A Peek at Alcohol Use Disorders

A Peek at Alcohol Use Disorders

Alcohol use disorder is a medical condition when a patient’s drinking habits begin to cause him or other people harm.

In U.S. alone, approximately 18 million people are diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder which is divided into two categories: alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence (alcoholism). Between these two, alcohol dependence is considered as the more serious disorder.

What are the symptoms of alcohol dependence (alcoholism)?

  1. Loss of control – Once you start drinking, it’s difficult to stop.
  2. Alcohol Tolerance – There is this constant need to take in greater amount of alcohol from time to time in order to achieve the same effect.
  3. Craving – There’s a strong need and urge to drink.
  4. Physical dependence – Withdrawal symptoms like dizziness, sweating and shaking are experienced once you stop drinking.

Ideally, men are only allowed to drink no more than 4 drinks a day and 14 drinks a week. Women on the other hand are recommended to drink no more than 3 to 4 drinks a day and 7 or less drinks a week. (source: NIAAA guidelines)

Alcoholic people may cause problems at home and at work due to their inability to perform their tasks at their best. They spend more time drinking which results to negligence of their professional, social and personal responsibilities.

Those who abuse alcohol on the other hand may not be physically dependent with alcohol but can nevertheless cause the same harm like the dependents. Accidents that happen due to driving under the influence of alcohol for instance have been constant reminder of the dangers alcohol abuse pose to our daily lives.

While alcoholism is considered chronic and can last for a lifetime, the impact of media’s constant reminder about its dangers are slowly taking effect in changing how people view this condition at present.

In a study about alcohol and related conditions, 70 percent of alcohol dependents have reportedly been experiencing episodes that lasts for about 3 to 4 years. Data from the study also revealed that formal treatment helped people stay alcohol free.

Interestingly, there are others who manage to combat their own dependency without undergoing any treatment.

So if others did well, why can’t you?

By treatment or not, if you want to succeed in combating alcoholism and alcohol abuse, you have to have the desire.

It all starts there.


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