Alcohol abuse encompasses a spectrum of unhealthy alcohol drinking behaviors, ranging from binge drinking to alcohol dependence.
Alcohol abuse was a psychiatric diagnosis in the DSM-IV, and has been merged with alcohol dependence into alcohol use disorder in the DSM-5.
Globally, alcohol consumption is the seventh leading risk factor for both death and the burden of disease and injury. In short, except for tobacco, alcohol accounts for a higher burden of disease than any other drug. Alcohol use is a major cause of preventable liver disease worldwide, and alcoholic liver disease is the main alcohol-related chronic medical illness. Millions of men and women of all ages, from adolescents to the elderly, engage in unhealthy drinking in the United States. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) reportedly most often affects young men (aged 18–24 years) of lower socioeconomic status.