“We know that as long as the alcoholic keeps away from drink, he usually reacts much like other men. We are equally positive that once he takes any alcohol whatever into his system, something happens, in both the bodily and mental sense, which makes it virtually impossible for him to stop. The experience of any alcoholic will abundantly confirm this.
“These observations would be academic and pointless if our friend never took the first drink, thereby setting the terrible cycle in motion. Therefore, the main problem of the alcoholic centers in his mind, rather then his body.”
 
-Alcoholics Anonymous Pg. 22-23
 
Here is a talk from Chris S. about his first step experience and the gift of desperation.