Another home brewer here.
I suppose there are home brewers with alcohol problems. Those problems are widespread. But I'd think that brewing would discourage heavy drinking. When you make your own beer/ale, you want to savor it, not guzzle it. That's what I've found anyway.
The great fun of brewing is tinkering with the recipe. You taste a batch, and wonder what it would be like with a different kind of hops, or a bit of some specialty grain. Every batch tastes good, but you're always working to make it better. You can vary with the seasons, too: a lighter brew for summer, richer tastes for winter. The frustration, of course, is that once you've altered the recipe, you've got to wait a month (more or less) to find out how it came out.
Sanitation is the key to success, as someone said upstream. You've got to be absolutely ruthless about cleansing all equipment-- and especially the bottles. There are a couple of stages-- the bottling process, notably-- where it's a lot easier if you have extra hands. I've found that I can usually bribe a friend or two to help, offering them a jar or two of Batch A while we bottle Batch B. Then of course they'll want to know when Batch B is being opened.
Yes, you lay out some $$$ initially for the equipment. But then you're brewing exactly what you like, with high-quality ingredients, for about the price of Budweiser.