What is the DSM 5 criteria for alcohol use disorder?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5) has specific criteria for alcohol use disorder, including:

  • Continuing to drink even when it causes tension among your family or friends

  • Drinking even when it causes issues at work, school, or in relationships

  • Drinking more than you intended to or more often than you'd like

  • Experiencing strong cravings for alcohol or urges to drink

  • Needing to drink more and more to feel the effects of alcohol

  • Spending a lot of time drinking

  • No longer engaging in other activities you enjoy, choosing to drink instead

  • Trying to quit or cut back on drinking without being able to

  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms after you stop drinking, like insomnia, depression, anxiety, mood swings, shakiness, nausea, sweating, or irritability

Even if you only have a few of these symptoms, it could be a sign that you have an alcohol use disorder.

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