The Effects of Alcohol Use Disorder and How To Get Help
Alcohol use disorder (AUD), which results from drinking alcohol in a harmful or dangerous way, is a common and potentially crippling condition. It can have a big impact on a person’s physical and mental health, their relationships, and their quality of life as a whole. In this blog, we’ll talk about alcohol use disorder in language that’s simple and easy to understand. We’ll talk about its causes, signs, effects, and ways to get help.
How to Learn About Alcohol Use Disorder
Alcohol use disorder, also called alcoholism or alcohol addiction, is a long-term medical situation in which a person can’t control how much they drink, even though it makes them feel bad. It’s important to remember that there are mild, moderate, and severe kinds of AUD. AUD affects each person in a different way.
What makes alcohol use disorder happen?
There are several causes of AUD, including:
Genetics: Some people may be more likely to have AUD because it runs in their families.
Environmental Factors: Being in a family or social setting where heavy drinking is common can change how people act.
Mental Health: If you have more than one mental health problem, like depression or nervousness, you might drink to feel better.
Stress and Trauma: People may turn to drinking as a way to deal with stressful life events or traumatic events.
What are the signs and symptoms?
One or more of the following signs or symptoms appear while drinking alcohol or soon after:
- Slurred speech
- Unsteady gait
- Impairment in attention or memory
- Stupor or Coma
Two or more of the following can happen within a few hours to a few days after someone stops drinking:
- Autonomic hyperactivity (sweating or pulse rate greater than 100 bpm)
- Increased hand tremor
- Nausea or vomiting
- Transient visual or tactile
- Auditory hallucinations or illusions
- Psychomotor agitation
- Generalized tonic-clonic seizures
For early help, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of alcohol use disorder. Examples of common signs are:
Increased Tolerance: Increased tolerance means that you need more booze to get the same effect as before.
Withdrawal Symptoms: Withdrawal signs are physical or mental symptoms that happen when you stop drinking, such as sweating, feeling sick, and feeling anxious.
Loss of Control: Being unable to control how much alcohol you drink or failing to do so even though you want to.
Neglecting responsibilities: Putting drinking ahead of work, school, or family responsibilities.
Social and Relationship Problems: Drinking too much can cause fights with family and friends, stressed relationships, and being alone.
Engaging in Risky Behaviors: Taking risks, like driving while drunk or doing sexual things that aren’t safe.
Neglecting Hobbies and Interests: Losing interest in things you used to like to do because you want to drink more.
Effects of Alcohol Use Disorder on People?
AUD can be very bad for your physical and mental health, as well as your social and financial well-being:
Physical Health Problems: Drinking too much alcohol over a long period of time can cause liver disease, heart problems, and a number of cancers.
Effects on mental health: AUD is closely linked to mental health problems like depression and anxiety, making them worse.
Consequences for Society and the Law: Abusing alcohol can lead to legal problems, strained relationships, job loss, and financial insecurity.
Economic Burden: Because of healthcare costs, missed productivity, and criminal justice costs, AUD is a big economic burden on healthcare systems and society as a whole.
Getting Help and Care
With the right help and techniques, it is possible to get better from alcohol use disorder:
Self-Recognition: The first step is to recognize that you have a problem and that you need help.
Professional Help: Talk to a doctor or someone who specializes in addiction to make a specific treatment plan.
Therapy: Individual or group treatment can help people figure out what makes them addicted and how to deal with it.
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): Some people can get better faster with the help of medicines that reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Support Groups: Joining a support group like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) can help you feel like you are part of a community and that you are understood.
Changes to your lifestyle: Having a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, a good diet, and ways to deal with stress can help you get better.
Alcohol use disorder is a complicated and hard-to-treat disease, but with determination and help, it is possible to get better. Recognizing the problem, getting help, and building a support network are all important steps in getting rid of AUD. Remember that there is no one way to get better, and that everyone’s path is different. People can get over alcohol use disorders and live better, more satisfying lives with the right help and tools.