Alcoholism is a commonly used term that describes an impaired ability to limit alcohol use, despite the harmful consequences of continued use. In this respect, alcoholism meets the definition of addiction. In our topic center on addiction, we define addiction:
Addiction is the repeated involvement with a substance or activity, despite the substantial harm it now causes, because that involvement was (and may continue to be) pleasurable and/or valuable.
Alcoholism is not a diagnostic term recognized by American Psychiatric Association. The correct diagnostic term would be alcohol use disorder (alcohol addiction). The process of diagnosing alcohol addiction is discussed here.
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