What Is Alcohol Abuse Disorder?

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a medical condition characterized by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences. It encompasses the conditions that some people refer to as alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, alcohol addiction, and the colloquial term, alcoholism.

If your pattern of drinking results in repeated significant distress and problems functioning in your daily life, you likely have alcohol use disorder. It can range from mild to severe. However, even mild symptoms can escalate and lead to complicated problems, so early treatment is crucial. Seek medical help to plan a safe recovery as sudden abstinence can be life-threatening. Talk with your doctor to determine the best course of action for you and more information.