Alcoholism is a chronic disease in which the victim loses control over drinking, resulting in adverse physical, emotional, and social consequences. Excess consumption may occur periodically, as in binge drinking, or continually, as with those who drink on a daily basis. Alcoholics are preoccupied with drinking, yet often deny that a problem exists, even in the face of obvious evidence. Over two-thirds of alcoholics are male. Due to their typically larger and more muscular structure, men can usually process more alcohol than women. However, they're also more likely to drink to excess, and die from related conditions. Long-term abuse of alcohol can damage almost every organ. It's the most common cause of liver disease; it can harm the pancreas, heart, testes, ovaries, and immune system. Chronic over-consumption is also linked to cancers of the upper digestive tract, such as the mouth and esophagus. Symptoms that indicate a problem with alcohol include a loss of time from work, or financial problems due to drinking; feeling guilty or having a memory loss after getting drunk; a decrease in ambition or concern for loved ones; drinking alone; craving alcohol at a certain time each day; and drinking in the morning. If you feel that you or someone you know may have a drinking problem, consult a doctor in your area.
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