An interesting post, none of which I could disagree with. However, the part that interests me is the denial stage, and what leads some people to alcoholism. While many alcoholics do start young, I believe that many will start later in life and I think this can be due to socialising or working in a drinking environment. I see no reason to suppose that many yuppie casual heroin users will not, in spite of their best intentions, proceed to addiction, and I can only therefore think that the same could apply to drinkers. Denial is easy to understand if you clearly have an alcohol problem but you are the only one who can't accept that. But what of the person who 'only' drinks three or four pints every night and suffers no untoward social problems? He may continue for many years without addiction but somewhere, hidden in plain sight, there will be a crossover point, but how can he tell? He won't wake up one morning as say to himself "I'm an alcoholic." because nothing has changed from when he wasn't. Nobody, including him, will know where that transition happened but he's hooked for life. While alcoholism can indeed be regarded as a disease, it is mostly self inflicted because people often do not want to know their own weaknesses.
It's also worth remembering that there are different forms of alcoholism. The person who must drink every day, the person who can leave it for one, two, or three months maybe and then goes on a bender for a weekend or even a week. I have to wonder about the mentality of someone willing to tread that path in the face of evidence of the harm it causes, which far outweighs any proposed benefits. To suggest that the government has some sort of hidden agenda, perhaps an increase in tax funds, in publishing health guidelines on consumption is, to be blunt, stupid. Such a suggestion implies they are lying to the public for some secret benefit. One of the symptoms of alcoholism can be paranoia. Another can be an inability to think rationally. Don't light bonfires with petrol.
I'm not sure; I don't think that the researchers are either. There are several theories. One is http://www.therichest.com/buzz/study-sh ... /?view=all
Another relates alcoholism to other addictions, and dopamine. There is a long-standing, and generally accepted theory that addicts have a disorder of their dopamine system, but this doesn't hold up with all addictive drugs.
So, the answer is.... we don't know, or not completely.