The condition of alcohol use disorder is sometimes referred to as alcoholism. In addition to causing problems, emotional distress, or physical harm, it also involves heavy or frequent alcohol consumption. Recovery can be achieved with the combination of medications, behavioural therapy, and support.
The term alcohol use disorder refers to a medical condition in which alcohol is used frequently or heavily. Despite problems, emotional distress, or physical harm to themselves or others, people with alcohol use disorder can't stop drinking.
A medical condition called alcohol use disorder exists. The disease affects the brain and requires medical and psychological treatment.
It is possible to have a mild, moderate, or severe alcohol use disorder. A person with it can develop it quickly or over a long period of time. The condition is also known as alcohol dependence, alcohol addiction, or alcohol abuse.
Drinking too much alcohol can damage your health. It’s associated with:
Signs of alcohol use disorder include:
A person who is alcohol dependent also might experience symptoms of withdrawal when they cut back or stop drinking, such as:
Alcohol use that turns into a use disorder develops in stages.
At-risk stage: This is when you drink socially or drink to relieve stress or to feel better. You may start to develop a tolerance for alcohol.
Early alcohol use disorder: In this stage, you have progressed to blackouts, drinking alone or in secret and thinking about alcohol a lot.
Mid-stage alcohol use disorder: Your alcohol use is now out of control and causes problems with daily life (work, family, financial, physical and mental health). Organ damage can be seen on lab tests and scans.
End-stage alcohol use disorder: Drinking is now the main focus of your life, to the exclusion of food, intimacy, health and happiness. Despair, complications of organ damage and death are now close.
There’s no single lab test for alcohol use disorder. Diagnosis is based on a conversation with your healthcare provider. The diagnosis is made when drinking interferes with your life or affects your health.
Behavioural therapies: Counselling, or talk therapy, with a healthcare provider like a psychologist or mental health counsellor can teach you ways to change your behaviour. Motivational, cognitive-behavioural, contingency and 12-step facilitation are the most commonly used techniques.
Medications: As per the suggestions by the Neurologists
Support groups: Group meetings with other alcoholics can help you stay sober. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings are usually free and are available in most communities.
Your treatment setting will depend on your stage of recovery and the severity of your illness. You may need inpatient medical (hospital), residential rehabilitation (rehab), outpatient intensive therapy or outpatient maintenance.