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by Preda A

Conditions InDepth: Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)

AUD is marked by alcohol-related issues that include misuse, abuse, and dependency. It includes:
  • Binge drinking—Drinking large amounts of alcohol in a short amount of time
  • Alcohol abuse—Drinking even though it affects relationships, jobs, or family life.
  • Alcohol dependence—Loss of control over drinking that leads to cravings, a tolerance for alcohol, and withdrawal when drinking is stopped.


The exact cause is not known. Genetics may play a role. It may also involve changes in brain chemistry that affect how alcohol is processed by a person's body.
What are the risk factors for alcoholism?What are the symptoms of alcoholism?How is alcoholism diagnosed?What are the treatments for alcoholism?Are there screening tests for alcoholism?How can I reduce my risk of alcoholism?What questions should I ask my doctor?What is it like to live with alcoholism?Where can I get more information about alcoholism?


Alcohol use disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: . Accessed September 3, 2020.
Alcohol withdrawal syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: . Accessed September 3, 2020.
Day E, Copello A, Hull M. Assessment and management of alcohol use disorders. BMJ. 2015 Feb 19;350:h715.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). American Psychiatric Association; 2013.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrian Preda, MD
  • Review Date: 03/2020
  • Update Date: 09/03/2020
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