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What is the medical definition of alcohol dependence and alcohol abuse?

1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Andrew Berry
Clinical Psychology

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Andrew Berry
Dr. Andrew Berry
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