A two-fold malady characterized by (i) an obsession of the mind coupled with (ii) an allergy of the body. The obsession, a strange insanity that occurs as a mental blank spot immediately preceding the taking of a drink, guarantees that the person afflicted will take the drink even with the knowledge that it will result in a craving for more (allergy) or even though he may not have intended to drink.
This is strangely supplanted for the idea that it is safe to drink despite experience that it may not be safe to drink without experiencing the phenomenon of craving (allergy. However intelligent an alcoholic may have been in other respects, where alcohol has been involved, they have been strangely insane. These allergic types can never safely use alcohol in any form at all; and once having formed the habit and found they cannot break it, once having lost their self-confidence, their reliance upon things human, their problems pile up on them and become astonishingly difficult to solve. Recovery from the obsession (mental) component is possible but there is no known cure for the physical allergy portion. Alcoholism is distinct from "hard", "heavy" or "problem" drinking or other "addictions" including % addiction" in that the two components of mental, alcoholic obsession and physical allergy to ETOH (ethyl alcohol) in some form must be simultaneously present in the individual.
John the alcoholic finds that he honestly does want to quit drinking but finds he cannot quit entirely, or if when drinking, he has little control over the amount he takes. He passes through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery.