Alcohol is the most commonly misused substance in the United States. While drinking is normalized in many cultures across the globe, alcohol is still an addictive and potentially dangerous substance, and alcohol use can spiral out of control.
Alcohol use disorder is a medical condition that can range from mild to severe. It is also known as alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence or alcoholism.
Individuals with alcohol use disorder are unable to stop or control their drinking despite negative consequences for their relationships, careers and/or health. Early onset of drinking (prior to the age of 15), genetics, family history, mental health conditions and trauma all contribute to a greater risk of developing alcohol use disorder.