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alcohol use disorder

alcohol use disorder

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 21.5 million adult Americans struggle with substance use disorder. About 80% of people struggling with substance use disorder abuse alcohol. Most don’t even see it as a problem, since alcohol consumption in America has normalized and is socially acceptable. Risky drinking behavior is considered any consumption greater than 14 drinks per week for men and more than 7 drinks per week for women, according to the NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism).

Those near or above this amount do not see it as a problem and are generally in denial about its excessive use, its health implications, and its initiation of addiction or dependency. You see, two-thirds of the adult population in the US drink alcohol regularly. Twenty-five percent of the US population binge drink (drinking more than 4-5 drinks in a 2-hour period). Five percent of the American population has alcohol use disorder according to the Mayo Clinic.

That five percent generally see the social consequences and the legal consequences of their alcohol use. Alcoholic behavior is not socially acceptable and does interfere with a person’s life, social status, work, sleep, health, and often their freedom in the case of drunk driving, disorderly conduct, fighting, or abusive behavior , which is often the result of drinking too much.

Why many alcoholics don’t realize they have a dependency problem

Some people may not see or even be aware of their alcohol problem, since they never actually get drunk. For those who gradually increase their intake, their bodies develop a tolerance, so you never seem to have a problem on the outside. However, if they don’t have a drink every day, they don’t feel well and can’t function optimally. This is a sure sign of dependency. Now mind you, these are fully functioning people, you wouldn’t even realize it, and oftentimes, neither would they.

Since they have a drink or two or three every day, they function well on the outside and never have to deal with full-scale withdrawal symptoms. Of course, if they don’t have their drink, they feel like crap, become irritable, and have trouble sleeping. Take it off for a few days and things will quickly get worse as they take care of the withdrawal symptoms.

Youth and Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages

A common new trend is to mix energy drinks or coffee drinks with alcohol. This becomes a real problem because it’s possible to drink large amounts of alcohol that you normally wouldn’t as you would have passed out by then, but the caffeine keeps you going. To the young party-goer, this may seem like a perfect match, but it’s more like a combination of dry grass starting a wildfire that can’t be stopped.

Generally speaking, caffeine will wear off much sooner than alcohol since it takes longer for the body to deal with alcohol. Right now, the binge drinker has so much alcohol in his system that it overwhelms him. This is very dangerous and has also led to many deaths and horrible car accidents.

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