Author: James Anderson

Am I an Alcoholic: 9 Warning Signs of an Alcoholic

what is considered an alcoholic

Treatment for alcohol use disorder varies depending on the severity of your symptoms and how long the condition has persisted. The most common treatment options for people with the condition include the following listed below. Genetic, psychological, social and environmental factors can impact how drinking alcohol affects your body and behavior.

what is considered an alcoholic

The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers. Many people use the terms “alcohol abuse” and “alcoholism” interchangeably. However, alcoholism refers to alcohol addiction or dependence, where the individual has a physical or psychological compulsion to drink alcohol.

Alcohol use disorder can include periods of being drunk (alcohol intoxication) and symptoms of withdrawal. In the United States, 14.5 million people ages 12 and above had alcohol use disorder in 2019. People with substance use disorders do so for emotional reasons.

Nutrition and healthy eating

People who drink too much alcohol are at risk of developing a host of health conditions and disorders including certain types of cancer, liver disease, and heart disease. Excessive alcohol consumption can damage the brain and other organs, and it also increases the chances of developing sleep problems, depression, and other mental health problems. Alcohol can interfere with a person’s ability to care for their other medical conditions or make other medical conditions worse. Yale Medicine’s approach to alcohol use disorder is evidence-based, integrated, and individualized.

what is considered an alcoholic

For this reason, people who drink heavily and are looking to end their addiction should seek medical assistance. The context of drinking plays an important role in the occurrence of alcohol-related harm, particularly as a result of alcohol intoxication. Alcohol consumption can have an impact not only on the incidence of diseases, injuries and other health conditions, but also on their outcomes and how these evolve over time.

What makes Yale Medicine’s approach to alcohol use disorder unique?

Consuming large amounts of alcohol over a long period is most likely to result in alcohol use disorder. However, the time it takes for the condition to develop is highly individual. Severity is based on the number of criteria a person meets based on their symptoms—mild (2–3 criteria), moderate (4–5 criteria), or severe (6 or more criteria). There is no one-size-fits-all solution for alcohol use disorder (AUD).

  1. Typically, alcohol withdrawal symptoms happen for heavier drinkers.
  2. For them, drinking is a priority and they tend to neglect all their other obligations such as family and work.
  3. When a person who misuses alcohol hasn’t had a drink, their body craves alcohol.
  4. That is why alcohol detox and alcohol withdrawal treatment is administered by medical professionals.
  5. One size does not fit all and a treatment approach that may work for one person may not work for another.

A health care provider might ask the following questions to assess a person’s symptoms. Because denial is common, you may feel like you don’t have a problem with drinking. You might not recognize how much you drink or how many problems in your life are related to alcohol use. Listen to relatives, friends or co-workers when they ask you to examine your drinking habits or to seek help. Consider talking with someone who has had a problem with drinking but has stopped.

Signs of Alcoholism & Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

Our specialists utilize a range of medication and behavioral methods with demonstrated efficacy for helping individuals change their drinking habits and maintain these changes long-term. Care is integrated with patients’ other health care to improve treatment access, reduce costs, and promote better physical and mental health outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals.

What are the risk factors for alcohol use disorder?

If you or someone you know is showing traits of alcohol use disorder, contact your healthcare provider. The term alcoholic refers to a person with a condition known as alcohol use disorder (AUD). The disorder makes a person who has it experience an intense desire for alcohol even when it adversely affects their health. However, referring to a person with this condition as an alcoholic has negative connotations that can be harmful and hurtful. While many people may use the term “alcoholic” to describe someone who has an alcohol addiction, the term is offensive and outdated.

By Toketemu OhwovorioleToketemu has been multimedia storyteller for the last four years. Her expertise focuses primarily on mental wellness and women’s health topics. Toketemu has been multimedia storyteller for the last four years. While it may seem difficult or impossible, quitting drinking is achievable. Along with regaining control of your life, there are financial benefits to abstinence that can help you save more money daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. While helpful, self-assessment with these tests should not be considered as a final diagnosis but can be useful in determining whether your current drinking habits may put you at risk of an AUD.

Theories suggest that for certain people drinking has a different and stronger impact that can lead to alcohol use disorder. Unhealthy alcohol use includes any alcohol use that puts your health or safety at risk or causes other alcohol-related problems. It also includes binge drinking — a pattern of drinking where a male has five or more drinks within two hours or a female has at least four drinks within two hours. As a person drinks more, the body learns to compensate by adjusting.

Many people with alcohol use disorder hesitate to get treatment because they don’t recognize that they have a problem. An intervention from loved ones can help some people recognize and accept that they need professional help. If you’re concerned about someone who drinks too much, ask a professional experienced in alcohol treatment for advice on how to approach that person. If your pattern of drinking results in repeated significant distress and problems functioning in your daily life, you likely have alcohol use disorder. However, even a mild disorder can escalate and lead to serious problems, so early treatment is important. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can appear as soon as eight hours after a person’s last drink.