What is alcoholism?

Alcoholism is also known as "alcohol dependence." It is a disease that includes alcohol craving and continued drinking despite repeated alcohol-related problems, such as losing a job or getting into trouble with the law.

An alcoholic's liver

An alcoholic's liver

A healthy liver

A healthy liver

Alcoholism includes four symptoms:

  • Cravings - A strong need, or compulsion, to drink.

  • Impaired Control - The inability to limit one’s drinking on any given occasion.

  • Physical Dependence - Withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety, when alcohol use is stopped after a period of heavy drinking.

  • Tolerance - The need for increasing amounts of alcohol in order to feel its effects.

Withdrawal Symptoms: Shakes (Tremors), Sweats (Diaphoresis), Nausea Vomiting, Anxiety, Irregular Pulse, Elevated Blood Pressure, Confusion, Agitation, Convulsions, Delirium (Tremors).