Alcohol Use Disorder: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Sep 01, 2022

Addiction Medicine

alcohol use disorder

Alcoholism or Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is a long-term medical condition with a pattern of alcohol use where you can’t control yourself from drinking, even if it’s adversely affecting your social, personal, and work life. A recent study shows that alcohol consumption causes death and disability relatively early. According to WHO, approximately 13.5% of deaths are attributed to alcohol in people aged 20–39. Alcohol use disorder can be mild, medium, and severe. Medium and severe cases can often lead to fatal health conditions and require a robust rehabilitation program to bring alcohol use under control. That’s why it’s important to learn about the causes and early signs of alcohol use disorder to prevent yourself from overdrinking and harming your life later.

Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder

To assess whether the person is infected by alcohol use disorder is to analyze the intensity of the present condition. The level is based on the signs and symptoms you are experiencing. It is mild if you meet 2-3 criteria, moderate if 3-4 criteria and 6 or more can denote severity. Here are the symptoms that will help you analyze the stage of a drinker:

  • Unable to control alcohol consumption on a daily basis
  • Tried your best to reduce the amount or to get rid of usual alcohol intake but could not succeed
  • Forgot everything else when the drinking urge occurred
  • Experienced undesirable mental or physical effects from overdrinking
  • Feeling stressed or strange when not drinking
  • Continue consuming alcohol even when it can be dangerous such as when driving, flying, or working
  • Prioritizing alcohol over other important errands
  • Couldn’t concentrate on work, school, college, etc. due to drinking
  • Laid off important social and personal activities so you can drink
  • Not wanting to drink but still can’t resist
  • Finding yourself in trouble often due to alcohol

What Causes Alcohol Use Disorder?

The exact cause of alcohol use disorder is yet to be disclosed; it might combine several following factors:

  • Genetics; a family history of alcohol use disorder
  • Trying to relieve work-related pressure or relationship stress
  • Mental health issues include pre or post-traumatic stress disorder, grief, etc.

According to NCDAS, every day, 385 Americans die as a result of excessive alcohol use. Many people also drink because it provides pleasurable feelings, which tend to minimize with the passing days. It’s important to identify these causes and stop yourself from drinking.

Stages of Alcohol Use Disorder

Excessive intake of alcohol that turns into a disorder has different stages:

  • At Risk or Pre-Alcoholic Stage: This stage consists of general experimentation with alcohol when it releases stress. In this stage, people tend to drink for pleasure and to celebrate occasions but may soon start developing a tolerance for alcohol.
  • Early Stage of Alcohol Use Disorder: People develop high tolerance levels and a habit of ample drinking, which brings frequent urges to drink. You might consume it to cope with the consequences caused by alcohol.
  • Mid Stage of Alcohol Use Disorder: This stage refers to the ‘out-of-control’ phase as people tend to drink erratically and cannot hide their issues with their friends and family. It also causes daily life problems, such as work issues, financial crises, and family problems. Lab tests and scans are likely to show organ damage in mid-stage AUD.
  • End or Late Stage of Alcohol Use Disorder: After long-term alcohol abuse and addiction, people step into this stage where alcohol is the only major point left in their life. They get severely addicted to alcohol that even if they decide to decrease their drink count, they might experience possibly disastrous withdrawal symptoms. Multiple organ damage and death have become a real possibility here.

Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcohol Use disorder treatment may vary depending upon the situation of an individual. Initially, it requires a few scans and tests to recognize the internal condition, and the treatment starts later. The major goal is to improve the quality of life of an individual by chopping off alcohol intake. Treatment may consist of a combination of:

Prevention of Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcohol use disorder prevention is one of the efficient ways to reduce the destruction caused by alcohol. These prevention tips can help you reduce your alcohol intake:

  • Practice low-risk drinking
  • Avoid gathering that trigger drinking
  • Acquire family and friend’s support
  • Indulge yourself in productive task

Seek Help from Newnan Family Medicine Associates P.C.

If you or someone you know is suffering from alcohol use disorder, contact us at Newnan Family Medicine Associates Our professionals offer compassionate, customized treatment.


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