8 doctors weighed in:

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

8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Howard Hack
Internal Medicine
4 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Howard Hack
Dr. Howard Hack
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2 comments
Dr. Kevin Passer
Sorry, I don't agree. Many abuse alcohol but they are not alcoholics. Alcoholics qualify for dependency, based on the DSM, in my opinion.
Dr. Ravinder Nagpaul
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
Dr. Alan Ali
Psychiatry

In brief: Alcohol

They are the same.

In brief: Alcohol

They are the same.
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Ali
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Dr. Fernando Austin
Internal Medicine - Gastroenterology

In brief: Alcoholism

Individual demonstrates an inability to use alcohol in moderation.

In brief: Alcoholism

Individual demonstrates an inability to use alcohol in moderation.
Dr. Fernando Austin
Dr. Fernando Austin
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1 comment
Dr. Kevin Passer
Sorry, I respectfully disagree. I think abuse and dependency are different and alcoholism is more synonomous with dependency-addiction.
Dr. Kevin Passer
Pediatrics - Psychiatry

In brief: 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?

In brief: 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
Dr. Kevin Passer
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1 comment
Dr. Kevin Passer
I am a Board Certified Addictionologist.
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