Alcoholism, which the medical community may refer to as AUD (alcohol use disorder), is a chronic mental health condition. Alcoholism develops due to a complex interaction between an individual’s environmental, genetic, biological, and psychological factors. Years of unaddressed alcohol use can lead to irreversible health consequences, so receiving a diagnosis and proper medical care is crucial. Professional alcohol addiction treatment can help ease withdrawal symptoms, which can help get this disease under control. If you or someone you know is looking for alcohol addiction treatment, don’t hesitate to contact Red Oak Recovery® today at 866.457.7590.
What Is Considered Alcoholism (AUD)?
There is understandable confusion about the term alcoholism. There is some gray area in what constitutes an AUD diagnosis, and the underlying mechanisms that contribute to alcoholism are challenging to unravel. Additionally, drinking that does not interfere with life, cause harm, or disturb you psychologically is not classified as alcoholism. Regular alcohol consumption is typically viewed as socially acceptable and is encouraged by our society. It’s not difficult to recognize that this social truth complicates the diagnosis, treatment, and maintenance of alcoholism even more. The obvious consequences of unchecked alcoholism can make the path to an alcoholism diagnosis straightforward for some. Others can hide their alcoholism with ease because it is not causing visible harm or impacting others. Hidden alcoholism is still a disease that requires treatment.
AUD begins with a consistent pattern of harmful alcohol use that persists despite an individual’s best efforts to change it. While the definition of alcoholism can vary slightly depending on the source, the consensus of professionals is that AUD is a chronic, progressive yet manageable brain disease. It is crucial to recognize that alcoholism is not a choice or defect of character. Individuals often cannot break their addiction without outside intervention due to brain function changes despite the desire to stop.
Signs You May Need Medical Care for Alcoholism
Alcoholism is a complex condition that affects individuals in profoundly different ways. Each case of alcoholism is varied and unique. Some people may veer into troublesome behaviors, such as alcohol-induced blackouts, legal trouble, failed relationships, or losing their job due to their addiction. Some individuals are very successful in their careers or relationships. They are commonly referred to as functioning with alcoholism. Despite attaining outward measures of success, they can suffer internally due to an inability to control their addiction.
Symptoms of alcoholism may apply to you, even if you don’t think you are struggling with it. A proper medical evaluation is likely necessary to diagnose AUD, after which you should seek professional medical care for alcoholism. Alcohol is one of the most dangerous drugs to quit abruptly. Therefore, it is essential to recognize the signs that someone is suffering from alcoholism and needs medical care. Some signs of alcoholism include:
- Using alcohol more often or drinking more than you planned to regularly
- Inability to quit drinking or control alcohol use despite your attempts
- Dedicating large portions of your schedule to obtain alcohol, drink alcohol, or recover from a hangover
- Experiencing strong alcohol cravings
- Inability to follow through on obligations, responsibilities, or relationships because of alcohol
- Continuing to drink even if it’s causing you apparent harm in some aspect of your life
- Giving up activities, hobbies, relationships to devote more time to drinking
- Repeatedly engaging in dangerous behaviors while under the influence, such as driving while drunk
- Continuing to drink alcohol, despite physical or psychological harm directly related to drinking
- Increased alcohol tolerance where you require more alcohol to achieve the same level of intoxication
- If you have tried to stop drinking, you experienced alcohol withdrawal symptoms that subside when you begin drinking again
Find Freedom from Addiction at Red Oak Recovery®
Alcoholism is a chronic condition, but it is also manageable with access to the necessary resources and support. Attempting to stop drinking without warning and support can be dangerous, depending on the severity of your addiction, so finding alcohol addiction treatment is crucial. Don’t hesitate to contact Red Oak Recovery® today at 866.457.7590 to learn how our men’s addiction treatment center can help you overcome your alcohol addiction.