For me alcoholism is not a disease. A disease is a illness caused by a malfunctioning body organ due to an infection or genetic or developmental errors (modified dictionary definition). Alcoholism doesn't seem like a disease in a common sense level.
It seems to me that this concept was created to allow therapists a "handle" with which to work in treating alcoholics. Did AA create this concept? I don't know.
To me alcoholism is at heart a symptom of almost normal human behavior gone wrong. After all, just about everyone drinks alcohol. It's just the ones who can't stop after they have started who become habituated to drinking it.They can't stop because they want more of what makes them feel better, while ignoring the downside.
They are keen to feel better because they are people who feel particuarly bad. This may be because they are anxious a lot of the time and that anxiety may be due to low self esteem (acute lack of confidence). A lack of confidence in this competitive world makes life very hard. A hard life is an uncomfortable life. Booze brings a respite.
It is a training of the mind. It is telling the mind that if you drink alcohol you will feel better for a while.
There is a downside to drinking alcohol but humans are short term reward animals. We don't look beyond the immediate.
We all have difficulty in accepting the fact that we have to feel uncomfortable a lot of the time as living humans. We are not meant to be happy and content all the time. Some can't live with this.
There is a type of person who has a propensity to alcoholism and they are often people who also have other at least borderline psychological conditions such as obsessive disorders.
These disorders are both inherited to a certain degree and layered on that is often early life experiences that reinforce.
So it's not a disease, more a psychological condition that is trained into the person as a result of an underlying mental state.
For my partner AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) doesn't work. Apparently there is a very low success rate for AA. I still think she should go to AA meetings regularly as it creates a sense of progress and self discipline if nothing else but she is simple too lazy (sorry but true) oe she doesn't take her condition seriously enough which is strange as it has ruined her life.
Photograph reproduced under creative commons copyright pushkinova. I presume that this is a photo of people attending an AA meeting as I searched under Alcoholics Anonymous. The photograph is not of me or anyone I know.