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.
A person's ability to reason in stressful situations is compromised, and they seem very inattentive to what is going on around them.
Social skills are significantly impaired in people suffering from alcoholism due to the neurotoxic effects of alcohol on the brain, especially the prefrontal cortex area of the brain.
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.
Signs of alcohol abuse show its drastic effects on the central nervous system, including inebriation and poor judgment; chronic anxiety, irritability, and insomnia.
Alcohol's effects on the liver include elevated liver function tests (classically AST is at least twice as high as ALT).
The DSM-5 combined those two disorders into alcohol use disorder with sub-classifications of severity. There is no "alcoholism" diagnosis in medical care.
Alcohol misuse is a term used by United States Preventive Services Task Force to describe a spectrum of drinking behaviors that encompass risky drinking, alcohol abuse, and alcohol dependence (similar meaning to alcohol use disorder but not a term used in DSM).