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Misusing alcohol can lead to serious problems. Alcohol-use disorder can be mild, moderate, or severe. Alcohol-use disorder is a pattern of drinking that results in failure to meet work, home, or school responsibilities, among other things.
Alcoholism is the severe form of alcohol-use disorder. It is considered a disease with symptoms that include an extremely strong craving for alcohol, loss of control over drinking, or physical dependence.
Learn more about the effects of abusing alcohol by taking this quiz, based on information from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
Alcoholism is severe alcohol-use disorder and has symptoms that may include:
An alcoholic cannot simply use "will power" to stop drinking; his or her need for alcohol can be as great as the need for food or water. Most alcoholics need treatment and support to recover. For someone who abuses alcohol but has not become dependent, intervention and education often will be enough to stop the abuse, although sometimes professional help also is necessary.