An alcoholic is someone who has the disease of alcoholism. Alcoholism is characterized by a loss of control in alcohol use, according to the American Psychological Association. The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment recommends using people-first language such as someone with alcoholism or someone with an alcohol problem.
Refer to someone who harmfully uses alcohol as someone with an alcohol problem or someone with alcoholism. Use recovering to refer to someone with the disease of addiction, as in someone recovering from alcoholism.
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