Alcohol Use Disorder (Alcoholism): Causes, Types, Symptoms & Treatment


If you are like most people, your love for alcohol probably started at a party with your friends. It was either a beer or something stronger in a tiny shot glass. And before you knew it, your compulsive desire to drink alcohol gradually increased, having a negative impact on your life. Yes! We are talking about alcohol use disorder, which is also called alcoholism.

According to the National Health Portal Of India, the prevalence of alcohol use in the rural and urban area varies from 23% to 74% in males and 24% to 48% in females.

Alcohol use disorder is the leading cause of death and disability globally. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 3.3 million deaths occur globally every year. Alcoholism harms or damages your physical and mental health.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) describes alcohol use disorder as a problem with drinking that becomes severe. It means your uncontrollable urge for drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, do not know when or how to stop drinking and having withdrawal symptoms when you decrease or stop drinking .

Unhealthy alcohol use puts you at a health or safety risk.

Genetics, environmental, psychological and social factors have an impact on your alcohol drinking. Younger adults develop alcohol dependency at a younger age , others have other medical diseases such as anxiety, depression, a bipolar disorder that make them depend on alcohol. A history of trauma, physical, sexual and verbal abuse can also cause alcohol dependency. Exposure to specific life events and situations can make a person dependent on alcohol.

Alcohol use disorder includes periods of alcohol intoxication and alcohol withdrawal.

A 2018 research study showed there are 5 types of alcohol use disorder that vary with age from 18 to 64 .

During the past 12 months, the person has to meet at least three of the following criteria:

Another way of diagnosis is carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT), a blood test that detects heavy alcohol consumption.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines one standard drink as any one of these:

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