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Diagnostic Criteria for Alcohol Abuse

1. A maladaptive pattern of alcohol abuse leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by one or more of the following, occurring within a 12-month period:
a)      Recurrent alcohol use resulting in failure to fulfil major role obligations at work, school, or home (e.g., repeated absences or poor work performance related to substance use; substance-related absences, suspensions or expulsions from school; or neglect of children or household).
b)      Recurrent alcohol use in situations in which it is physically hazardous (e.g., driving an automobile or operating a machine).
c)      Recurrent alcohol-related legal problems (e.g., arrests for alcohol-related disorderly conduct).
d)      Continued alcohol use despite persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of the alcohol (e.g., arguments with spouse about consequences of intoxication or physical fights).
2. These symptoms must never have met the criteria for alcohol dependence.

  1. DSM-IV. American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC.

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