Alcoholism is a terrible problem that many Americans suffer from.   It tears familys and individuals apart.   It is considered to be a desiese that is cured soley on focus from the person who suffers to get better. Alcoholism is characterized by different traits such as cravings, loss of control, physical dependance, and tolerance.
Craving: a strong need or compulsion to drink
Loss of control:   The frequent inability to stop drinking once a eprson has begun.
Physical dependance: the occurence of withdrawl symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety when the consumpution of alcohol is stopped after a period of heavy drinking.

There is a variety of different reasons to why people start to drink alcohol. Many people start drinking while they are younger because of peer pressure at parties. In some cases, a person may turn to alcohol to help deal with stress. When they start to drink because of stress is when they are most likely going to suffer from alcoholism. They come home after a long day at work and fight their battles with the bottle instead of facing the stress that has accumulated because of stressors.

There is also the problem of "alcohol abuse" which is always mistaken for alcoholism but is a different issue.   It does not include a strong craving for alcohol, loss of contol, or a physical dependence.   Alcohol abuse is less likely than alcoholism and is seen more in adolecenes.   It is defined to be a patter of drinking that is accompanied by failure to do major work or attend school, drinking in dangerous sitiations (driving a car) , llegal problems obtaining to alcohol, and having reoccuring relationship problems but continuing drinking along a 12 month period of time.   Although they are different problems many effects of people who abuse alcohol are also seen in alcoholics.  
It has little to do with the kind of alcohol one consumes such as beer, wine, or liquor.   It is how long one has been or drinking or how much...