Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is a pattern of alcohol use that involves problems with controlling your drinking, preoccupation with alcohol, and drinking more to get the same effect. Moderate alcohol use is not dangerous for most adults. However, alcohol becomes a problem when it leads to distress and harm. Alcohol Use Disorder can range from mild to severe depending on the symptoms. Severe Alcohol Use Disorder is sometimes called alcoholism or alcohol dependence. AUD causes things like alcohol cravings, loss of control over drinking, and a negative emotional state. Continue reading to discover more about Alcohol Use Disorder.
Symptoms. The number of symptoms you experience defines whether AUD is mild, moderate, or severe. The signs and symptoms include;
· Being unable to control the amount of alcohol you consume
· Wanting to reduce your drinking or making attempts to do so
· Having a strong craving for alcohol
· Being unable to fulfil your obligations such as work, school, or home due to alcohol use
· Continuing to drink alcohol even though it causes physical, social, or personal problems
· Reducing or giving up social and work activities
· Experiencing withdrawal symptoms like shaking, nausea, and sweating
· Developing a tolerance to alcohol where you need to drink more to feel its effect
When to Seek Help. If you feel that you drink too much alcohol, or your drinking is causing problems, or you have any of the above signs, talk to your doctor. Other ways to seek help include consulting with a mental health professional or seeking help from a support group. However, denial is common, and you may think that you do not have alcohol use disorder. Sometimes it is challenging to tell if you have a drinking problem or how many problems are related to alcohol. Listen to your friends, relatives, and co-workers when they ask you to watch your drinking habits.
Causes. Genetic, psychological, social, and environmental factors can lead to Alcohol Use Disorder. Specialists suggest that some people’s drinking has a different impact that can lead to drinking problems. Alcohol use Disorder can change the normal function of the parts of your brain associated with the experience of pleasure, judgment, and the ability to exercise control over your behavior. This may lead to having a strong craving for alcohol due to an effort to try restoring good feelings or reduce negative ones.
Complications. Alcohol affects your central nervous system. The initial reaction is stimulating, but you become sedated as you continue drinking. Alcohol also affects your speech, muscle coordination, and vital centers of your brain. Heavy drinking may also cause a life-threatening coma or death. This is more likely if you are taking certain medications that also depress the brain’s function.
Prevention. You can prevent Alcohol Use Disorder through early intervention. Watch out for the warning signs that may indicate that you have a problem. For instance, you may lose interest in hobbies, get slurred speech, have difficulties in relationships, and have frequent mood changes.
With this information, you can learn how to prevent Alcohol Use Disorder.