I'm both an alcoholic and a former substance abuse counselor (at the Master's level, not PhD), and here's what I understand about booze:
Alcohol is physically addictive, if that term has any meaning at all. The two hallmarks are tolerance and physical withdrawal symptoms.
Whether alcoholism is best viewed as a disease is controversial (though you wouldn't know it if you live in the US). The physiological basis for it is poorly understood. The genetic basis is far from firmly established. The medical model closely resembles the "demon rum" rhetoric of the Temperance movement (only scientized), and it has difficulty explaining certain things, such as why alcoholics are overwhelmingly likelier than non-alcoholics to be addicted to cigarettes and caffeine, which bear no chemical resemblance to alcohol. Social learning theory provides an alternative view to the disease model.
Still, we see that alcoholism tends to run in families, and the research is getting better. Scientists say that 40-60% of the risk for alcoholism is genetic. My personal experience is that my relationship with alcohol has always been different from that of my non-alcoholic friends-- and my family tree is chock full of drunks.
I think I used alcohol to self-medicate for depression and anxiety; other problem drinkers might use it for something else. So alcoholism(s) may not be one "disease."
On a side note: E is very, very bad for you. Just a tad too much can fuck up your serotonin levels, sometimes for good. MJ, acid, hell even cocaine doesn't do that. I'd stay away from E.
What others say about boorite!