Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) or alcoholism is a chronic, sometimes-progressive medical condition that comprises alcohol’s compulsive consumption. Such maladaptive drinking patterns can lead to various physical, familial, and social consequences.
What is Alcoholism?
It’s a chronic brain disease characterized by loss of control over the use of alcohol, compulsive drinking, and the experience of negative emotions when not using alcohol. In a lot of instances, the terms AUD and alcoholism are used interchangeably.
Some of the symptoms, signs, and behavioral changes used to make a diagnosis of an AUD comprise:
- An unending desire but an inability to stop drinking.
- Cravings or strong urges to drink.
- Recurrent drinking in risky situations, for instance, while driving.
- Alcohol tolerance or the need for increasing amounts to accomplish a desired level of intoxication.
- Experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms, like seizures, tremors, or nausea after stopping drinking.
- Giving up on once-important recreational, occupational, or social activities due to alcohol use.
Symptoms and Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder
A diagnosis of AUD may be offered to individuals with problematic drinking behavior patterns that have a substantial negative impact on their daily lives. There are several signs and symptoms of AUD. Healthcare professionals, including psychologists, physicians, and other qualified behavioral health practitioners, may make an AUD diagnosis depending on the presence of these symptoms and signs. If you meet at least two of the following diagnostic criteria within a year, you may have AUD:
- Drinking alcohol more frequently than you had planned or more than you originally intended to.
- Experiencing cravings for alcohol.
- Experiencing indications of of physical withdrawal when alcohol is withheld.
- Giving up things that you previously enjoyed, like hobbies and sports, for the consumption of alcohol.
- Spending a lot of time and money using, acquiring, and recovering from using alcohol.
- The inability to fulfil roles at home, school, or work due to the use of alcohol.
- Tolerance to alcohol, meaning that an individual has to keep drinking to feel the effects of alcohol.
- Unsuccessful attempts to stop or cut back the use of alcohol.
- Drinking alcohol even though it makes a physical or mental problem worse.
- Drinking alcohol even though it causes family/interpersonal conflicts.
Drinking alcohol in risky situations, for instance, before/while driving.
Aftercare and Long-Term Health
After an individual with AUD completes rehab, they require ongoing support. Many treatment programs have support groups that offer the necessary help.
While alcoholism is a chronic disease, countless addicted individuals have achieved long-lasting sobriety. Regardless of how many times you have undergone treatment or how difficult your situation is, we’ll help if alcoholism recovery is possible. Assistance is available starting today.
Getting Help for Alcoholism
Resources are available if you’re seeking treatment. The Cleveland House in Florida has treatment programs for alcoholism recovery that are customized to every patient. If you or a loved one has queries about treatment, give us a call today at (954) 931-2500.