Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
(Alcohol Dependence; Alcohol Use Disorder)
- Repeated home, school, or work problems due to drinking
- Risking physical safety while drinking
- Recurring trouble with the law, often including drinking and driving or fighting
- Having problems with relationships that are worsened by drinking alcohol
- Involvement in dangerous drinking situations (e.g., drinking and driving)
- Difficult relationships with family members, friends, and coworkers
- Craving a drink
- Unable to stop or limit drinking
- Needing greater amounts of alcohol to feel the same effect
- Giving up activities in order to drink or recover from alcohol
- Drinking that continues even when it causes or worsens health problems
- Wanting to stop or reduce drinking, but not being able
- Withdrawal symptoms if alcohol is stopped include:
|Some of the Organs Damaged in Alcohol Abuse|
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- Have you tried to reduce your drinking?
- Have you felt bad about drinking?
- Have you been annoyed by another person's criticism of your drinking?
- Do you drink in the morning to steady your nerves or cure a hangover?
- Do you have problems with a job, your family, or the law?
- Do you drive under the influence of alcohol?
- Do you have abdominal pain, vomiting, or bleeding
- Looking at the size of your red blood cells
- Checking for alcohol-related liver disease and other health problems
- Naltrexone—Blocks the high that makes you crave alcohol
- Disulfiram—Makes you very sick if you drink alcohol
- Acamprosate—Reduces your craving for alcohol
Education and Therapy
Mentoring and Community Help
- Socialize without alcohol.
- Avoid going to bars.
- Do not keep alcohol in your home.
- Avoid situations and people that encourage drinking.
- Make new non-drinking friends or join groups engaging in non-alcohol related activities.
- Do fun things that do not involve alcohol.
- Avoid reaching for a drink when stressed or upset.
Limit your alcohol intake to a moderate level.
- Moderate is two or fewer drinks per day for men and one or fewer for women and older adults.
- A 12-ounce bottle of beer, a five-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor is considered one drink.
- If you are a parent, having a good relationship with your children may reduce their risk of alcohol abuse.
Alcoholics Anonymous http://www.aa.org/
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence http://www.ncadd.org/
Moderation Management http://www.moderation.org/
Alcoholics Anonymous http://www.aacanada.com/
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/
Alcohol use disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/. Updated July 30, 2012. Accessed August 23, 2012.
American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . 4th ed. Text Revision. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 2000.
National epidemiologic survey on alcohol and related conditions. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website. Available at: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/AA70/AA70.htm. Published October 2006. Accessed August 23, 2012.
Ringold S, Lynm C. Alcohol abuse and alcoholism. JAMA . 2006;295(17):2100.
2/4/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us : Schinke SP, Fang L, Cole KC. Computer-delivered, parent-involvement intervention to prevent substance use among adolescent girls. Prev Med . 2009;49;429-35.
5/14/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us : Vivitrol (naltrexone). US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm106211.htm. Accessed May 14, 2010.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 02/2013 -
- Update Date: 02/07/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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