Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

pp 1-4

Date: Latest Version

Alcohol Use Disorders in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Autumn Rae FlorimbioAffiliated withUniversity of Tennessee-Knoxville Email author 
  • , Meagan J. BremAffiliated withUniversity of Tennessee-Knoxville
  • , Gregory L. StuartAffiliated withUniversity of Tennessee-Knoxville


Hazardous alcohol use; Problematic alcohol use


Alcohol is one of the most commonly used substances. While some individuals can use alcohol safely, others’ patterns of use result in significant impairment in functioning across various life areas. Such impairment typically occurs when alcohol is used frequently, excessively, and hazardously. Recurrent use of alcohol in this manner that is accompanied by significant impairment is recognized as a disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association [APA] 2013). Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is characterized by a combination of features, including loss of control over one’s alcohol use and physiological symptoms. Moreover, AUD is associated with a host of short- and long-term consequences such as alcohol-related accidents, physical and mental health problems, and disturbances in social, occupational, and/or familial functioning. Although a diagnosis of AUD oc ...

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