This is, of course, a common way of looking at drinking problems and problems in general. A lot of problems these days are framed in terms of being "diseases".
But the way this man describes himself also raises a question. Has Alcohol been let off the hook?
Sometimes people arrive at counselling not wanting abstinence but seeking to reduce or limit their drinking because it is "getting out of hand". A beginning question to ask in this situation is: So what kind of relationship with Alcohol do you have now?
What Kind of Relationship with Alcohol do you Want to Have?
Perhaps Alcohol was once a great and trusted friend, who would help this person relax, or forget about his problems, or lubricate the way to a business deal. But this person has started to lose trust in himself not to embarrass himself with strangers or colleagues or even friends. Alcohol no longer serves a purpose but seems to have its own agenda. It has become like an unwelcome guest who has taken up residence in the home and even sometimes the workplace. It can no longer be trusted.
So what kind of relationship does this person want to have with Alcohol?
We would never let someone we mistrusted look after our children, or have the keys to our house or drive our car. But Alcohol has a habit of creeping into all of these roles. A starting point to dealing with drinking problems is to ask about the kind of relationship you currently have with Alcohol and, given what you know about it, what kind of relationship you would prefer to have.