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ALCOHOL USE DISORDER (AUD)

  • 2020-06-19

I think most of us have heard about Alcohol Addiction right?

Nowadays it has become the most conventional and worth worrying topic of our society. And why not, this hazardous substance has destroyed and will be destroying a lot of young lives, their families and a bright future. Thus it is important for all of us to know about this disorder in much depth and knowledgeable way.

So let’s start by defining what exactly Alcohol Use Disorder is –

It has a pattern of alcohol use that involves problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to use it even when it causes problems, having to drink more to get the same effect or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease/stop drinking.

It also includes binge drinking – a pattern of drinking where a male consumes 5 or more drinks within 2 hours or a female downs at least 4 drinks within 2 hours.

 I think the way that I defined this disorder is relatable to each person reading this and might have seen or experienced the same thing.

Alcohol use disorder can include periods of alcohol intoxication and symptoms of withdrawal:

a)   Alcohol intoxication: increase in the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream causing behaviour problems and mental changes including blackouts, slurred speech, poor coordination etc.

b)   Alcohol withdrawal: when alcohol use is heavy and prolonged and then is stopped or gently reduced. Symptoms include sweating, nausea, seizures, anxiety, rapid heartbeat etc.

So, next, we come to the symptomology of this disorder as it is really important to know how the disorder is seen developing in people:

  1. Behavioural symptoms: drinking alone, becoming violent and angry when asked about their drinking habits, not eating or eating poorly, make excuses to drink, continuing to drink even having social, legal or economic problems etc.
  2.  Physical symptoms: alcohol cravings, blacking out, shaking, nausea or vomiting.  

  So this is how we can identify if a person is developing or has developed this disorder.

This disorder occurs in mid-teens, that is from 20 years of age and a large majority is of the late 30s. The earliest onset is observed in adolescents. It is also important to know what the causes of this disorder are because as we all know without the reason no one is able to cure a problem. So there are various causes of a disorder to occur, let’s discuss them:

  1.  The Biological factors-the disorder may run in families that is, 40-60% risk of developing it through familial transmission, 3 to 4 times more risk through close relatives etc.
  2. Environmental factors- people living closer to alcohol establishments, ads promoting alcohol consumption, individuals from affluent families etc.
  3. Social factors- culture, religion, family and work influence, peer pressure and peer acceptance etc.
  4. Psychological factors- people having high stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions can increase the risk of developing the disorder. I hope now you are well aware of the causes of the disorder and be more aware to prevent it from developing and harming yourself.

People with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and antisocial personality disorder lead to an increased rate of developing alcohol use disorder.

TREATMENT:

  1. Pharmacotherapy ( uses of medicines along with various therapies )
  2. Psychotherapy:
  1. Cognitive behaviour therapy – to make people recognize their problems and help them develop their coping skills.
  2. Motivational Interviewing- developing motivation in people to follow the routine and session course to have a better sense of control on themselves through treatment.
  3. Rational Emotive Behavior therapy (REBT): helps patients understand their own thoughts and helps develop better habits and thinking in more positive and rational ways.
  4. Support Groups: connect people with one another sharing their experience and coping skills.
  5. Family therapy: helps parents and family members to learn coping skills and strategies and apply it to improve the home environment.
  6. Other techniques: exercise, meditation, yoga, massage etc. can be applied to reduce stress, anxiety and other physical problems.  

Thus, this is all about this disorder. It is very important for all of us to know about this harmful disorder and keep trying to prevent from developing it and trying to cope with it.   

 

 

Ms Nitya Arora  (Content Writer )
Editor’s note – I just want to say that nothing in the world is impossible, be it learning a cycle or eliminating a maladaptive behaviour like an addiction. We know how hazardous is alcohol but some people be it youngsters or adults are still consuming it excessively knowing it can cause addiction and other health problems. So we all should try to make people aware of the consequences of the disorder and you should yourself try to become self-aware of the dangerous habit you have developed and find ways to help get rid of it and believe me you will succeed because we too are there to help you all.

 

 

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