Severe alcohol use disorder is the most serious subcategory of alcohol use disorder. When someone is experiencing severe alcohol use disorder, they have exhibited at least six (6) of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) criteria for alcohol use disorder within the past year.
This form of alcohol use disorder usually signifies a serious, dangerous, or even life-threatening addiction. Alcohol addictions like these can have long-term effects on physical and mental health, like kidney, liver, or brain damage, and depression. At this point, getting treatment is a life-or-death situation, but even severe alcohol use disorder can be successfully treated. Safely detoxing from alcohol under the supervision of a medical professional, along with intensive rehab, can put even the most serious alcoholics on the road to sobriety.