Alcoholism is drinking alcoholic beverages at a level that interferes with physical health, mental health, and social, family, or job responsibilities.
Alcohol affects the central nervous system as a depressant. This leads to a decrease in:
  * Activity
  * Anxiety
  * Inhibitions
  * Tension
Even a few drinks can change behavior, slow motor skills, and decrease the ability to think clearly. Alcohol can impair concentration and judgment. Drinking a lot of alcohol can cause drunkenness (intoxication).
Some of the symptoms of alcoholism include:
  * Abdominal pain
  * Confusion
  * Drinking alone
  * Episodes of violence with drinking
  * Hostility when confronted about drinking
  * Lack of control over drinking -- being unable to stop or reduce alcohol intake
  * Making excuses to drink
  * Nausea and vomiting
  * Need for daily or regular alcohol use to function
  * Neglecting to eat
  * Not caring for physical appearance
  * Numbness and tingling
  * Secretive behavior to hide alcohol use
  * Shaking in the morning
Alcohol withdrawal develops because the brain adapts to the alcohol and cannot function well without the drug. Symptoms of withdrawal may include:
  * Anxiety
  * Confusion or seeing and hearing things that aren't there (hallucinations)
  * Death (rarely)
  * Increased blood pressure
  * Loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting
  * Psychosis
  * Raised temperature
  * Rapid heart rate
  * Restlessness or nervousness
  * Seizures
  * Tremors
Classification and terminology
Misuse, problem use, abuse, and heavy use refers to improper use of alcohol which may cause physical, social, or moral harm to the drinker.[24] Moderate use is defined by The Dietary Guidelines for Americans as no more than two alcoholic beverages per day for men and no more than one alcoholic beverage per day for women.[25]
The term "alcoholism" is commonly used, but poorly defined. The WHO defines...