- What is Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)?
- What is Alcohol Addiction?
- What is Alcoholism?
- What Are the Most Recognizable Signs of Alcoholism?
- What Risk Factors Increase Likelihood of Alcoholism?
- What Are the Most Common Signs of an Alcohol Addiction?
- I’m a Binge or Heavy Drinker. Does That Make Me an Addict? Do I Suffer from AUD?
- How Do I Get Help With My Problems with Alcohol?
What is Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)?
Alcohol Use Disorder is a very broad term that is used to describe anyone who uses alcohol to the point where it causes distress and harm. So if your use of alcohol is affecting your ability to work, carry on healthy relationships, or is causing you physical harm like liver disease, then you suffer from Alcohol Use Disorder.
What is Alcohol Addiction?
Alcohol addiction is another fairly broad term used to describe anyone who needs or depends on alcohol. If you need alcohol to deal with your day, stress, family or any other problem or situation, then you are probably an alcohol addict. Since that addiction is likely causing you distress or harm, you likely also suffer from Alcohol Use Disorder.
What is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism is the most severe form of Alcohol Use Disorder and Alcohol Addiction. It is considered to be a chronic disease that can be caused by a number of genetic or environmental factors.
What Are the Most Recognizable Signs of Alcoholism?
The most common signs and symptoms of alcoholism include:
- experiencing intense cravings for alcohol (physical or psychological);
- experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not consuming alcohol, including headaches, tremors, seizures, insomnia, depression, anxiety, hallucinations, fever, fatigue, nausea, and/or mood swings;
- an increased tolerance for alcohol causing a person to drink more than intended;
- engaging in heavy or binge drinking frequently;
- more likelihood to drink in high-risk situations, such as when you have to drive;
- continuing to drink despite being able to see the consequences of actions (rationalization);
- increased social isolation from friends and family and giving up other interests;
- allowing alcohol to interfere with responsibilities and relationships with others; and/or
- a desire to stop drinking but being unable to do so through willpower alone.
What Risk Factors Increase Likelihood of Alcoholism?
Alcoholism is a chronic disease. While we know more about it than ever before, there is still much to be learned. Many experts agree the following factors may increase an individual’s risk for alcoholism (though not everyone with these increased risk factors will become an alcoholic):
- having a parent or another close relative with alcoholism;
- having a mental health disorder, such as depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia;
- having low self-esteem or experiencing high levels of stress regularly; and/or
- growing up in an environment that promotes drinking or fosters peer pressure
What Are the Most Common Signs of an Alcohol Addiction?
Because drinking alcohol is widely considered to be socially acceptable, it’s more difficult to recognize the line between casual drinking and alcohol addiction. How often you consume alcohol and your ability (or lack thereof) to control your actions when drinking can be indicators that you are suffering from a problem with alcohol. Common signs pointing to alcohol addiction include:
- the need to drink alcohol to relax or ease tension regularly;
- social isolation from friends or family (opting to drink alone);
- covering up or lying about how frequently you drink;
- covering up or lying about the amount of alcohol you drink;
- hiding your alcohol use from others;
- increased hangovers and temporary blackouts from drinking;
- shirking obligations in favor of drinking; and/or
- decreased work or school performance.
I’m a Binge or Heavy Drinker. Does That Make Me an Addict? Do I Suffer from AUD?
Binge and heavy drinking seem to be on the rise, especially among young adults. For men, binge drinking is defined as having five or more drinks in a single instance. For women, it’s four or more drinks in a single instance. Heavy drinking is defined as having 15 drinks or more in a single instance for men and eight drinks or more in a single instance for women. Because the binge or heavy drinking might not occur everyday, people are less likely to think of their drinking as a problem.
If you drink in excess infrequently, and it doesn’t cause any distress or harm to you life, then you are probably not an addict and you are probably not suffering from AUD. That said, binge and heavy drinking are often the gateway to alcohol addiction, so it’s important that you know how to recognize if and when your drinking becomes a problem and seek help right away.
Also, it doesn’t hurt to ask a professional. If you think you might have a problem, then speak with a case manager at Wyoming Recovery or use our online self-evaluation tool. Either can help you recognize if your drinking might be a bigger problem.
How Do I Get Help With My Problems with Alcohol?
Whichever form of alcohol use you suffer from, you can get help at Wyoming Recovery. We work with patients suffering all forms of alcohol use disorder and alcohol addiction, even extreme alcoholism. Our caring, professional staff are here — whether you need 24/7 care in our residential alcohol rehab facility or outpatient alcohol treatment that allows you to continue working and taking care of your family — to help you take control of your addictions and get on the right path to healthy, sober living
You can start the process online filling out this form or by calling a case manager at (307) 265-3791 to start the admissions process.