Alcohol dependence (i.e. alcoholism) may result from alcohol abuse (i.e. use of alcohol in a way that negatively impacts one’s actions/life), and is characterized by a feeling that one needs to consume alcohol in order to function normally, with a decreased ability to stop drinking even if the desire to do so exists. Those with alcohol dependence develop tolerance to alcohol, meaning that they need to consume more and more over time in order to feel the same effect they experienced the first time they drank. If alcohol consumption then stops, especially abruptly, individuals with alcohol dependence will experience symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

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