Medical illustration of alcohol consumption
Alcoholism is considered a progressive disease because the symptoms and effects of the excessive drinking of alcohol become increasingly more severe over time. Those who use alcohol to excess may begin to show early signs of a problem, then progress to showing symptoms of alcohol abuse; if drinking continues, they may later show symptoms of alcoholism or alcohol dependence.
The term “alcoholism” refers to a disease known as alcohol dependence syndrome, the most severe stage of a group of drinking problems which begins with binge drinking and alcohol abuse.
Diagnosing alcoholism can be tricky, since the diagnosis depends on the drinker being willing to honestly answer a series of questions about his or her drinking patterns and attitudes.
Alcoholism is a treatable disease and many treatment programs and approaches are available to support alcoholics who have decided to get help, but no medical cure is yet available.
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