The effects of chronic alcohol dependency are well documented, and can range from social dysfunction to serious medical complications. Research encompassing the beneficial role of probiotics in alcohol dependency is at the moment limited, most of the research has concentrated on the effects of probiotics and liver health and liver damage following alcohol abuse. Individuals who have alcoholic cirrhosis generally have a much-compromised immune response, leaving them susceptible to infections. The American Medical Association defines alcoholism or alcohol dependence as "a primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations". The most serious form of alcoholic liver disease—cirrhosis, means the liver has been scarred from continuous, long-term damage. Long-term alcohol use can lead to alcoholic hepatitis—with symptoms that include nausea, vomiting, fever, loss of appetite, and most people with this condition go on to develop cirrhosis, which means the liver becomes unable to function because of scar tissue.