Alcohol use disorder means that a person drinks alcohol even though it causes harm to themselves or others.
Some people who use alcohol may develop alcohol use disorder. This can range from mild to severe. The more signs of this disorder you have, the more severe it may be. Moderate to severe alcohol use disorder is sometimes called addiction. People who have it may find it hard to control their use of alcohol.
A person who has this disorder may argue with others about how much they’re drinking. Their job may be affected because of drinking. They may drink when it’s dangerous or illegal, such as when they drive. They also may have a strong need, or craving, to drink. They may feel like they must drink just to get by. Their drinking may increase their risk of getting hurt or being in a car crash.
Over time, drinking too much alcohol may cause health problems, like high blood pressure, liver problems, or problems with digestion.
Current as of: February 5, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD – Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD – Family Medicine & Christine R. Maldonado PhD – Behavioral Health & Heather Quinn MD – Family Medicine & William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP – Emergency Medicine