This paper reviews past definitions of alcohol dependence as well as that presently adopted in the 4th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association. The role of alcohol consumption in diagnostic criteria and the measurement of various dimensions of drinking (frequency, usual quantity per occasion, overall volume) are also discussed. Reliable criteria for identifying both alcohol abuse and dependence are available. Methodology for assessment of different dimensions of drinking behavior also exists. Epidemiologists examining the role of alcohol in health problems should consider the diagnostic category and the dimensions of drinking behavior that are important to their study. Measurements should be adopted in accordance with this assessment.
- alcohol abuse
- Alcohol dependence
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health