Alcoholism is dependence upon alcohol. It is a common illness, far more prevalent than dependence on opioids, but it is diagnosed relatively seldom.1–3 Doctors do not always know that the disorder can take a variety of forms. Alcoholism is present if the patient cannot stop drinking although he should (for reasons of health, work or private life), or if withdrawal symptoms appear when supplies are curtailed or when an intercurrent illness develops.
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