Alcohol Addiction Health Center

Alcohol addiction is a chronic addiction to or dependence on alcohol. This addiction can involve being too focused on alcohol and when you will have your next drink, binge drinking, and physical or mental dependence on alcohol or its effects.

Alcoholism is often progressive, which means it worsens over time. Some people who are addicted to alcohol find they must drink increasing amounts to achieve a desired effect. Many alcoholics experience physical withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit drinking.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 88,000 Americans die each year due to excessive drinking, making alcohol the third deadliest lifestyle risk in the US.

Review Date: 
March 13, 2012
Last Updated:
August 22, 2014