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DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Alcohol Abuse

1. A maladaptive pattern of alcohol abuse leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by one or more of the following, occurring within a 12-month period:

a)      Recurrent alcohol use resulting in failure to fulfil major role obligations at work, school, or home (e.g., repeated absences or poor work performance related to substance use; substance-related absences, suspensions or expulsions from school; or neglect of children or household).

b)      Recurrent alcohol use in situations in which it is physically hazardous (e.g., driving an automobile or operating a machine).

c)      Recurrent alcohol-related legal problems (e.g., arrests for alcohol-related disorderly conduct).

d)      Continued alcohol use despite persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of the alcohol (e.g., arguments with spouse about consequences of intoxication or physical fights).

2. These symptoms must never have met the criteria for alcohol dependence.




Related Criteria

DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Alcohol Dependence

DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Agoraphobia

DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Anorexia Nervosa

DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Bulimia Nervosa

DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Major Depressive Episode

DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Panic Disorder With or Without Agoraphobia

DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Panic Attack


  1. DSM-IV. American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC.

This material was taken from the DSM-IV. It is intended for educational purposes only.

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Created: June 07, 2005
Last Modified: 10/17/2010

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