For most adults, moderate alcohol use is probably not harmful. However, about 18 million adult
Americans have an alcohol use disorder (AUD).
This means that their drinking causes distress and harm.
AUD can range from mild to severe, depending on the symptoms. Severe AUD is sometimes called alcoholism or alcohol dependence.
AUD is a disease that causes
- Craving ‐ a strong need to drink
- Loss of control ‐ not being able to stop drinking once you’ve started
- Negative emotional state – feeling anxious and irritable when you are not drinking.