A chronic disease characterised by uncontrolled drinking and preoccupation with alcohol.
Alcoholism is the inability to control drinking due to both a physical and emotional dependence on alcohol.
Symptoms include repeated alcohol consumption despite related legal and health issues. Those with alcoholism may begin each day with a drink, feel guilty about their drinking and have the desire to cut down on the amount of drinking.
Treatment involves counselling by a healthcare professional. A detoxification programme in a hospital or medical facility is an option for those who need additional assistance. Medications are available that reduce the desire to drink.