Alcohol use disorder can be caused by a number of factors including genetic, psychological, and environmental.
It is suggested that drinking alcohol changes the functioning in certain areas of the brain.
These areas can regulate the experience of pleasure, judgement, and the ability to control his/her behavior.
Good judgement is often replaced by a craving for more alcohol. The impaired brain gives a message of good feelings during alcohol consumption.
The negative feelings reduce with continued use and the person develops a strong urge to have alcohol even while working.
4 Making a Diagnosis
Diagnosis of alcohol use disorder is usually done by a physician, and once the disorder is confirmed, a mental health provider is recommended for further treatment.
Diagnosis is usually based on responses the patient has to questions relating to his/her habit of drinking.
The doctor may also seek information from close family members and friends regarding the issue. Some physical signs can also indicate this disorder.
No specific lab tests or imaging techniques are available for confirmation of its diagnosis.
Psychological evaluation can reveal the most about the behavioral problems and issues in the patient.
Treatment of alcohol use disorder depends on the condition of the patient and his/her needs.
After detoxification, a well-drawn treatment plan is set, customized for the individual needs and lifestyle of the patient.
Some beneficial treatment methods are:
Detoxification -- this is the first step in the treatment of the disorder. This is usually done in the hospital
Treating withdrawal symptoms – sedative medications are given to control withdrawal symptoms, particularly during the detoxification stage.
Psychological counseling – counseling helps to understand the disorder and the patient's options for recovery. A number of mental health disorders like depression and anxiety are often associated with this disorder. Counseling can help to control these disorders as well.
Medications – certain oral medications like disulfiram help to prevent drinking, however, this may not help to curb the urge or cure the disorder. Naltrexone is used to prevent the pleasurable feeling after drinking. Naltrexone can be taken as an oral medication or as an injection. Acamprosate is recommended to prevent alcohol cravings once the person has stopped drinking.
Preventing drinking at an early age is the best way to be sure that it doesn't develop into alcohol use disorder.
The prevalence of alcohol use disorder is greater among people 18-29 years old.
Look out for signs and symptoms of drinking in teenagers and manage it at the right time.
Talking openly about the problems of alcoholism to children and young adults helps them to control their habits.
Knowing about consequences is the best way to prevent it.
7 Alternative and Homeopathic Remedies
Yoga and meditation are good alternative remedy options for controlling the symptoms of alcohol use disorder.
These two methods are ideal for managing stress. Acupuncture can also be useful in reducing stress.
Nux vomica is used in homeopathy for treating alcohol addictions.
Hyoscyamus is used to control the withdrawal symptoms.
Cannabis Indica is suggested for controlling acute alcoholism.
8 Lifestyle and Coping
Support groups are ideal for coping with alcohol use disorder and to deal with recurrences.
They also help the person to remain sober, even when the urge is high.
Developing a healthy lifestyle with less stress, good exercise habits and a healthy diet helps them to remain sober.
9 Risks and Complications
There are several risks and complications associated with alcohol use disorder.
Slurred speech and loss of muscle coordination results from acute alcoholism. Heavy drinking may even lead to coma.
As this disorder affects judgement abilities, safety during risky situations is a concern.
This disorder may lead to a number of other health issues including:
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