Alcoholism, or alcohol addiction, is a chronic and severe disease that can develop over time. The point at which alcohol use becomes an addiction varies from person to person and can be influenced by a range of factors such as genetics, environment, social and psychological factors, and the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption. Some people may develop an addiction after just a few instances of binge drinking, while others may drink heavily for years before developing alcoholism. The signs and symptoms of alcohol addiction can include cravings for alcohol, the inability to control drinking, withdrawal symptoms when not drinking, and continued alcohol use despite negative consequences. It’s important to seek professional help as soon as possible if you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol addiction.