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A 41-year-old member asked:

What is the difference between alcohol dependence and alcohol abuse according to the dsm?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Cynthia Rector
Psychiatry 29 years experience
Old Terms: In the DSM 5, all substance disorders are characterized as Use Disorders and are classified as mild, moderate or severe depending on the number of criteria that are met. Dependence and abuse are not used.
Dr. Andrew Berry
Clinical Psychology 14 years experience
Addiction: Alcohol can be robustly abused by someone but as long as the person is not addicted to it, and doesn't miss it after putting it down, the diagnosis is alcohol abuse. If, however, the person feels either physically or psychologically addicted/dependent on it and either cannot go a day without it, or binge drinks uncontrollably the diagnosis is alcohol dependence.

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A 41-year-old member asked:

How are alcohol abuse and dependence different?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Brian Lynch
Family Medicine 38 years experience
Drinking : Dependence is usually considered that you will have physical withdrawal symptoms if you stop drinking. Dependence and addiction are synonymous. Abuse is frequent or even occasional excessive drinking which is considered more than five drinks within two hours.

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Last updated Mar 15, 2015
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