NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Doctors now have a new criteria for diagnosing alcoholism. Even one drink a day could put you in danger, depending on your family history and behavior.

As CBS2’s Emily Smith reported, problem drinking or alcoholism now has a new definition according to top researchers.

The findings were published in the renowned journal JAMA Psychiatry, showed that alcoholism ranges from mild to moderate to severe.

According to the study, a third of adults have an Alcohol Use Disorder, and just 20 percent seek treatment.

“I don’t want to create a dependency on it in my family. I have had people with that problem,” one man said.

For decades doctors divided the topic into two categories, alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence.

A doctor will now diagnose you on a spectrum. The criteria list contains 11 items. Mild abuse means having two or three of the issues, and a severe abuse diagnosis requires six or more.

Issues like anger, interactions with other people, and feelings of guilt all appear on the list.

While the spectrum has its skeptics, researchers hope it will help eliminate the stigma associated with alcoholism, and help catch at-risk individuals at an earlier stage.

One drink a day could be problematic, depending on your family history and behavior. Treatment in all cases usually means eliminating alcohol and using support and the right resources.


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