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Anti-Alcohol PSA Video For Teens. From the public domain. Alcoholism is a chronic disease that makes your body dependent on alcohol. You may be obsessed with alcohol and unable to control how much you drink, even though your drinking is causing serious problems with your relationships, health, work and finances. It's possible to have a problem with alcohol, but not display all the characteristics of alcoholism. This is known as alcohol abuse, which means you engage in excessive drinking that causes health or social problems, but you aren't dependent on alcohol and haven't fully lost control over the use of alcohol. Although many people assume otherwise, alcoholism is a treatable disease. Medications, counseling and self-help groups are among the therapies that can provide ongoing support to help you recover from alcoholism. Alcoholism is a disease. It is often diagnosed more through behaviors and adverse effects on functioning than by specific medical symptoms. Only 2 of the diagnostic criteria are physiological (those are tolerance changes and withdrawal symptoms). Alcohol abuse and alcoholism are associated with a broad range of medical, psychiatric, social, legal, occupational, economic, and family problems. For example, parental alcoholism underlies many family problems such as divorce, spouse abuse, child abuse and neglect, welfare dependence, and criminal behaviors, according to government sources.