What is Alcohol Use Disorder?
Affecting about 18 million in the United States, alcohol use disorder is a medical condition when drinking causes distress or harm.
Warning Signs & Symptoms
- Loss of control, not being able to stop drinking once drinking has begun
- Craving, a strong need or urge to drink
- Withdrawal symptoms include nausea, sweating, shakiness, anxiety, mood swings, insomnia, physical agitation
Problems with drinking have a wide variety of potential sources, from genetics to psychological to physiological to social reasons. For some, an inherited predisposition causes them to be more susceptible to AUD. Others are using alcohol to mask a pre-existing trauma. Others have impulsive traits, combined with a social need and ease of access to alcohol, that create the conditions for excessive and harmful drinking.
One important thing to note is that “having a high tolerance” or “being able to hold your liquor” puts you more at risk, not less.
Once people begin to drink heavily, the problem often perpetuates itself, regardless of root causes or instigators. Heavy drinking creates psychological and even physiological changes that demand the drinker keep drinking – whether the reason is emotional or simply avoiding the physical symptoms of withdrawal, it can be very difficult to pull out of the spiral that AUD causes.
Here at 2nd Chance, we understand the challenge of seeking help with AUD. We have experience and are here to work with those ready to overcome Alcohol Use Disorder and take control of their lives.
It is often very hard for someone struggling with AUD to admit there is a problem. It is a challenge to reach the turning point of recognizing friends and family expressing concern as an act of love and caring rather than as annoying or intrusive.
When a person is ready to make a change, finding the right support and help is essential. Although some individuals are able to recover on their own with the support of friends and family, many who have a dependence on alcohol cannot do it based on willpower alone. It is important to acknowledge that AUD is a condition that can require professional medical assistance and support. A person may need detoxification that is medically supervised. They may need additional counseling or support groups. Each individual is different, but the rate of success is much higher for those who seek help and support.
Know that you or your loved one does not have to go through this alone.
Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused substances in the world, and if not treated can destroy physical and mental health and damage personal relationships. If you or a loved one needs help with Alcohol Use Disorder, 2nd Chance offers hope and the best chance for a lifelong recovery.