We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Alcoholism, now known as alcohol use disorder, is a condition in which a person has a desire or physical need to consume alcohol, even though it has a negative impact on their life. Health professionals now say that a person has an alcohol use disorder AUD.
Number 63 October Difficulty walking, blurred vision, slurred speech, slowed reaction times, impaired memory: Clearly, alcohol affects the brain. Some of these impairments are detectable after only one or two drinks and quickly resolve when drinking stops. On the other hand, a person who drinks heavily over a long period of time may have brain deficits that persist well after he or she achieves sobriety.
Alcohol use disorder is a diagnosis made when an individual has severe problems related to drinking alcohol. Alcohol use disorder can cause major health, social, and economic problems, and can endanger affected individuals and others through behaviors prompted by impaired decision-making and lowered inhibitions, such as aggression, unprotected sex, or driving while intoxicated. Alcohol use disorder is a broad diagnosis that encompasses several commonly used terms describing problems with drinking. It includes alcoholism, also called alcohol addiction, which is a long-lasting chronic condition characterized by a powerful, compulsive urge to drink alcohol and the inability to stop drinking after starting.