Hello, my name is Dr. Ingrid Mathieu and today I am discussing the various types of alcohol problems for About.com. There are three general categories related to one’s drinking: Alcohol Use, Abuse, and Dependence.Alcohol use, or moderate drinking is usually not harmful and consists of up to 2 drinks per day for adult men and 1 drink per day for adult women or the elderly. One standard drink is considered 12 oz of beer, 5 oz of wine or 1.5 oz of hard alcohol.When someone is using alcohol safely, their focus is on something other than the alcohol itself, and they are not drinking with the sole purpose of getting intoxicated.Alcohol abuse is unhealthy or dangerous drinking, such as drinking too much at a time or drinking every single day.Effects of drinking too much alcohol include:Heavy drinking increases the risk of death from car accidents or recreational/occupational injury, and can cause severe economic hardship if it affects one’s ability to maintain a job. It has also been shown to increase one's risk for certain cancers, can cause cirrhosis of the liver, brain damage, and impairment of the immune system. Additionally, drinking too much alcohol can even lead to coma or death.Many people who have alcohol problems might think they can quit at any time and even stop drinking for days, weeks, or months. Unless one can consistently keep their drinking under control and not fall back into unhealthy patterns, they are likely to have a problem and will need help.As defined in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) Alcohol abuse is defined as a pattern of drinking that results in one or more of the following situations within a 12-month period:The last category of drinking is Alcohol Dependence, or Alcoholism.This is when someone has become dependent on alcohol and cannot stop drinking on their own.In addition to the above, alcoholism includes symptoms of tolerance and withdrawal.For more information on this topic – you can watch the video, What is Alcoholism?This is Dr. Ingrid Mathieu and we’ve been discussing the types of alcohol problems for About.com. Thanks for watching.