Alcohol use disorder is a medical condition that can be diagnosed by a mental health professional or physician. In many cases, you might notice signs of alcoholism long before your loved one visits a doctor. Using criteria found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), medical personnel can determine the degree to which the person is affected by alcohol use disorder.
Signs Of Alcoholism
According to the National Institutes of Health, alcohol use disorder affects about 855,000 youth between the ages of 12 and 17, as well as 17 million adults who live in the United States. Because there isn’t a blood test or another definitive way to determine if a family member has alcohol use disorder or the extent of their addiction, medical personnel typically use a series of questions to assess the person’s behavior. These include asking your loved one if any of the following situations have occurred in the past year:
- Have they wanted to reduce or stop drinking altogether but couldn’t
- Do they continue drinking even when it was causing problems with friends, family, or work
- Have they drank for longer than they intended or had more to drink than they meant to
- Do they spend a lot of time being sick after drinking or they spend a lot of time drinking
- Have they gotten into situations that increased their chances of getting hurt while drinking such as having unsafe sex, drinking and driving, or using machinery
- Do they continue drinking after having a blackout or even after drinking was making another health problem worse
- Have they had withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, sweating, restlessness, shakiness, or trouble sleeping when alcohol’s effects were starting to wear off
- Has drinking or being sick because of drinking interfered with family, school, and/or work responsibilities
- Do they continue to drink even after it was making them anxious or depressed
- Has the desire to have a drink been so overwhelming that they couldn’t think of anything else
- Did they cut back on enjoyable activities or given them up altogether because they interfered with drinking
- Do they need to drink more than they used to to get the effect they want
Treatment For Alcohol Use Disorder
Using drugs or alcohol can cause changes in the brain. These changes can make quitting drinking by yourself a complicated process. Getting professional help with alcohol use disorder provides your loved one with a range of treatment options that can address the signs of alcoholism they are displaying. For example, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can provide them with proactive coping skills they can use in the future when they are stressed and want to drink.
Northern Illinois Recovery provides the help, resources, and support you need. This acts as a foundation for recovery from substance use disorder or alcohol use disorder. Our caring and compassionate staff offers the following services:
If you or a loved one is displaying any of the above signs of alcoholism, contact Northern Illinois Recovery today at 855.786.1978.