Alcohol abuse is a disease of the mind. Alcohol abuse now categorised as a disease and disorder under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Here, alcohol abuse is known as ‘alcohol use disorder’. When alcohol is consumed in large amounts, it causes the sufferer to inflict a range of damage on his or her personal life and health. Sufferers are not able to stop drinking alcohol despite these negative consequences.
Alcohol use disorder also affects those closest to the person experiencing the disorder. This generally includes financial consequence and domestic violence. Children of those experiencing alcoholism are often most at risk. These children are more likely to experience social isolation, crime, antisocial behaviour, poor grades at school and to experience addiction themselves.
Alcohol abuse is not as serious as alcoholism. Alcohol abuse is much more common than alcoholism. Around 10% of men in the United Kingdom and around 4% of women are thought to experience bouts of alcohol abuse.
Below we list some interesting facts about alcohol abuse:
- For most people who experience alcohol abuse, they will bounce between periods of abstinence and alcohol abuse. This is often known as binge drinking
- The vast majority of people who experience alcohol abuse do not go on to experience alcoholism
- Most people experiencing alcohol abuse are aged between 18 and 25 years old