, alcoholism has been the subject of considerable writing and research by academicians in such diverse fields as sociology, psychology, physiology, psychiatry, theology, and law.

At the outset it should be noted that the writer is aware of the arguments and opinions expressed by the advocates of the several disciplines as mentioned above, and it is fully realized that all of the above have proper and just place within the scope of the problem of alcoholism. It should be realized that any problem may be approached from a variety of positions, and in the case of a disease, several different etiologies, pathologies, and treatments may be valid. Thus, although the writer is concerned with the physiological-genetic aspects of alcoholism, it should be understood that sociological, psychological, and other factors play an important role in the precipitation of the disease.

There remains a great deal of uncertainty in the realm of the physiology and biochemistry of alcoholism, particularly with respect to the etiology of the disease. If it were possible to define clearly the role of biochemistry and genetics with respect to the onset of alcoholism one would have valuable tool at hand to use in the treatment and prevention of this disease which affects some five million Americans.

Included in

Biology Commons