Getting The Facts On Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol abuse differs from alcoholism in that it does not include an incredibly strong craving for alcohol, losing control, or physical dependence. In addition, abusive drinking is less likely than alcoholism to incorporate tolerance (the need for increasing levels of alcohol to get “high”).
Defining Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol abuse is defined as the pattern of drinking that’s associated with one or more of the following situations inside a 12-month period:
- Failure to fulfill main work, school, or home responsibilities
- Drinking in situations that are actually dangerous, such as while driving a car or even operating machinery
- Recurring alcohol-related lawful problems, such as being arrested with regard to driving under the influence of alcohol or with regard to physically hurting someone while drunk
- Continued drinking despite having continuing relationship problems that are caused or even worsened by the effects of alcohol
DSM-IV Definition of Alcohol Abuse
In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth version (DSM-IV), alcohol abuse was defined as any kind of harmful use of alcohol, meaning any kind of physical or mental damage. The DSM-IV provided separate diagnoses with regard to alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. Alcohol abuse was any drinking in spite of recurrent social, interpersonal, and lawful problems as a result of alcohol use.
DSM-IV Definition of Alcohol Dependence
Alcohol dependence was the diagnosis according to DSM-IV if the drinker met all of the over criteria plus exhibited any or all from the following symptoms:
- Narrowing of the consuming repertoire; for instance, drinking only one brand name or type of alcoholic beverage
- Drink-seeking behavior such as only going to interpersonal events that will include drinking, or even only hanging out with others who drink
Alcohol tolerance, which means having to consume increasing amounts to achieve previous results