BACKGROUND TO ALCOHOLISM
Chronic alcohol use, frequent and compulsive need to drink, regardless of the social disadvantages and harm to the health is characteristic of alcohol dependence.
The person drinks more alcohol over the course of a longer period of time than they originally intended.
They also cannot reduce their alcohol intake or stop drinking, regardless of the harm it causes.
To this picture is also added the “pick-me-up” the following day.
A physiological dependence often arises in which the person’s capacity to handle alcohol increases and they have abstinence problems of varying degrees the following day, after the alcohol intake has ceased.
The abstinence problems often make the person continue drinking. Alcohol dependence can also arise without appreciable tolerance or abstinence problems.