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Doctor Writing on Clipboard
The DSM-5 Lists 11 Criteria of Alcohol Use Disorder

Symptoms of Alcoholism

Alcoholism, which has previously been known as alcohol dependence syndrome and more recently as simply alcohol dependence, has now been given the official diagnosis of a severe alcohol use disorder (AUD).

No matter what medically-correct name it goes by, alcoholism is defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) as a "chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol intake, and a negative emotional state when not using."

In other words, there is no simple, single sign that someone is an alcoholic, it is a combination of several symptoms that may change or increase in intensity as the disorder continues to progress in someone's life.

These articles below provide more insight into what alcoholism is exactly.

Why Alcoholism Is Called a 'Disorder'
It seems absurd to make the statement that there is no such thing as alcoholism. But, medically speaking there is no official diagnosis of alcoholism.

'I Don't Believe Alcoholism Is a Disease'
It may seem like an alcoholic is simply making poor choices, but it gets to a point when drinking is no longer a choice, it's a compulsion.

Alcoholics of the Hopeless Variety
There are alcoholics that simply cannot stop drinking no matter how much the negative consequences stack up. Those that no human power can help.

Alcoholism Screening Quiz
Answering these 20 questions might help you determine if you have developed a drinking problem, and if so, how severe the problem may be.

How Long Does an Addiction Last?
It depends on a lot of factors including the drug of choice, but years can pass before someone with an addiction finally decides to reach out for help.

Do You Have an Alcohol Use Disorder?
Do you or someone you know have a drinking problem? This quiz might help you determine if it rises to the level of an alcohol use disorder.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
When you quit drinking, the symptoms can range from mild to moderate to severe, but the good news is they all can easily be treated before they cause you to relapse.

How Bad Are Your Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?
If you try to stop drinking after drinking too much for too long, you will experience some kind of withdrawal. Just how bad will it get?

Return to The Alcoholism Guide.


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