Many people who try to cut down or quit drinking are unsuccessful. The inability to cut down or control the use of alcohol may be a sign of alcohol use disorder.

Common Symptoms

Below is a list of signs that someone may have alcohol use disorder

  • Alcohol is consumed in larger amounts are over a longer period than intended. 
  • Unsuccessful attempts to cut down or control the use of alcohol despite a persistent desire to do so 
  • A great deal of time is spent in obtaining alcohol, using alcohol, or recovering from the effects of alcohol. 
  • Persistent craving or urge to use alcohol
  • Continued alcohol use despite recurrent problems 
  • Reduction or elimination of other important social, occupational, or recreational activities
  • Continued alcohol use despite alcohol causing a physical or psychological problems and / or hazards 
  • Tolerance (increased amounts are needed to achieve intoxication and there is a diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of alcohol) 
  • Withdrawal symptoms (or drinking alcohol to avoid withdrawal symptoms) which may include anxiety, insomnia, tremors and / or nausea

About Alcohol Related Problems

Many adults use alcohol; a glass of wine with dinner, a cocktail with a group of friends after work. Alcohol can be a social lubricant or for some a hobby, exploring the different wines or whiskeys from different regions.  But for up to 8.5% of American adults in a 12-month period, alcohol use develops into alcohol use disorder.  When alcohol use becomes problematic it can contribute to absenteeism from work and school, job-related accidents and low productivity. Alcohol abuse is associated with increased risk of accidents, violence and suicide.  Up to 55% of fatal driving events involve the use of alcohol. Over time excessive alcohol use may also lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease and digestive problems.  

Treatment for alcohol abuse disorder varies depending on the severity and an individual’s needs.  It may include psychological counseling to address other psychological co-occurring conditions, learning coping skills, medications, ongoing support (such as support groups) and  / or embracing a spiritual practice.


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