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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. 
Alcohol dependence, as described in the DSM-IV, is a psychiatric diagnosis describing a physical dependence on alcohol. It is differentiated from alcohol abuse by the presence of symptoms such as tolerance and withdrawal. Alcohol dependence is sometimes referred to by the less specific term alcoholism. However, many definitions of alcoholism exist, and only some are compatible with alcohol abuse.
About 12% of American adults have had an alcohol dependence problem at some time in their life.
- ↑ Hasin D; et al. (2007). "Prevalence, Correlates, Disability, and Comorbidity of DSM-IV Alcohol Abuse and Dependence in the United States". Archives of General Psychiatry. 64 (7).