April is Alcohol Awareness Month, and during this time, Valley Oaks Health is bringing awareness and erasing stigma around alcohol use disorder (AUD).
There are many statistics that show the cost of alcohol misuse:
- According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over 14 million American adults suffered from AUD.
- Alcohol-related deaths took an estimated 95,000 lives, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
- In 2010, alcohol misuse cost the United States almost $250 billion.
But the stories of individuals experiencing AUD and loving those that misuse alcohol are the true impact of this disease. If you or someone you love may be experiencing AUD, these are the signs and symptoms, causes, and options for treatment.
Signs and symptoms
Warning signs that intervention may be needed include:
- Being unable to limit the amount of alcohol you drink
- Wanting to cut down on alcohol consumption but being unsuccessful
- Spending a lot of time drinking, getting alcohol, or recovering from alcohol use
- Experiencing strong urges to drink
- Giving up on activities and hobbies
- Continuing to drink even when it causes physical, social, or interpersonal problems
- Using alcohol in situations where it’s not safe, such as when driving
- Developing a high tolerance to alcohol
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, sweating, and shaking
AUD does not discriminate. Anyone at any age can develop addictive behaviors. Those at higher risk include those who:
- Drink regularly for extended periods of time or go through binging periods
- Start drinking at an early age
- Have a family history of alcoholism
- Suffer from other mental health conditions
- Have a history of trauma
There is hope and treatment available to those experiencing AUD. If you or a loved one is in immediate danger, dial 9-1-1. If you are looking for long-term care and a path toward recovery, reach out to Valley Oaks Health today.