(Alcohol Dependence; Alcohol Use Disorder)
Alcohol abuse – Definition
Alcohol abuse is problem drinking that negatively impacts your life. For example, you may experience one or more of these issues due to alcohol abuse:
- Failure to accomplish your duties at home, school, or work,
- Involvement in dangerous drinking situations (eg, drinking and driving)
- Legal problems (eg, being arrested for drinking and driving)
- Relationship difficulties
Alcoholism or alcohol dependence is a problem pattern of drinking where you can have the same issues as alcohol abuse. Alcoholism also includes continued drinking even when there are clear problems related to alcohol that affect your physical and mental health. Relationships with family members, friends, and coworkers also suffer. Due to the more intense pattern of drinking, you may not be able to stop drinking once you start, have withdrawal symptoms if you stop drinking, and develop a tolerance (meaning you need to keep drinking more to feel the same effect).