Nov 16, 2010
From a psychiatric perspective, the DSM-IV (Psychiatric Diagnostic Bible) defines excessive drinking as:
“ Excessive drinking could indicate alcohol dependence, which is a mental illness characterised by alcohol use despite its impairment of a person’s work and social life and other hardships brought about by drinking. Alcohol use is considered to be excessive when three or more of these symptoms are present: (1) the individual has built a tolerance for alcohol such that drinking the same amount of alcohol has a diminished effect, (2) manifestations of withdrawal symptoms when the individual is unable to drink, (3) he needs increasingly greater amounts of alcohol to become intoxicated, (4) repeated unsuccessful attempts at cutting down on alcohol drinking,(5) the individual spends much of his time either consuming alcohol or trying to recover from intoxication, (6) disruption of work, family, or social life due to alcohol use, and (7) continued drinking despite knowledge of the harmful effects of alcohol.
There is some evidence to show that genetics play a role in susceptibility to alcohol abuse and dependence. Treatment involves detoxification and social support is highly important to recovery and prevention of a relapse.”