What Is Alcohol Abuse?

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What Is Alcohol Abuse?
Alcohol abuse differs from alcoholism in that it does not include an extremely strong craving for alcohol, loss of control over drinking, or physical dependence. Alcohol abuse is defined as a pattern of drinking that results in one or more of the following situations within a 12-month period:
•Failure to fulfill major work, school, or home responsibilities;
•Drinking in situations that are physically dangerous, such as while driving a car or operating machinery;
•Having recurring alcohol-related legal problems, such as being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or for physically hurting someone while drunk; and
•Continued drinking despite having ongoing relationship problems that are caused or worsened by the drinking.
Although alcohol abuse is basically different from alcoholism, many effects of alcohol abuse are also experienced by alcoholics.