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Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse

Also called: Alcohol dependence

For most adults, moderate alcohol use is probably not harmful. However, about 18 million adult Americans have an alcohol use disorder. This means that their drinking causes distress and harm. It includes alcoholism and alcohol abuse.

Alcoholism, or alcohol dependence, is a disease that causes

  • Craving - a strong need to drink
  • Loss of control - not being able to stop drinking once you've started
  • Physical dependence - withdrawal symptoms
  • Tolerance - the need to drink more alcohol to feel the same effect

With alcohol abuse, you are not physically dependent, but you still have a serious problem. The drinking may cause problems at home, work, or school. It may cause you to put yourself in dangerous situations, or lead to legal or social problems.

Another common problem is binge drinking. It is drinking about five or more drinks in two hours for men. For women, it is about four or more drinks in two hours.

Too much alcohol is dangerous. Heavy drinking can increase the risk of certain cancers. It can cause damage to the liver, brain, and other organs. Drinking during pregnancy can harm your baby. Alcohol also increases the risk of death from car crashes, injuries, homicide, and suicide.

If you want to stop drinking, there is help. Start by talking to your health care provider. Treatment may include medicines, counseling, and support groups.

NIH: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Symptoms of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse

The following features are indicative of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse:
  • inebriation
  • poor judgment
  • chronic anxiety
  • irritability
  • insomnia

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Common Causes of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse

The following are the most common causes of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse:
  • mental illness
  • puberty

Risk Factors for Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse:
  • family history
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • schizophrenia
  • advanced pubertal maturation

Prevention of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • stay within the low-risk drinking limits

Occurrence of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged between 20-35 years

Common Gender

Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse:
  • CAGE questionnaire: To screen for alcohol misuse

Doctor for Diagnosis of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse:
  • Primary care physician
  • Psychologist

Complications of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse if untreated

Yes, Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse is left untreated:
  • central nervous system depression
  • coma
  • death

Procedures for Treatment of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse

The following procedures are used to treat Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse:
  • Psychological counseling: Counseling and therapy for individuals and groups help you better understand you recover from alcohol abuse
  • Spiritual practice: It is easier to maintain recovery from alcohol abuse

Self-care for Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse:
  • Develop healthy habits: Regularly do physical activity, get good sleep, manage stress and eat well
  • Avoid stress: Distance yourself from social situations and friends that impair your recovery

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse:
  • Yoga: Relax and manage stress
  • Meditation: Eliminates the stream of jumbled thoughts
  • Acupuncture: Reduce anxiety and depression

Patient Support for Treatment of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse

The following actions may help Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse patients:
  • Participate in support groups: Helps to deal with relapses and stay sober

Time for Treatment of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 3 - 6 months

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse.
Alcohol
Cirrhosis
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Impaired Driving
Underage Drinking

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