One of the difficulties in recognizing alcoholism as a disease is it just plain doesn’t seem like one. It doesn’t look, sound, smell and it certainly doesn’t act like a disease. To make matters worse, generally, it denies it exists and resists treatment.
Alcoholism has been recognized for many years by professional medical organizations as a primary, chronic, progressive, and sometimes fatal disease. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence offers a detailed and complete definition of alcoholism, but probably the most simple way to describe it is “a mental obsession that causes a physical compulsion to drink.”1
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