What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism, or alcohol dependence, is a disease that includes 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 upset stomach, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety after stopping drinking.

Tolerance—The need to drink greater amounts of alcohol to get "high."