There are all sorts of things that have been labeled as a disease, of which, some of those things so labeled, are not actually a disease. Further to the point, the incorrectly labeling something as a disease, as opposed to correctly labeling it as a moral weakness, for instance, obfuscates the troubles of something as significant as alcoholism. So that, there was a time in the United States, when the cause against alcohol, was not a cause of trying to fight alcohol as a disease, but rather fighting alcohol, for what it really represents, which is character weakness, and subsequently it was the belief of those that pressed hard for Prohibition to see alcohol as the burden that it so often represents in real life: which is family issues due to its nefarious influence, wasted money, expenses, and time, fights, illicit actions and wrongly reasoned actions done under the influence of alcohol, damage to bodily health and mind, tardiness and mal-performance at work, and damage to the moral character.
The main reason why today's society so often wants to label something as significant and as prevalent as alcoholism as a disease, is that by doing so, it removes the stigma that the person so suffering from alcoholism from being the responsible party of being an alcoholic, and replacing such with the rather dubious distinction that instead that are suffering from a disease. A true disease, as reported by thecleanstate.org, is when "… some part of the body is in a state of abnormal physiological functioning," of which, alcoholism, is the deliberate abuse and dependency upon alcohol, that certain people become enthralled to; yet, certain other people, through the help of others, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, or through the help of esteemed friends and family, or through their own will power and desire to break free from the bonds that hold them, are able to overcome through their efforts and desires.
So then, if alcoholism, was a disease, then sheer will power and desire to remove alcoholism from one's dependency, would not and could not occur; just as if cancer is a disease, then sheer will power and the desire to remove cancer from one's body, would not and could not occur, which it does not. In point of fact, the curing of actual diseases, comes from appropriate medical procedures and pharmaceuticals that are able to rectify and to remove those diseases; whereas if alcohol was a disease, the same basic procedures would apply, but, in fact, the programs that are utilized for alcoholism, are fundamentally different than what they are for those that are suffering from a body part in a state of abnormal physiological functioning.
The reason that it is so important to see alcoholism as a moral failing or as a character flaw, rather than as a disease, is that, by doing so, the primary responsibility of correcting such, lies within one's own hands, and hence the chances of a successful resolution to anything that is debilitating or difficult, is always going to have a better result when the root cause of the problem is dealt with in a forthright manner.
No doubt, there are plenty of reasons of why people turn to alcohol, of which, some of those reasons, are quite heart wrenching and very unfortunate, but no matter how a given person got there, it ultimately is their responsibility to extricate themselves from that problem. Fortunately, with alcohol, because it is so common, there are plenty of organizations that will aid those that want such aid; so that, in the battle of any moral weakness, ultimately, the result lies within the sovereignty and will power of that individual, which is why so much praise and credit is given to those that overcome alcoholism, as compared to something like cancer, in which the credit is typically given only to the medical professionals, and not to the individual.