Health Topics A-to-Z
Alcohol Use Disorder (Alcoholism)
What Is It? In an alcohol use disorder (AUD, commonly called alcoholism), excessive alcohol use causes symptoms affecting the body, thoughts and behavior. A hallmark of the disorder is that the person continues to drink despite the problems that alcohol causes. There is no absolute number of drinks per day or quantity of alcohol that defines an alcohol use disorder, but above a certain level, the risks of drinking increase significantly.