Types of Alcohol Related Problems

The most common adult alcohol problems include:

Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol abuse often results in absence from, and impaired performance at, school and on the job, neglect of child care or household responsibilities, legal difficulties and alcohol consumption in physically dangerous circumstances such as while driving. Individuals who abuse alcohol may continue to drink despite the knowledge that their drinking causes them recurrent and significant social, interpersonal, or legal problems.

Alcohol Dependence
Alcohol dependence is a chronic and often progressive disease that includes a strong need to drink despite repeated social or interpersonal problems such as losing a job or deteriorating relationships with friends and family members. Alcohol dependence has a generally predictable course, recognizable symptoms, and is influenced by a complex interplay of genes, psychological factors such as the influence of family members and friends, and the effect of culture on drinking behavior and attitudes. Scientists are increasingly able to define and understand both the genetic and environmental factors that make an individual vulnerable to alcoholism.

Binge Drinking
Binge Drinking is often associated with younger adults, college age, but can be a problem with adults as well. Binge drinking is consuming alcohol with the primary intention of becoming intoxicated by heavy consumption of alcohol over a short period of time. Researchers often define binge drinking as the consumption of four or more drinks at one sitting for males and three or more drinks at one sitting for females.

This information was compiled by Screening for Mental Health from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD)and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Page last modified November 9, 2015