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Misuse of alcohol can lead to serious consequences. Alcohol abuse differs from alcoholism. Alcohol abuse is a pattern of drinking that results in failure to meet work, home, or school responsibilities, among other things.
Alcoholism is a disease that includes 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 also called alcohol dependence and has four symptoms:
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.