Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2019 Aug;43(8):1617-1631.
doi: 10.1111/acer.14128. Epub 2019 Jul 23.

Alcohol Use Disorders in ICD-11: Past, Present, and Future


Alcohol Use Disorders in ICD-11: Past, Present, and Future

John B Saunders et al. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. .


The Eleventh Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) was formally published in May 2019. Alcohol use disorders form a key part of the section of Disorders due to Substance Use and Addictive Behaviours. This review describes and discusses the alcohol diagnoses within this section of ICD-11, including Alcohol Dependence, Harmful Pattern of Use of Alcohol, and entities such as Alcohol Intoxication, Alcohol Withdrawal, and several alcohol-induced mental disorders, and briefly covers Hazardous Alcohol Use, which is listed separately as a health risk factor. We summarize the historical background to the development of these diagnoses, including work within the World Health Organization since the 1970s, and the corresponding diagnoses in the current ICD-10. The process by which ICD-11 diagnoses have been made is described and may be summarized as a conceptual-pragmatic-confirmatory one. The available empirical data supporting the ICD-11 diagnoses are presented, particularly in relation to the diagnostic guidelines for Alcohol Dependence. Comparison is made with the corresponding diagnoses in ICD-10 and their nearest counterparts in the fourth and fifth editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Field testing of the ICD-11 diagnoses is currently in progress. A plea is made for matching of diagnoses, diagnostic guidelines/criteria, and the assessment tools intended to capture these diagnoses.

Keywords: Alcohol Abuse; Alcohol Dependence; Alcohol Use Disorder; Classification; Concordance; DSM-5; DSM-IV; Diagnosis; Harmful Alcohol Use; ICD-10; ICD-11; Nosology.

Comment in

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 1 article

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources