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What are symptoms of an alcohol use disorder?

A few mild symptoms — which you might not see as trouble signs — can signal the start of a drinking problem. It helps to know the signs so you can make a change early. If heavy drinking continues, then over time, the number and severity of symptoms can grow and add up to an “alcohol use disorder.” Doctors diagnose an alcohol use disorder, generally known as alcohol abuse or alcoholism, when a patient’s drinking causes distress or harm. See if you recognize any of these symptoms in yourself. And don’t worry — even if you have symptoms, you can take steps to reduce your risks.

In the past year, have you (check all that apply and click the “Feedback” button, below):

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The questions listed above are based on symptoms for alcohol use disorders in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. The DSM is the most commonly used system in the United States for diagnosing mental health disorders.

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