Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Harmony United Psychiatric Care Logo

What is Alcohol Use Disorder?

Alcohol use disorder, also known as alcoholism, is a problematic pattern of alcohol use leading to significant impairment or distress, as demonstrated by at least two of the following factors, occurring within a 12-month period:

  • Alcohol often consumed in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended.
  • Persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control alcohol use.
  • Excessive time spent obtaining alcohol, using alcohol, or recovering from its effects.
  • Craving, or a strong desire, to use alcohol.
  • Recurrent alcohol use resulting in a failure to fulfill major obligations at work, school, or home.
  • Continued alcohol use despite having persistent or recurrent social/interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of alcohol.
  • Important social, occupational, or recreational activities given up or reduced because of alcohol use.
  • Recurrent alcohol use in situations in which it is physically hazardous to consume alcohol.
  • Continued alcohol use despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by alcohol.
  • Tolerance, as defined by either of the following:
    • A need for increased amounts of alcohol to achieve intoxication or desired effect.
    • A markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of alcohol.
  • Withdrawal, as demonstrated by either of the following:
    • Characteristic alcohol withdrawal syndrome symptoms
    • Alcohol (or a closely related substance, such as benzodiazepine) is consumed to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Alcohol use disorder is rated as mild with the presence of 2-3 symptoms, moderate with 4-5 symptoms, and severe with 6 or more symptoms.

Mental Health Library Sources:

Information included in all topics of the Mental Health Library comes from the Desk Reference to the Diagnostic Criteria From DSM-5 and Kaplan & Sadock’s Concise Textbook of Clinical Psychiatry. Complete diagnostic and treatment information may be found within these publications.


Information within the Mental Health Library is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis purposes. Rather, it is provided as a public educational service to make people aware of mental health conditions. Please consult a qualified mental health professional for a diagnosis of any suspected mental health illness.

© Copyright 2023 HUPCFL All Rights Reserved.


Book Appt



Pay Bill