Alcoholism, also known as "alcohol dependence," is a disease that includes alcohol craving and continued drinking despite repeated alcohol-related problems. It includes four symptoms:
Craving - 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.