Alcohol addiction is considered a disease because it has several characteristics of a chronic medical condition, including progressive development, susceptibility to relapse, and changes in the brain’s chemistry and structure. It is also recognized as a disease by the American Medical Association, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and other medical organizations. In the case of alcohol addiction, chronic and excessive alcohol consumption can lead to long-lasting changes in the brain’s reward and pleasure centers, making it difficult for individuals to stop or moderate their alcohol use. These changes can also result in physical dependence, which can cause severe withdrawal symptoms when a person stops drinking. Alcohol addiction can also have serious health consequences, including liver damage, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.