Alcohol is a substance that can be abused and also that can cause dependence. In either case, the following are signs that someone may have an alcohol use disorder (AUD):
- Consuming large quantities of alcohol for an extended period of time;
- Having a strong desire for alcohol;
- Developing a tolerance to alcohol;
- Having difficulty or being unable to reduce alcohol consumption;
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when stopping alcohol use.
The following are ways that alcohol can harm someone and are also signs of an AUD:
- Consuming alcohol takes up a large a lot of the person’s time;
- Obtaining alcohol takes up a lot of the person’s time and money;
- Not fulfilling responsibilities due to alcohol use;
- Having social problems due to alcohol use;
- Making poor decisions and endangering oneself or others due to alcohol use;
- Having health problems due to alcohol use.
Alcohol use can have many many negative effects on health and is especially damaging to the brain, heart, liver, pancreas, and immune system. A few examples of related disorders are Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, irregular heartbeat, liver cirrhosis, and increased cancer risk.