Amy Scholten, MPH and Michael Jubinville, MPH
AUD is a spectrum of alcohol-related issues that include alcohol misuse, abuse, and dependency. It is not solely characterized by the amount of alcohol that is consumed, but rather the effects drinking habits have on social, physical, and mental health.
AUD can have lasting effects on individuals, families, and society. Uncontrolled, AUD can also lead to legal troubles and serious health complications.
The specific cause of AUD is unknown. It often develops because of a complex combination of factors such as:
Alcohol use disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated February 25, 2015. Accessed April 9, 2015.
Alcohol use disorder. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website. Available at: http://niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-use-disorders. Accessed April 9, 2015.
Alcoholism and alcohol abuse. HelpGuide website. Available at: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/addiction/alcoholism-and-alcohol-abuse.htm. Updated February 2015. Accessed April 9, 2015.
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Desk Reference to the Diagnostic Criteria from DSM-5. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 2013.
Binge drinking. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/BingeDrinking/index.html. Updated October 10, 2013. Accessed April 9, 2015.
Last reviewed February 2014 by Peter J. Lucas, MD
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