When you can’t get a grip of your alcohol consumption and find it hard to quit, it is known as Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). Many people think that strong willpower will enable them to end all toxic behaviours. But regular uncontrolled consumption of alcohol starts affecting your brain, and it makes it difficult to quit. Mild alcoholism and can be treated on their own, but severe alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence needs professional help.
Alcohol dependence can get overwhelming, and you will have a hard time trying to abstain from drinking. Everyone needs to understand the risk of binge alcohol consumption to prevent the chances of AUD. Heavy drinking can severely affect your health, and it is essential to seek treatment. Read on to know how to stop drinking and return to your healthy life.
Acceptable level of alcohol consumption
It is essential to know the amount of moderate drinking to prevent the chances of alcohol dependence. Many people are unaware of the standard acceptable levels of alcohol consumption. The US has developed a standard measure of alcohol consumption which is 0.6 ounces of pure liquor per:
- 8 ounces of malt intoxication
- 12 ounces of beer
- 5 ounces of wine
- 15 ounces of distilled liquor
Heavy drinking or alcohol abuse
Heavy alcohol consumption occurs when a person exceeds the standard levels of liquor intake. The NIAAA declared that heavy drinking would lead to blood alcohol concentration content of 0.08 g/dL or above.
How do you if you have AUD or not
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has laid down some criteria to detect the presence of AUD in a patient. Since alcohol intoxication affects the brain, it is a relapsing disease, and people may get uncomfortable in the process of quitting alcohol. The DSM-5 and NIAAA have stated that if any patients meet any of the two below criteria within 12 months, the person will be diagnosed with AUD.
- You had several moments when you drank beyond a reasonable/intended level or time.
- You often indulge in heavy drinking and wake up sick the day next.
- You have tried to abstain from liquor consumption of more than once but failed to do so.
- You have severe cravings for liquor.
- Your drinking patterns affected your work, family and social responsibilities.
- You continued drinking even after facing the consequences at school, work or with family members.
- You have cut down your favourite activities or hobby to have more time for drinking.
- You consumed alcohol even after experiencing decreased physical or mental health like anxiety, depression and regular memory blackout.
- You got involved in cases of driving while intoxicated. You kept consuming alcohol even after knowing the possibilities of getting hurt.
- You keep increasing the amount of alcohol consumption every time.
- You had experienced symptoms of withdrawal when you tried quitting.
Treatments to help you abstain from drinking
Every patient requires a different type of treatment depending on the severity of AUD. There are many addiction treatments which will show you the way to stop drinking.
- Medical detox. When patients try to withdraw from alcohol consumption on their own, they may face certain dangerous or uncomfortable consequences. Often withdrawal symptoms can get life-threatening to the patients. It is essential to undergo a medical detox under the guidance of a supervisor to keep you calm and comfortable during the process. You or loved one will be provided with 24-hour medical supervision, medications and monitoring to address your issue correctly and deal with any complications that may arise.
- Treatment programmes. Depending on your alcohol dependence severity, you will be provided with inpatient or outpatient treatments. Inpatient treatments are for patients with severe AUD. The treatment lasts for 30-90 days with regular supervision and counselling. You will be required to stay at the treatment centre. In outpatient therapies, patients are required to be present only during the treatment hours. Patients are free to continue with their life.
- Other programmes. Treatment centres offer various programs and activities to heal you completely. Coping skills programmes, relapse education, individual counselling, group counselling, behavioural therapies and many other programmes are offered to help the patient to get better altogether.
- Aftercare. Many patients suffer the issue of relapse after getting out of treatment centres. It is essential to follow up with aftercare programmes like 12-step meetings, support group counselling, seeing a therapist, psychological therapy and others. You need to stay dedicated to your goals and prevent the chances of relapse.
Save yourself or your loved one from Alcohol Use Disorder. Consult a treatment centre and learn how to stop drinking without any complications. Alcohol dependence can be dealt with if treated with the help of professionals. It is essential to get sober and lead a normal life. There are many treatment centres available to help you with AUD.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.