Alcoholism as a Primary Disease-from ASAM

Adoption Date:

October 1, 1983; rev. October 1, 1996

Public Policy Statement on Alcoholism as a Primary Disease

Based on many years of clinical experience, reinforced by recent and continuing research into the genetic, biochemical and physiological aspects of the effects of alcohol on living systems and of alcoholics and their families, the American Society of Addiction Medicine finds that alcoholism is a complex primary physiological disease, and neither a primary behavior disorder nor a symptomatic manifestation of any other disease process.