The psychiatric comorbidity, health, and functioning of primary care patients with alcohol abuse and dependence (AAD) were investigated in a sample of 1,000 patients. Psychiatric symptomatology was assessed with the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders (PRIME-MD) diagnostic system. Health and functional status was assessed with the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form General Health Survey (SF-20). Results indicated that use of the PRIME-MD system brought about a 71% increase in physician recognition of AAD. AAD patients were diagnosed with substantial psychiatric comorbidity, and they reported poorer health and functioning than did patients without any psychiatric disorders. However, they reported less impairment and psychiatric comorbidity than did patients with other psychiatric disorders. Results also indicated that AAD patients' health and functioning were associated with the presence or absence of psychiatric comorbidity.