A person suffering from alcoholism not only craves for drink but is also unable to control his/her drinking and develops a physical dependence on alcohol. The person may develop withdrawal symptoms if drinks are denied and has a greater tolerance for alcohol.
Alcoholism occurs when the intake of alcohol gradually changes the chemical balance in the brain, especially dopamine (linked to pleasurable feelings) and aminoacetic acid (which stops a person from becoming impulsive). Since the levels of these chemicals are altered, a person suffering from alcoholism craves for more and more alcohol to feel good or ‘get a high’. Most alcoholics do not recognize their problem and refuse to acknowledge it before entering recovery.