Long-term, excessive alcohol use can damage relationships, impair work performance, degrade self-esteem, and cause severe health problems.

What Is Alcohol Use Disorder?

old male doctor


Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is the clinical diagnosis addiction professionals use to describe the medical condition known for decades as alcoholism or alcohol dependence. There are three levels of AUD: mild, moderate, and severe.

To determine whether you meet diagnostic criteria for mild, moderate, or severe AUD, consider the following questions about your alcohol use over the past year:

  1. Were there times when you drank more, or for a longer period, than you planned?
  2. Did you try – unsuccessfully – to cut down or quit drinking?
  3. Did you spend time managing the effects of drinking, such as hangovers or feeling sick?
  4. Have you experienced strong cravings for alcohol?
  5. Has drinking had a negative impact on your home, work, or education?
  6. If you answered yes to question (5), did you keep drinking anyway?
  7. Have you stopped activities you used to love, in order to drink – or manage hangovers – instead?
  8. Have you engaged in risky behavior, such as driving under the influence?
  9. Have you kept drinking even though it causes physical, psychological, and emotional discomfort?
  10. Have you had to drink more to get the same effect?
  11. Have you had a drink to avoid symptoms such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, anxiety, irritability, or depression?

How to score yourself:

  • If you answer yes to 2-3 questions, you meet the criteria for mild AUD.
  • If you answer yes to 4-5 questions, you meet the criteria for moderate AUD.
  • If you answer yes to 6 or more questions, you meet the criteria for severe AUD.
This questionnaire is not a formal assessment and does not take the place of an evaluation for AUD administered by a medical professional.

We share this here to help you understand your level of risk, understand how addiction professionals arrive at a diagnosis for AUD, and help you decide if you need to seek treatment for your alcohol use.

The Prevalence of Alcohol Use Disorder

The NSDUH reports that of the 140 million people in the U.S. who drink regularly, almost 15 million meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder. Of those 15 million, less than 10 percent receive treatment for their disorder. Mental health and addiction professionals call this the treatment gap.

At The Ridge, we commit to closing the treatment gap. We can’t wave a magic wand and help millions of people overnight. We can help one person at a time, one day at a time – and that includes you.

Evidence-Based Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

Research shows the most effective way to treat problem drinking is with an integrated, individualized plan that includes lifestyle changes, therapy, counseling, community support programs, and in some cases, medication. All aspects of the disordered alcohol use must be addressed: the biological, the psychological, and the social.

At The Ridge, we treat the entire person. That’s what we mean when we say our approach is holistic. We welcome you to our treatment community with open arms. We administer a full medical and psychiatric evaluation. We get to know who you are, learn about your goals for treatment, and identify your strengths and challenge areas. Then we collaborate with you to create a treatment plan that addresses your immediate needs and gives you the tools you need to begin your path to lifelong recovery.

The Ridge: Recovery for Life

It’s time for change.
(844) 661-2791