Abstract In the DSM-III field trials, measures of inter-rater diagnostic agreement were obtained only for major diagnostic categories. Two diagnoses subsumed under the major diagnostic category of Substance Use Disorders are Alcohol Abuse and Alcohol Dependence. The purpose of the present study was to obtain inter-rater reliability estimates among raters given identical clinical information for the two diagnoses, for the separate criteria for each diagnosis and for the definitional components of each criterion. Intra-class correlation coefficients were obtained with results ranging from 0.07 to 0.85. The need for further statistical studies examining the specificity of definitions for the diagnostic criteria within DSM III is addressed.