The overwhelming number of those suffering from alcoholism in the United States has reached 16.6 million, asserts the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
Unfortunately, an overwhelming majority never get the help they need, which has resulted in approximately 88,000 Americans dying each year. P
art of this trend may be due to not recognizing the signs of an alcohol use disorder (AUD) when a person has one.
Signs of an Alcohol use Disorder
Many Americans drink beer, wine or liquor during events and celebrations, but repeated exposure the substance can lead to excessive consumption.
Before people realize they have a problem, the amount of drinking can get out of control and result in financial instability and needing alcohol to function properly.
Both adolescents and adults can be diagnosed with an AUD. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), an individual must exhibit at least two of following criteria.
These diagnostic requirements include the following:
- Intense cravings or urges for alcohol
- Continued drinking despite it causing problems in social settings, such as spending time with family or friends
- Developed anxiety, other mental health or medical symptoms from drinking
- Undergone unsuccessful attempts to stop drinking
- Had more to drink than originally intended on more than one occasion
- An inordinate amount of time spent drinking or recovering from the effects of alcohol
- Persistent problems in any setting from drinking or from being hung over
- Stopped engaging in activities that were once enjoyed in favor of drinking
- Been in situations where harm was likely due to drinking, such as drunk driving, unprotected sex or using dangerous machinery
- Experienced times where more alcohol was needed in order to achieve the same effect (i.e. developed a tolerance to alcohol)
- Felt withdrawal symptoms when the effects of alcohol wear off
Treatment for AUDs is Available
Alcoholism has unfortunately become a worldwide and commonplace issue. Although the substance is only legal for adults under the law, children and individuals with the potential for addictive behavior can still get their hands on various drinks.
If you or a loved one is struggling with a psychiatric burden like alcohol use disorder, the first step is to reach out for help. Substance abuse contributes to family conflict, societal crime, economic burden and even death.
Fortunately, populations that struggle with diagnosed cases of alcoholism can access effective and evidence-based addiction treatments in Florida.
Alcohol rehab centers allow a person to complete detox in a safe setting. Most importantly, all co-occurring conditions are treated collectively to ensure maximum effectiveness.