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It’s no secret that alcohol use disorder is a serious problem. In the United States alone, it is estimated that there are more than 16 million people who suffer from this disease.
That’s one in every eight adults. What’s even more alarming is that, of those 16 million people, only about seven percent will ever receive treatment. If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol use disorder, it’s important to understand the realities of this disease. This blog post will explore some of the most important facts about alcohol use disorder, including its causes, its effects, and its treatment options.
What is alcohol use disorder?
There are many different types of alcohol use disorder, but they all share certain common features. People with alcohol use disorder often drink too much, too often, and for long periods of time. They may also have trouble controlling their drinking habits, and they may continue to drink even when it causes problems in their lives.
People with alcohol use disorder may have trouble keeping up with work or school, and they may miss important events because of their drinking. They may also put themselves or others in danger by driving while drunk or engaging in risky behavior while under the influence. Alcohol use disorder can lead to serious health problems, including liver damage, heart disease, and cancer. It can also cause problems in relationships and increase the risk of violence.
The different types of alcohol use disorder
There are different types of alcohol use disorder, each with its own set of symptoms.
The most common type is alcoholic dependence, which is characterized by a strong craving for alcohol and a need to drink more and more to get the same effect. Other symptoms include:
* Feeling unable to control your drinking
* Drinking even when it causes problems in your life
* Drinking more to feel the effects of alcohol
* Withdrawal symptoms when you try to cut down or stop drinking, such as shaking, sweating, anxiety, and depression
Another type of alcohol use disorder is called alcoholic abuse. This is characterized by drinking that leads to problems at work, school, or home; legal troubles; or social or relationship problems. Symptoms include:
* Drinking more than you intended to or for longer than you intended
* Not being able to remember what happened while you were drinking (blackouts)
* Repeatedly getting into physical fights while drunk
* Having legal problems because of your drinking, such as driving while intoxicated or getting arrested for public drunkenness
Causes of alcohol use disorder
There are many possible causes of alcohol use disorder, including genetic, psychological, and environmental factors.
Some people may be more prone to alcoholism due to their genes. This could be due to a family history of alcoholism or a genetic predisposition.
Psychological factors can also play a role in the development of alcohol use disorder. For example, people who have anxiety or depression may turn to alcohol as a way to self-medicate.
Environmental factors, such as peer pressure or easy access to alcohol, can also contribute to the development of this disorder.
Symptoms of alcohol use disorder
There are many symptoms of alcohol use disorder, and they can vary depending on the severity of the disorder. Some common symptoms include:
-Drinking more alcohol than intended or for longer periods of time than intended
-Failing to meet important obligations at work, school, or home because of drinking
-Continuing to drink despite negative consequences, such as losing a job or damaging relationships
-Giving up activities that were once important in order to drink
-Spending increasing amounts of time drinking or recovering from drinking
-Experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms when attempting to cut back or stop drinking altogether, such as shaking, sweating, anxiety, and nausea
Treatment for alcohol use disorder
There are many different types of treatment for alcohol use disorder, depending on the severity of the disorder. For those with a milder form of the disorder, treatment may involve simply cutting back on alcohol consumption or abstaining from alcohol altogether. More severe forms of the disorder may require intensive outpatient or inpatient treatment, which can include detoxification, individual and group therapy, and medication.
Detoxification is the first step in treating alcohol use disorder, and it involves removing all traces of alcohol from the body. This can be a difficult and dangerous process, so it is important to seek professional help when detoxing from alcohol.
Individual and group therapy can be very helpful in treating alcohol use disorder. In therapy, patients will learn about the risks associated with drinking and how to cope with triggers that may lead to drinking. They will also develop skills for managing stress and avoiding relapse.
Medication can also be used to treat alcohol use disorder. There are several different types of medication that can be used, depending on the needs of the patient. Antabuse is a medication that prevents patients from being able to drink by causing them to feel sick if they drink even a small amount of alcohol. Naltrexone is another type of medication that reduces cravings for alcohol and blocks the pleasurable effects of drinking. Acamprosate is a third type of medication that helps patients abstain from drinking by reducing withdrawal symptoms and preventing relapse.
Prevention of alcohol use disorder
There are a number of ways to prevent alcohol use disorder, and it is important to be aware of all the options. One of the most important things you can do is to educate yourself about the risks associated with alcohol consumption. If you drink, do so in moderation and be sure to keep track of how much you consume. Be aware of the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse and addiction, and seek help if you or someone you know is struggling with an alcohol problem.
There are a number of resources available to help prevent alcohol use disorder, including support groups, counseling, and treatment programs. If you or someone you love is struggling with alcoholism, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol use disorder, it’s important to seek help. There are many resources available to those who need it, and treatment can make a big difference. With the right support, people with AUD can recover and live healthy, fulfilling lives.