Two versions of dependence: D.S.M.-III and the alcohol dependence syndrome

Raul Caetano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


This paper reviews the concepts of dependence on alcohol as embodied by the Alcohol Dependence Syndrome and as proposed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (D.S.M.-III). Evidence in support of the unidimensionality of this concept is still controversial, and the elements necessary to diagnose dependence under each of these two proposals are different. Alcohol Dependence in the D.S.M.-III has indicators of social and occupational impairment which are not part of the Alcohol Dependence Syndrome. Knowledge on the concept of dependence will advance more rapidly if researchers begin to develop comparative studies of these two models. Future work should also include studies in the general population, with women, ethnic minorities and cross-cultural research. Longitudinal research to establish the evolution of dependence both in clinical and general populations should also be developed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-103
Number of pages23
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - May 1985


  • Alcohol Dependence Syndrome
  • D.S.M.-III
  • Dependence Concept
  • Review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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