What is alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder?
Alcoholism has been known by a variety of terms, including alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. Today, it’s referred to as alcohol use disorder.
It occurs when you drink so much that your body eventually becomes dependent on or addicted to alcohol. When this happens, alcohol becomes the most important thing in your life.
People with alcohol use disorder will continue to drink even when drinking causes negative consequences, like losing a job or destroying relationships with people they love. They may know that their alcohol use negatively affects their lives, but it’s often not enough to make them stop drinking.
Some people may drink alcohol to the point that it causes problems, but they’re not physically dependent on alcohol. This used to be referred to as alcohol abuse.