Alcohol abuse is defined as a pattern of drinking that is accompanied by one or more of the following situations within a 12-month period:
- Failure to fulfill major work, school, or home responsibilities;
- Drinking in situations that are physically dangerous, such as while driving a car or operating machinery;
- Recurring alcohol-related legal problems, such as being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or for physically hurting someone while drunk;
- Continued drinking despite having ongoing relationship problems that are caused or worsened by the effects of alcohol.
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