Alcohol use disorder is excessive drinking. Alcohol use disorder patients can’t quit drinking, even when it causes them or others problems or harm.
Is Alcoholism A Disease?
Alcoholism is a disease. This brain condition requires medical and psychosocial care.
Mild, moderate, or severe alcoholism. It develops swiftly or slowly. Alcohol dependence, addiction, and abuse are synonyms. Alcoholism is frequent.
What Effects Does Drinking Have?
Drinking too much alcohol might affect your health. It’s related with:
- Brain damage/dementia.
- Depression, suicide, despair.
- Breast, liver, colon, mouth cancers.
- FAS (if exposed to alcohol before birth).
- Falls and burns (like fractures or drowning).
- Cirrhosis, hepatitis, and fatty liver.
Heavy drinking might cause personal issues like:
Scientists don’t know what causes alcoholism. It’s likely a mix of the following:
- Anxiety relief.
If someone has:
- Drink often, heavily, or young.
- Been physically or sexually abused.
- Alcoholism in the family
- Have grief, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, or PTSD.
- Had Roux-en-Y for weight loss.
- Blacking out or forgetting events
- Drinking despite harming yourself or others.
- Feeling irritable when sober.
- Drunken mishaps (for example, driving, having unsafe sex, or falling).
- Skipping activities to drink
- Drinking repeatedly causes employment, school, relationship, or legal concerns.
- Drinking more to achieve the same impact.
- Inability to quit drinking.
- Drinking excessively or recovering from drinking.
- Unable to cut back
When alcoholic cuts back or stops drinking, they may experience withdrawal symptoms like:
- Dry heaves, nausea.
- Seeing phantoms (hallucinations).
Alcoholism Develops In Stages:
- At-risk stage: You drink to ease stress or feel better. Alcohol tolerance may develop.
- Early alcohol use disorder: blackouts, drinking alone or secretly, and excessive alcohol thought.
- Mid-stage alcohol consumption disorder: Your drinking is uncontrolled and causes problems (work, family, financial, physical, and mental health). Tests and scans show organ damage.
- End-stage alcoholism: Drinking has replaced food, intimacy, health, and happiness in your life. Despair, organ damage, and death loom.
No lab test detects alcoholism. Your healthcare provider makes the diagnosis. When drinking impairs your life or health, you’re diagnosed.
Behavioral therapies: A psychologist or mental health counselor can help you improve your behavior through counseling. Motivational, cognitive-behavioral, contingency and 12-step facilitation are popular.
FDA approves naltrexone and acamprosate as alcohol addiction medicine. Gabapentin and topiramate can reduce cravings. These drugs reduce alcohol obsession.
Support groups might help you stay sober. Most localities offer free AA meetings.
Your therapy environment depends on your sickness and recovery stage. You may need hospitalization, residential treatment, rigorous outpatient therapy, or maintenance.
High-risk drinking can prevent alcoholism.
- Women and people assigned female at birth: No more than four drinks a day or eight a week.
- Men and that assigned male at birth: No more than five drinks a day or 15 a week.
If you drink more, reduce or stop. Discuss proven strategies with your doctor.