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Alcoholism: biosocial parameters

There are few issues in life for which there is universal agreement. However, politicians, insurers, employers, healthcare providers, the judiciary, the police and, for that matter, almost everyone in general population is likely to concur that problems associated with alcohol and drugs cost a great deal of money and cause a lot of pain. A variety of specific, different, but sometimes overlapping mechanisms of action can be described for alcohol abuse. Those problems associated with alcohol abuse have a major impact especially relevant to healthcare providers who deal with the every day consequences of alcohol abuse/dependence disorders. Alcohol has been consumed in most societies around the world. For certain individuals or in certain circumstances, even low or moderate levels of alcohol may be problematic. Bio-psychosocial vulnerability to alcohol depends on several factors. The genetic makeup of an individual, general health status, or the presence of a particular medical condition may confer vulnerability to alcohol. Variables such as gender, race and age also play a role, all influencing the way in which ethanol affects the human body and the way in which it interacts with other biosocial factors. Biosocial vulnerability to alcohol is a complex issue, involving as much the genetic blueprint of an individual, as general health and other factors over which they may be little control.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Liappas, I. Alcoholism: biosocial parameters. Ann Gen Psychiatry 5 (Suppl 1), S55 (2006).

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