Alcoholism and addiction are often used interchangeably, but they are not exactly the same thing. Alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorder, is a chronic condition that involves a pattern of alcohol consumption that leads to significant impairment or distress, such as health problems, social problems, or failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home.

Addiction, on the other hand, is a broad term that can refer to a range of compulsive behaviors or substance use that continues despite negative consequences.

So, technically, it is possible to be an alcoholic without being addicted, although the two are often closely linked. Someone who drinks alcohol heavily and experiences significant problems as a result, but who does not necessarily exhibit signs of addiction, may still be considered to have alcohol use disorder or alcoholism.