Alcohol Abuse Treatments

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Behaviors that Indicate an Alcohol Use Disorder

Many people believe that moderate alcohol consumption by adults is an acceptable practice and they are encouraged to drink at socially acceptable times. When alcohol use becomes a problem or causes distress or harm it may be diagnosed as an alcohol use disorder (AUD).

About Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “Approximately 7.2 percent or 17 million adults in the United States ages 18 and older had an AUD in 2012.” Of these, only 1.4 million or 8.4% received treatment. There were also an estimated 855,000 adolescents ages 12-17 who had an AUD that year.

Alcohol use disorder covers a wide range of other diagnosis including; alcohol abuse, alcohol dependency, alcohol addiction, and alcoholism. Under DSM–5, a person who meets any 2 of 11 criteria specified within the past 12 months can receive a diagnosis of alcohol use disorder and severity is measured as mild when 2-3 symptoms are present, moderate when 4-5 symptoms are present and severe when 6 or more symptoms are present.

Causes of Alcohol Use Disorders

Some people are more predisposed to developing an alcohol use disorder due to genetics, physiological, social, or psychological factors. Alcohol use disorder may result from a person’s impulsiveness, low self-esteem, need to alleviate unwanted emotional problems, or a need for social inclusion. Others may begin drinking as a response to physical or sexual abuse or to cope with environmental or other stress factors and the easy access to alcohol perpetuates its use.

Behaviors that Indicate an Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcohol use disorder is associated with behaviors of:

alcohol abuse disorder

Drinking alcohol more often than intended and in higher quantities are signs of an alcohol problem.

  • Excessive use of alcohol in large amounts or over a longer period of time than was intended.
  • A great deal of time is spent obsessing over, obtaining, using, or recovering from alcohol.
  • A persistent desire to use alcohol or engage in activities where alcohol use is the primary objective.
  • Repeated attempts to quit using alcohol unsuccessfully
  • Failure to fulfill obligations at home, work, or school because of alcohol use.
  • Social, judicial, economic, or interpersonal problems caused by alcohol use.
  • Using alcohol in situations that could be dangerous or where use of alcohol increases the danger.
  • Lack of interest or reduced engagement in important family, social, or occupational activities, especially where alcohol use is not allowed or acceptable.
  • Continued use of alcohol despite physical or psychological impairments from use or negative effects that are exacerbated by alcohol use.
  • Drinking higher amounts of alcohol to achieve a desired effect, also known as tolerance..
  • Drinking alcohol to relieve or avoid unpleasant physical, psychological, or emotional withdrawal symptoms.
  • Continued drinking after suffering memory blackouts.