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A 34-year-old member asked:

Can you tell me the difference between alcoholism and alcohol abuse?

3 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Howard Hack
Internal Medicine 33 years experience
Nomenclature: Alcoholism is a disease which may be ctive (drinking) or remission (sobriety). Alcohol abuse refers to the act of drinking excessively which would imply alcoholism.
Dr. Kevin Passer
Child Psychiatry 35 years experience
Sorry, I don't agree. Many abuse alcohol but they are not alcoholics. Alcoholics qualify for dependency, based on the DSM, in my opinion.
Nov 23, 2012
Dr. Ravinder Nagpaul
Internal Medicine 37 years experience
Alcoholism is a chronic disease in which you developed dependency on alcohol which include heavy drinking 5 or more drinks every day and drink too much to feel good, interfering with relationship and employment, abusive, irritable if not getting alcohol at certain time etc. This is a big subject and not possible to explain on this platform in complete .Abuse is inappropriate use of alcohol
Dec 12, 2014
Dr. Kevin Passer
Child Psychiatry 35 years experience
Impairment: Abuse is when a person becomes intoxicated, maybe bad stuff won't occur or maybe it does. Alcohol dependency has to do with impairment, this can be legal problems, family problems, relationship problems, work related problems, etc. If a person is annoyed by others criticizing their drinking; that is a sign of dependency (alcoholism) what do you think?
Dr. Kevin Passer
Child Psychiatry 35 years experience
Provided original answer
I am a Board Certified Addictionologist.
Nov 23, 2012
Dr. Fernando Austin
Gastroenterology 46 years experience
Alcoholism: Alcohol abuse is alcoholism. Individual demonstrates an inability to use alcohol in moderation.
Dr. Kevin Passer
Child Psychiatry 35 years experience
Sorry, I respectfully disagree. I think abuse and dependency are different and alcoholism is more synonomous with dependency-addiction.
Nov 23, 2012

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Similar questions

A 34-year-old member asked:

Can you tell me the difference between alcoholism and alcohol abuse?

3 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Howard Hack
Internal Medicine 33 years experience
Nomenclature: Alcoholism is a disease which may be ctive (drinking) or remission (sobriety). Alcohol abuse refers to the act of drinking excessively which would imply alcoholism.
Dr. Kevin Passer
Child Psychiatry 35 years experience
Sorry, I don't agree. Many abuse alcohol but they are not alcoholics. Alcoholics qualify for dependency, based on the DSM, in my opinion.
Nov 23, 2012
Dr. Ravinder Nagpaul
Internal Medicine 37 years experience
Alcoholism is a chronic disease in which you developed dependency on alcohol which include heavy drinking 5 or more drinks every day and drink too much to feel good, interfering with relationship and employment, abusive, irritable if not getting alcohol at certain time etc. This is a big subject and not possible to explain on this platform in complete .Abuse is inappropriate use of alcohol
Dec 12, 2014
A 49-year-old member asked:

How are alcoholism and alcohol abuse different?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Dheeraj Raina
Psychiatry 29 years experience
Could be same: Alcoholism is a slightly more imprecise term that could imply either alcohol abuse or dependence. Alcohol abuse is when someone continues to drink despite negative consequences. Alcohol dependence is when, in addition to alcohol abuse, the person also has physical dependence (needing to drink to avoid withdrawal) or tolerance (needing increasing amounts) or compulsive use.

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Last updated Dec 12, 2014
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