What are the DSM-5 criteria for Alcohol Use Disorder?

Updated: Nov 27, 2018
  • Author: Warren Thompson, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
  • Print
Answer

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) changed from differentiating Alcohol Abuse and Alcohol Dependence to a single category of Alcohol Use Disorder. DSM-5 criteria are as follows:

A maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by 2 or more of the following, occurring at any time in the same 12-month period:

  • Alcohol is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended.

  • There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control alcohol use.

  • A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain alcohol, use alcohol, or recover from its effects.

  • Craving, or a strong desire or urge to use alcohol.

  • Recurrent alcohol use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home.

  • Continued alcohol use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of alcohol.

  • Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of alcohol use.

  • Recurrent alcohol use in situations in which it is physically hazardous.

  • Alcohol use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by alcohol.

  • Tolerance, as defined by either of the following:

    1. A need for markedly increased amounts of alcohol to achieve intoxication or desired effect.

    2. A markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of alcohol.

  • Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following:

    1. The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for alcohol 

    2. Alcohol (or a closely related substance, such as a benzodiazepine) is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!