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Sunday, 31 July 2011

Alcoholism

EC Booz, a mid 19th century whiskey distiller from Philadelphia liked to use the old English word “bousen”, which means, “to drink deeply”. People picked up on this and as his surname is similar to “bousen”, the word “booz” was adopted as a slang term.

Drunkenness officially achieved disease status in 1849 when the term “ alcoholism” appeared for the first time in an essay Alcoholismus Chronicus by the Swedish physician Magnus Huss.

Some towns in Iowa sold their jails on the eve of Prohibition, as they were so certain crime was caused by alcohol.

In 1935 two American alcoholics, William G. Wilson — a stockbroker — and Dr Robert Smith — a surgeon - met for the first time. They struck up a solid friendship linked to their shared struggles with overcoming their drinking problems. (June 10, 1935 was the date of Smith’s last drink). Inspired by stories of other alcoholics getting over their difficulties by having a spiritual awakening and their own experiences in benefiting from sharing with each other their problems they published a book Alcoholics Anonymous. Within a few years many other alcoholics were meeting together in AA groups whose purpose is "to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety." June 10th is the date marked by AA for its anniversaries.

     Figure of the Alcoholics Anonymous Wikipedia Commons

Katherine Hepburn only drank water throughout The African Queen production as a protest against John Huston and Humphrey Bogart's alcoholism. However, most of the cast and crew became sick from the water and only Bogart and Huston were unaffected because they only drank whiskey.

The Irish poet Brendan Behan became an alcoholic at the age of eight. 

Alcohol consumption doubled in the UK between 1965 and 2005. Current statistics reveal that almost six million people are thought to be binge drinkers, consuming more than the recommended units of alcohol in a single session.


The number of deaths from cirrhosis in young people has risen ten-fold since the 1970s.

Alcohol-associated excesses accounted for 52% of all [Russian] deaths at ages 15–54 years from 1990–2001.

Worldwide, about 5% of the world's adult population (240 million people) have an alcohol use disorder.

Source Huffington Post

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