Many people enjoy alcoholic beverages from time to time. These drinks are often consumed in social and professional settings and enable imbibers the opportunity to relax and unwind with family, friends, and business associates.
Unfortunately, however, alcohol is an addictive substance and certain people simply cannot control the amount they ingest. When such events happen, they might eventually develop an alcohol use disorder, which could have a significantly adverse impact on their personal, professional, and financial health.
What Is Alcohol Use Disorder?
Healthcare providers and addiction specialists label Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), as the persistent and unhealthy ingestion of alcoholic beverages. These professionals maintain that individuals demonstrating certain criteria might be stricken with the condition. Such factors include:
- The inability to curtail one’s intake of alcohol
- Developing a preoccupation with obtaining and consuming alcohol
- Continuing to consume the substance even after it precipitates any number of personal, social, financial, legal, or professional problems
- Feeling the need to consume increased quantities to produce desired impacts
- Experiencing uncomfortable and potentially serious withdrawal symptoms when going through sober periods
Risk Factors For AUD
One’s risk for contracting AUD increases when said individual possesses or experiences:
- A family history of the affliction
- Some types of mental health disorders like anxiety or depression
- Peer pressure in social or professional settings
- A history of exposure to physical, mental, emotional, or sexual abuse
- A medical history of bariatric surgery
Furthermore, medical researchers argue that persons who develop AUD likely started imbibing at an early age and gradually increased their consumption over time.
How Does Someone Know If They Have Alcohol Use Disorder?
Individuals consuming large quantities of alcohol or the close associations of such subjects are implored to look out for certain telltale signs such as:
- Persistent heavy drinking
- Increased consumption
- Drinking at unusual times or on inappropriate occasions
- Placing a greater emphasis on obtaining alcohol
- Drinking even when said activity causes health, legal, or financial struggles
- Engaging in reckless actions like drunk driving, lying, and stealing
Moreover, persons with AUD might realize that they possess a problem but are too addicted to stop on their own, experience a significant degree of social withdrawal, and encounter problems executing familial, social, and professional obligations. Those stricken with AUD may also experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms when attempting to quit drinking. Such manifestations include nausea, vomiting, insomnia, fatigue, and tremors.
The Three Stages Of Alcoholism
Addiction experts often divide alcohol into three stages including:
Users often claim that they imbibe to alleviate typical life stressors. However, this behavior typically grows more frequent with drinkers making excuses for their actions and expecting close associations to understand their motives. As this stage progresses, impacted subjects become more fixated on drinking.
Loss Of Control
As this next phase grows more pronounced, a greater number of the drinker’s friends and relatives notice the user’s problem. Moreover, their intake increases greatly and sometimes to a point where they have no control over their behavior. The individual in question might still possess the ability to perform important functions but could experience alcohol-related issues like blackouts and severe withdrawal symptoms.
During this final and most serious stage of alcoholism, users grow so addicted that they need alcohol merely to function. Their only focus centers on obtaining their next drink. In many instances, the imbiber experiences a number of personal, professional, financial, and legal concerns. Above all, their health declines dramatically.
What Long-Term Effects Does Alcohol Use Have On The Mind And Body?
Medical researchers have concluded that those with long-standing alcohol usage disorders stand at greater risk of developing various forms of cancer, major digestive problems, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, immune system decline, a decrease in cognitive functions like memory and concentration, and mental health concerns.
What To Do If Someone Has Determined They Are Suffering From An AUD?
The most important step one can take is first admitting to themselves that they have a problem and need professional assistance correcting the issue. After acknowledging the disorder, the user is firmly urged to seek a healthcare provider’s counsel. A thorough medical evaluation is crucial to determining the problem’s impact and the most suitable possible course of treatment.
Detox And Treatment Options
Treatment will be dictated by several factors. This includes how pronounced the AUD is, its effect on the afflicted subject, the individual in question’s general health, familial or professional obligations, possession of private health insurance, and their financial standing. Mildly addicted persons might benefit from counseling or treatment in an outpatient facility. That said, moderately to severely alcohol-dependent subjects will likely require aggressive therapy inside a reputable inpatient drug treatment clinic. In many cases, the first phase of inpatient treatment is alcohol detox where trained medical professionals carefully supervise the withdrawal of alcohol from the user’s body.
Contacting Agape Detox Center
Persons believing that they have an AUD are urged to contact us. Our Port St. Lucie, Florida facility has helped numerous recovering alcoholics defeat their demons and recapture tranquil, productive, and joyous lives with their family and friends.
Stephanie Catalano is an accomplished Clinical Director at Agape Behavioral Healthcare. With a Master of Social Work degree, LCSW license, and extensive training in Rapid Resolution Therapy under her belt, she brings a wealth of expertise to her role. Her unique combination of education and experience allows her to provide exceptional care to clients and lead her team with confidence. Stephanie’s joy comes from witnessing the moments when her patients creatively connect the dots and bravely move toward reclaiming their power. Her purpose is to help individuals understand their past so they can create a future full of hope, growth, and success. Stephanie attributes a large portion of her success to the supportive culture and strong sense of community fostered by the Agape team.