Yes. Alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder (AUD), is listed as a diagnosable mental illness in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). According to the diagnostic criteria provided in the DSM-5, alcoholism is characterized by 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:
- A need for markedly increased amounts of alcohol to achieve intoxication or desired effect.
- A markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of alcohol.
- Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following:
- The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for alcohol.
- Alcohol (or a closely related substance, such as a benzodiazepine) is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Since 1956, the American Medical Association (AMA) has identified alcoholism as a disease characterized by compulsive decision-making, impulsive behavior, and relapse. Relapse is defined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) as the “recurrence of behavioral or other substantive indicators of active disease after a period of remission.” Nearly 13.9% of people in the United States will meet the diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorder in their lifetimes.
For Information and Support
If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-258-6792. You are also welcomed to contact anytime us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org