Alcohol abuse may be a sign of a medical condition called alcohol use disorder (AUD). It’s a chronic disease that affects your brain. About 16 million adults in the U.S. have it. Sometimes it’s because of genes passed down to you from your parents. Other times, your environment or psychological makeup are what put you at risk.
There are mild, moderate, and severe forms of AUD. Which one you may have depended on your behaviours and patterns with alcohol. You’re more likely to have AUD if one or more of the following is true:
The more of these that describe you, the more severe your AUD is likely to be.
AUD affects those around you, too. Your behaviour may damage relationships with loved ones because of anger problems, violence, neglect, and abuse. Women who are pregnant and abuse alcohol risk having a miscarriage and fetal alcohol syndrome. Their baby also has a higher chance of dying from SIDS after birth.