Alcohol use disorder or AUD is considered a brain condition that is long-term. In this condition, people find it difficult to control their drinking even if it is affecting their health, social life, and job. It includes
- Alcoholism simply means being fully dependent on alcohol.
- Alcohol abuse when drinking involves having serious consequences over and over again.
Now that you know what alcohol use disorder means, let’s talk about some of the symptoms, causes of AUD, and its impact on health and treatment.
Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder
Alcohol use disorder can turn out to be severe, moderate, or mild. It is generally based on the number of symptoms someone is experiencing. Below are mentioned some of the symptoms and signs:
- Having strong urges and craving of drinking alcohol
- Being unable to fulfill obligations at home, work, or school
- Unable to cut down on alcohol consumption
- Reducing or giving up on social hobbies, activities, and work
- Not giving up on alcohol even though it’s causing social, interpersonal, and physical problems
- Spending too much time getting alcohol, drinking, or trying to recover
- Drinking in unsafe situations like while swimming or driving
- Needing more alcohol because of reduced effect over time
- Experiencing symptoms of withdrawal like shaking, nausea, sweating when not drinking
Various factors impact how drinking can affect a person’s behavior and body. These include social, genetic, environmental, and psychological factors. Drinking has a different impact on different people. This is why it can lead to alcohol use disorder in some.
Too much drinking over time can end up affecting your brain. Which will eventually affect your ability to experience pleasure, control your behavior and even think properly. This might lead to craving more alcohol to feel good about oneself. So, whenever you have the mentioned symptoms, try to change your drinking habit. Also, feel free to seek help from professionals if you find it difficult to cope up with the situation.
Impact on Health
Alcohol drinking over time will lead to health problems like:
- Heart and digestive problems
- Issues with menstruation
- Eye problems
- Osteoporosis and fractures
- Weak immune system
- Erectile dysfunction
- Miscarriage and birth defects
- Increased risk of cancer
- Neurological issues
You can have several options when it comes to treatments for AUD. The main reason to get any of these treatments is to live a better life. Whether you have severe AUD or moderate, the following treatments are available.
Whether in a group or alone, counseling or therapy will help you get a better understanding of your disorder. You will receive all the support, love, and help you need to stay away from drinking and stick to your treatment plan. Also, it is going to be extremely helpful if you can get the support of your friends and family.
In case you have severe or moderate AUD, the doctor may prescribe medications like Naltrexone, Acamprosate, Topiramate, and Disulfiram.
People with serious AUD should stay in treatment facilities that house medical professionals who are experienced enough to deal with this disorder. Most of these programs include education, therapy, support groups, and other various activities.