A Vicious Cycle
Alcoholism is a chronic disorder characterized by dependence on alcohol, repeated excessive use of alcoholic beverages, the development of withdrawal symptoms on reducing or ceasing intake, morbidity that may include cirrhosis of the liver, and decreased ability to function socially and vocationally.
People who are dependent on alcohol lack the ability to voluntarily cut down or stop drinking. They develop a physical tolerance, requiring increasingly larger amounts to achieve the same level of intoxication. Withdrawal symptoms develop, including rapid heartbeat, anxiety, tremors, and even seizures, when they drink less or stop drinking.