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Alcohol Addiction

How many times in the past year have you had 5 drinks in a day (men) or 4 drinks in a day (women)? Does your drinking harm yourself or others? Or has it led to other problems with your daily life? If so, you may be addicted to alcohol.

You may have what's called an alcohol use disorder. Your healthcare provider may make this diagnosis if you have had at least 2 of these problems in a year:

  • You drink alcohol in larger amounts or for a longer period than you planned.

  • You often want to cut down or control how much you drink. Or you have often failed to do so.

  • You spend a lot of time getting alcohol, using it, or recovering from its use.

  • You crave or have a strong desire or urge to drink.

  • Your drinking makes it hard for you to be responsible at work, school, or home.

  • You keep on drinking even though you have had problems in relationships or social settings because of it.

  • You give up or miss important social, work, or other activities because of your drinking.

  • You drink alcohol at times when it's not physically safe, such as drinking then driving.

  • You keep on drinking even though you know it has caused physical or emotional problems.

  • You need more and more alcohol to get the same effects.

  • You hide how much you drink from family and friends.

  • You have withdrawal symptoms or use alcohol to prevent such symptoms.

  • You have a drink the first thing in the morning to get rid of a hangover or calm yourself.

Online Medical Reviewer: Eric Perez MD
Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 11/1/2022
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