I 've just come across another thread here with excerpts from a book called Under The Influence, which describes alcoholism as a physiological condition and not an psychological one. In other words, the book says, it is a defect in liver function rather than an emotional need.
As the book has been promoted on here, I'm assuming that the info in it is true and helpful.
It is really eye -opening, because alcoholics suffering from shame about not being able to stop drinking are actually suffering from a true disease and it's not actually anything to do with emotional needs or drowning problems.
The book says that, for an alcoholic, coming off booze must be managed with proper diet and the replacement vitamins and minerals that the damaged cells need to repair themselves, otherwise withdrawals/depression etc will continue, sometimes for years.
There's a section which says that alcoholics have a hugely high tolerance and can function better with booze, and in the early/middle stages, they do not really get drunk until they stop taking alcohol into their system.
It explains a lot, and is a useful guide to finding out if you have the disease of alcoholism or a problem drinker ,and in particular blows apart societal myths and assumptions. It's only £3 on kindle. http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...influence.html