AUD is a spectrum of alcohol-related issues that include alcohol misuse, abuse, and dependency. It is not solely characterized by the amount of alcohol that is consumed, but rather the effects drinking habits have on social, physical, and mental health.
AUD can have lasting effects on individuals, families, and society. Uncontrolled, AUD can also lead to legal troubles and serious health complications.
The specific cause of AUD is unknown. It often develops because of a complex combination of factors such as:
Alcohol use disorder. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115540/Alcohol-use-disorder . Updated April 17, 2018. Accessed April 18, 2018.
Alcohol use disorder. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website. Available at: https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-use-disorders. Accessed April 18, 2018.
Alcoholism and alcohol abuse. Helpguide website. Available at: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/addictions/alcoholism-and-alcohol-abuse.htm. Updated April 2018. Accessed April 18, 2018.
Binge drinking. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/BingeDrinking/index.html. Updated October 10, 2013. Accessed April 18, 2018.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). American Psychiatric Association; 2013.
Last reviewed March 2018 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Adrian Preda, MD
Last Updated: 4/9/2015