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What is Alcoholism

From the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

Alcoholism, also known as alcohol dependence, is a disease that includes the following four symptoms:

  • Craving – A strong need, or urge, to drink.
  • Loss of control – Not being able to stop drinking once drinking has begun.
  • Physical dependence – Withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety after stopping drinking.
  • Tolerance – The need to drink greater amounts of alcohol to get "high."

From The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD)

Alcoholism is a primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. The disease is often progressive and fatal. It is characterized by continuous or periodic: impaired control over drinking, preoccupation with the drug alcohol, use of alcohol despite adverse consequences, and distortions in thinking, most notably denial.