Alcohol use disorder: A chronic brain disorder marked by compulsive drinking, loss of control over alcohol use, and negative emotions when not drinking. AUD can be mild, moderate, or severe. Recovery is possible regardless of severity. The DSM-IV, published by the American Psychiatric Association, described two distinct disorders—alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence—with specific criteria for each. The fifth edition, DSM-5, integrates the two DSM-IV disorders into a single disorder called AUD, with mild, moderate, and severe subclassifications.
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