According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), approximately 16 million individuals living in the United States have alcohol use disorder (AUD).
Experts describe AUD as a “chronic relapsing brain disease” where a person drinks compulsively, often to the point of it interfering with their daily life.
However, AUD is more complex than a person simply drinking excessively.
According to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5), 11 criteria help a professional decide if someone has an AUD. If the person meets two of these criteria during a 12-month period, a doctor will consider they have the condition.