What is Alcoholism or Alcohols Use Disorder?

Risky and problem drinking can be a sign of medical diagnosis, that called -alcohol use disorder.  AUD- is defined as a chronic disease that affects a person’s brain, and is often a subject to relapse.

There are multiple levels of Alcohol Use Disorder. It ranges from mild to moderate, to severe. Each level depends on how many symptoms a person has. In order to be diagnosed with AUD, a person must meet a specific guideline based on the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual.   An individual who is meeting this criterion within the twelve months receives a diagnosis of AUD.

To determine if you or your loved one may have AUD, you can ask the following questions:

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  • Drinking more or longer than intended;
  • Inability to stop drinking, even after making several attempts;
  • Spent most of your day drinking, or getting over the effects of drinking;
  • Having symptoms of craving and withdrawal when stop using alcohol; These symptoms often include tremors, anxiety, depression, irritability, restlessness, nausea, trouble sleeping and sweating;
  • Neglecting your family, friends, co-workers or personal hygiene due to drinking;
  • Giving less attention to the job, school, and home responsibilities;
  • Avoiding social activities once enjoyed, Isolating yourself in order to have a drink;
  • Continue drinking despite troubles with family and friends;
  • Driving under the influence or being involved in risky and promiscuous behavior due to alcohol use.
  • Continue drinking despite the damaging medical and mental health effects of alcohol use;
  • A need to increase the dose of alcohol consumption in order to get the same satisfying effects as before;

If you or your loved one relates to one or more of these symptoms, your alcohol drinking maybe a reason to take action.

What are the short and long term effects of AUD?

Regardless of how serious your Alcohol Use Disorder is, it can have severe consequences on a person’s medical and mental health.

Short Term Effects are:

  • Trouble concentrating
  • Loss of coordination
  • Loss of critical judgment
  • Mood swings
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Fatigues
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of vision

Long-term Effects are:

  • Brain damage
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Liver problems
  • Memory loss
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Loss of attention and trouble learning
  • Irregular heartbeat

A recovery health specialist may be able to make an assessment as to the severity of your possible addiction to alcohol and recommend treatment, that is appropriate and tailored to your personal needs.

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No matter where you are in your AUD diagnosis, talking to an expert and entering an alcohol rehab treatment may significantly improve your condition, and help you overcome this mental disorder.