Recent thinking about the concept of alcohol dependence

Raul Caetano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This paper reviews past definitions of alcohol dependence as well as that presently adopted in the 4th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association. The role of alcohol consumption in diagnostic criteria and the measurement of various dimensions of drinking (frequency, usual quantity per occasion, overall volume) are also discussed. Reliable criteria for identifying both alcohol abuse and dependence are available. Methodology for assessment of different dimensions of drinking behavior also exists. Epidemiologists examining the role of alcohol in health problems should consider the diagnostic category and the dimensions of drinking behavior that are important to their study. Measurements should be adopted in accordance with this assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)458-462
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1996


  • Alcohol dependence
  • alcohol abuse
  • diagnosis
  • psychiatry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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