Cues to recognize symptoms of alcohol use disorder
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The most commonly used addictive substance in the United States and the world over is alcohol. However, consumption of too much alcohol makes one susceptible to various health risks. Symptoms of problem drinking can be hard to detect when they are mild. It is always beneficial to know the signs of alcohol abuse so that corrective measures can be taken on time. An increase in the severity of symptoms of problem drinking can go on to cause an alcohol use disorder (AUD). But with proper intervention and care, its risks can be reduced and recovery is possible.
Among American adults aged 18 years or older, 16.3 million had an AUD in 2014, including 10.6 million men and 5.7 million women. In 2014, for adolescents in the age group 12-17 years, 679,000 had AUD, including 367,000 females and 311,000 males. However, only 55,000 adolescents were reported to receive any treatment for their alcohol problem in a treatment facility, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
Symptoms of AUD
AUD can be mild, moderate or severe. Individuals with AUD can experience any number or combination of symptoms. Some of the symptoms include:
- unable to control or limit the amount of alcohol consumed
- unsuccessful attempts at cutting down alcohol use
- spending long periods of time drinking, procuring alcohol and recovering from alcohol use
- experiencing intense cravings for alcohol
- failing to fulfill responsibilities and tasks at work, school or home due to alcohol use
- repeated drinking even though the individual is aware of its implications on health, social circles and personal life
- reducing or ceasing social activities or hobbies
- consuming alcohol even when the situation is not apt like driving or swimming
- developing tolerance to alcohol, thus, consuming more to achieve the same level of intoxication
- experiencing withdrawal symptoms like nausea, sweating and trembling when alcohol is not consumed
Risk factors for AUD
Many factors can combine to contribute to an AUD. These can be age, gender, ethnicity, body type, etc. to name a few. Some of the risk factors for AUD are:
- Prolonged drinking over time: Drinking too much or regularly or binge drinking can cause AUD.
- Age: Individuals who start drinking early and heavily are at a higher risk to develop AUD. Alcohol use can start in the teens but the onset of AUD is visible in the later years. However, AUD can develop at any age.
- Family history: Genetic factors are believed to play a role in an AUD. If an individual has a parent or a close relative with alcohol-related problems, it is likely that it can run in the family.
- Mental health: Individuals with mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, are prone to consume more alcohol to cope with their problems.
- Socio-cultural factors: Adolescents and young adults are particularly influenced by the habits and views of their parents, peers and role models. Peer pressure could increase the risk of AUD. The way alcohol is portrayed in advertisements and media can subconsciously send signals that it is fine to drink large amounts of alcohol.
Path to recovery
If you or a loved one is abusing alcohol, it is advisable to seek professional help. Contact the Colorado Alcohol Addiction Help to connect with the best alcohol treatment in Colorado. Call at our 24/7 helpline number (866) 592-9261or chat online with our medical representatives to get help in locating the best alcohol addiction treatment in Colorado.