Alcoholism is recognized as a major health problem. In the U.S., it is the third greatest killer, after heart disease and cancer — and it does not damage alcoholics alone.
Others are hurt by its effects — in the home, on the job, on the high way. Alcoholism costs the community millions of dollars every year. So whether or not you ever become an alcoholic yourself, alcoholism still can have an impact on your life.
We have learned a great deal about how to identify and arrest alcoholism. But so far no one has discovered a way to prevent it, because nobody knows exactly why some drinkers turn into alcoholics. Doctors and scientists in the field have not agreed on the cause (or causes) of alcoholism.
Read A Brief Guide to Alcoholics Anonymous