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Alcohol abuse is the over consumption of alcohol. If you continue to abuse alcohol, it can lead to alcohol dependence. Alcohol dependence is also called alcoholism. You are physically or mentally addicted to alcohol. You have a strong need, or craving, to drink. You feel like you must drink “just to get by”.
Alcoholism is a longterm (chronic) disease. It's not a weakness or a lack of willpower. Like many other diseases, it has a course that can be predicted, has known symptoms, and is influenced by your genes and your life situation.
You are at risk of drinking too much and should talk to your doctor if you are:
A woman who has more than 3 drinks at one time or more than 7 drinks a week. A standard drink is 1 can of beer, 1 glass of wine, or 1 mixed drink.
A man who has more than 4 drinks at one time or more than 14 drinks a week.
If you think you might have a drinking problem, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.