Alcohol use disorder is a disease that affects mental, physical, and emotional health. But, many may have questions before they get the help they need to overcome the cycle of alcoholism in their lives. If you have questions about alcohol abuse disorder, how to get help, and what help looks like, keep reading. In this article, we answer many of the questions people struggling with this type of addiction have. This way, they’re given the information they need to make the decision to get help.
Does Alcohol Abuse Disorder Run in Families?
Yes, alcoholism can be passed down hereditarily. There are a number of genes that can be responsible for a person’s predisposition for developing alcohol dependence. So, it is something that people that may have family members who have struggled with alcohol dependence issues should be aware of so they can understand their genetic risk. Studies show that the majority of people who have alcohol use disorder do have family members who also have experienced issues with alcohol dependence and abuse.
How Does Drinking Excessively or Heavily Impact Health?
Drinking heavily and excessively can lead to dependence, which is the body’s need to consume alcohol to hold off withdrawal symptoms. Drinking in excessive amounts and developing dependence on alcohol can lead to a number of negative health symptoms. Some of the issues that drinking heavily can lead to can include:
- heart issues and disease
- cirrhosis of the liver
- high blood pressure
- concurring mental health issues (mood disorders, anxiety, etc.)
- pregnancy complications and infant issues after birth (SIDS)
Finally, along with all these health issues that drinking in excessive amounts can lead to, it can also lead to the development of alcohol use disorder. This is the addiction term for people who are struggling with alcohol dependence and require the use of alcohol in order to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay.
How Do I Know If I’m Living With Alcohol Use Disorder?
Just because a person drinks in excessive amounts or heavily, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re living with alcohol use disorder. Some of the characteristics of this disease include:
- the inability to moderate or stop drinking alcohol
- understanding and recognizing the consequences of drinking but continuing to do so regardless of these consequences
- having to drink more than others to experience desired effects
- experiencing alcohol cravings that interfere with daily life and responsibilities
- trouble with work, school, relationships, finances, and/or the law as the result of drinking
What do I do if I Think a Loved One is Struggling With Alcohol Abuse Disorder?
It can certainly be concerning when you think a loved one is struggling with excessive drinking that has led to the development of alcohol use disorder. The effects of this disease don’t just impact the person who has developed the condition, but their loved ones as well. But, fortunately, there are some things you can do to help. If you think that a loved one is dealing with this condition, you can:
- stop enabling behavior (giving rides to the liquor store, giving them money, keeping them from experiencing the consequences of their drinking, etc.)
- learn more about alcohol abuse disorder and the disease of addiction in general
- reach out for help for yourself and your family through group therapy resources
- reach out to mental health specialists about your situation and the next steps to take
- consider an intervention strategy in order to convince your loved one to get professional help
What Does Professional Help Look Like for Someone Living With Alcohol Addiction?
Treatment for alcoholism can be successful for people who are motivated to continue their recovery and get help through professional treatment services. Treatment can involve a number of services including behavioral and traditional talk therapy, psychiatric medications, detox programs, and family counseling. With a combined approach to treatment that works to address not only drinking, but underlying conditions that may have led to the development of the dependence on alcohol, people are more likely to be successful when it comes to treatment and recovery.
Delray Center for Recovery is an outpatient treatment resource for people living with alcohol abuse disorder and their families so that professional treatment services can be utilized in times of need. Find out how we can help today by researching more about our services and treatment on our website.