Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a type of substance use problem characterized by a person’s inability to control or culminate alcohol use despite knowing its adverse occupational, social and health consequences.
AUD refers to a set of conditions including alcohol addiction, alcohol use, alcohol dependence, and the conversational term, alcoholism. Many people are not aware that AUD is a brain disorder, characterized by lasting changes in the brain caused due to alcohol misuse.
People suffering from AUD of any severity can achieve and maintain recovery through evidence-based treatments, including behavioral therapies (such as cognitive behavior therapy (CBT)), medications, and/or mutual-support groups.
Medications – Three medications are widely recommended to stop or reduce alcohol use as well to prevent relapse:
All these medications are non-addictive and can be used alone or in combination with behavioral treatments (such as CBT) or mutual-support groups to treat alcohol addiction. However, medications combined with behavioral therapy and counselling has proved to help a person stay sober longer.
Behavioral Treatments – Behavioral treatments or alcohol counselling aims at altering drinking behavior and pattern through positive affirmations. During behavioral counselling, mental health experts try to equip the patient with skills needed to curb, manage, and reduce the urge to drink.
Patients are also trained to build amicable social support system and learn avoiding the triggers that might cause relapse. Some effective behavioral treatments include cognitive–behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational enhancement therapy, brief interventions, and marital and family counseling.
Mutual-Support Groups – Peer support can also help people overcome their alcohol-related problems. Meeting and conversing with people with a similar situation help see the problem in new light. Additionally, interacting with people who have successfully attained sobriety helps them realize that they are not alone and boost the patient’s confidence. Mutual support groups, in combination with treatment led by health professionals, can act as an effective added layer of support.
A major part of people’s risk of developing AUD is attributed to three important factors
Additionally, other factors contributing to AUD include:
To diagnosis AUD, an addiction treatment specialist may ask about the patient’s lifestyle and drinking pattern in the past year. Some questions that the addiction treatment expert might ask include:
In the case of an AUD, seeking early help is crucial to ensure that organs do not face irreparable damage. Seeking timely treatment ensures early arrest of the disorder with remedial interventions.
AUD can be difficult to recognize as alcohol is a major part of parties, get-togethers, social gatherings, and a way to have fun. Owing to its wide acceptance as a social drink it can be challenging to differentiate between a person who merely likes to unwind with a couple of drinks after a long day and a person who has a real problem.
However, if any of the following symptoms are noticed, the person may be developing or may have developed a dependence on alcohol.
If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction or dependence, call our 24×7 Alcohol Addiction Treatment helpline 9289086193 to seek effective treatment interventions for problems related to alcohol use.