If alcoholism is a disease, then it is one of the greatest epidemics of modern times. While no real consensus exists among experts in the field concerning how alcoholism should be defined, recent statistics indicate that 10 million Americans are classified as alcoholics (i.e., those with chronic, problematic drinking patterns). According to a recent Gallup Poll, one out of three persons reported that alcohol abuse had caused trouble in their families. Heavy drinking is involved in 60% of violent crimes, 30% of suicides, and 80% of fire and drowning accidents. Every 22 minutes a drunk driver kills someone. Alcoholism is involved in a quarter of all admissions to general hospitals, and its abuse years estimated to cost our society 50 billion dollars per year.