So how do you know if you or your partner needs alcohol treatment? What is the difference between alcohol use, abuse, addiction, and dependence?
Use: Alcohol use is defined as drinking alcohol in any situation.
Abuse: Drinking in excess, which the consequences may interfere with the person’s health, relationships, and may create difficulties at work.
*Addiction: Is the behavioral characteristic of losing control to intense urges to consume alcohol.
*Dependence: Is characterized by the physical changes when the body does not have alcohol.
*Addiction and dependence terminologies are often interchangeable
Alcoholism – a disorder marked by a pathological pattern of alcohol use that causes serious impairment in social or occupational functioning. It includes both alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence.
Symptoms of Alcoholism (Mayo Clinic)
- Being unable to limit the amount of alcohol you drink
- Feeling a strong need or compulsion to drink
- Developing tolerance to alcohol so that you need an increasing amount to feel its effects
- Having legal problems or problems with relationships, employment or finances due to drinking
- Drinking alone or in secret
- Experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms (nausea, sweating, shaking) when you don’t drink
- Not remembering conversations or commitments, sometimes referred to as “blacking out”
- Making a ritual of having drinks at certain times, annoyed when ritual is disturbed/questioned
- Losing interest in activities and hobbies that used to bring you pleasure
- Irritability when your usual drinking time nears, especially if alcohol isn’t available
- Keeping alcohol in unlikely places at home, at work, or in your car
- Becoming intoxicated intentionally to feel good or drinking to feel “normal”
Criteria in the DSM-IV-TR
Alcohol Abuse (1 or more criteria for over 1 year)
- Role Impairment (failed work or home obligations)
- Hazardous use (driving, swimming or operating machinery while intoxicated)
- Legal problems related to alcohol use
- Social or relationship problems due to alcohol
Alcohol Dependence (3 criteria for over 1 year)
- Tolerance (increased drinking to achieve same effect)
- Alcohol withdrawal signs or symptoms
- Drinking more than intended
- Unsuccessful attempts to cut down on use
- Excessive time related to alcohol (obtaining, hangover)
- Impaired social or work activities due to alcohol
- Use despite physical or psychological consequences
Nashville is higher than the United States in alcohol admissions (2008)
Treatment Episode Data Set/SAMHSA
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