The term alcohol use disorder is used by doctors when you are unable to control how much alcohol you drink and have trouble with your emotions when you are not drinking. Some people may think the only way to deal with it is with willpower as if it’s a problem they have to work through all on their own.
It is a disease of the brain that causes alcoholism. As a result of alcohol’s effects on the brain, it is difficult to quit drinking. Being optimistic and trying to tough it out can be like trying to conquer appendicitis by thinking happy thoughts.
At some point in their lives, most people struggle with controlling their drinking. One in ten children lives with a parent who has an alcohol problem (AUD). Some feel that the only way to solve this issue is through willpower, they believe it is a problem they have to solve for themselves.
There is good news for people with alcohol use disorders. Despite their severity, most can benefit from treatment in some capacity.
Studies have shown that about one-third of people who receive alcohol treatment no longer display any symptoms one year later. Many others have significantly reduced their alcohol consumption and say they experience fewer problems associated with it.
The signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse
Someone who has an alcohol-related disorder is diagnosed by a mental health expert (such as a psychiatrist). Alcohol Use Disorder shows some of the following signs:
- Consistently or excessively using alcohol.
- The inability to control alcohol consumption despite attempts to stop drinking.
- Drinking frequently and failing to fulfill obligations at school, work, or home.
Treatment of alcohol use disorder
Detox is a useful first step in recovering from an AUD, but alone, detoxification is rarely enough to assist a person in achieving abstinence for the long run. It involves the process of withdrawing from alcohol safely and comfortably and then transitioning into a longer-term treatment program.
- Behavior Therapy
Counseling is one form of behavioral treatment that aims to modify drinking behavior. Studies show they can be helpful, and they are facilitated by health professionals.
- Prescription medications
There are currently three medications approved in the United States to assist people in stopping or reducing their drinking. In general, primary care physicians and other professional health care providers prescribe them either alone or in conjunction with counseling.