What You Need to Know About Alcohol

Drinking alcohol, when taken in moderation, is a great way to relax. Excessive alcohol drinking, however, is another story. It can lead to alcohol use disorders, endangering the person’s health and his or her relationships with others. Disorders associated with alcohol include alcohol intoxication, alcohol dependence, alcohol abuse, and alcohol withdrawal.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reported that about 1 in 13 American adults are an alcoholic or an alcohol abuser at any given time. A government survey also showed that binge drinking is also common among younger people.

What are the causes of alcohol use disorder?

Disorders associated with alcohol have multiple causes. They could be psychological, physiological, or social factors. Many of those who have an alcohol use disorder are prompt to drink heavily because of a need for approval, low self-esteem, or impulsiveness.

Some drink to cope with emotional problems. Environmental and social factors like availability of alcohol and peer pressure play key roles in developing alcohol use disorder. In addition, poverty and sexual or physical abuse also increase the chances of getting alcohol-related disorders.

What are the symptoms of alcohol use disorder?

A person who is intoxicated from alcohol often experiences emotional changes like mood swings or irritability. He or she may also experience physical changes like poor coordination and slurred speech. Intoxication often causes a person to experience blackouts or memory loss. Alcohol dependents have increased tolerance to alcohol. They may binge drink although they are completely aware of the dangerous aspects of drinking alcohol.

Many alcohol abusers disregard their responsibilities at work, in school, and other social responsibilities. A person who is withdrawing from alcohol withdrawal may experience symptoms like sweating, rapid pulse, vomiting, nausea, seizures, and hallucinations.

How is alcohol use disorder diagnosed?

Mental health professionals diagnose alcohol use disorder by taking a personal history from the patients. They examine the details of their clients’ lives, including physical disorders that might contribute to or mimic psychological disorder.

How is alcohol use disorder treated?

There are a number of approaches for treating people with alcohol problems. Withdrawal is the major treatment for alcohol use disorders. Psychologists trained and experienced in the treatment of alcohol use disorders can be very helpful in many ways. In addition to diagnosing and treating co-occurring psychological conditions, psychologists can provide family, marital, and self-help group therapies.