You may be addicted to alcohol if your drinking harms yourself or others or leads to other problems with your daily life. The medical term for this is alcohol use disorder. Your health care provider may diagnose you with this disorder if you have at least two of the following problems within the span of a year:
- You drink alcohol in larger amounts or for a longer period than you intended.
- You frequently want to cut down or control alcohol use, or have frequently failed efforts to do so.
- You spend a lot of time getting alcohol, using alcohol, or recovering from alcohol use.
- You crave or have a strong desire or urge to drink alcohol.
- Ongoing alcohol use makes it hard for you to be responsible at work, school, or home.
- You continue to use alcohol even though you have had problems in relationships or social settings because of it.
- You give up or miss important social, work, or recreational activities because of alcohol use.
- You drink alcohol in situations in which it is physically unsafe, such as driving while intoxicated.
- You continue to drink alcohol despite knowing it has caused physical or emotional problems.
- You need more and more alcohol to get the same effects.
- You have withdrawal symptoms or use alcohol to avoid withdrawal symptoms.