Alcohol abuse, as described in the DSM-IV, is a psychiatric diagnosis describing the recurring use of alcoholic beverages despite its negative consequences. Alcohol abuse is sometimes referred to by the less specific term alcoholism. However, many definitions of alcoholism exist, and only some are compatible with alcohol abuse. There are two types of alcoholics: those who have anti-social and pleasure-seeking tendencies and those who are anxiety-ridden people who are able to go without drinking for long periods of time but are unable to control themselves once they start. Binge drinking is another form of alcohol abuse. According to research done through international surveys, the heaviest drinkers happen to be the United Kingdom's adolescent generation.
When differentiating between alcohol abuse and alcoholism, one should remember that alcohol abuse is when the abuser has faced critical consequences for their actions, recently, while an alcoholic has experienced a sense of withdrawal in the same time period.