What Is Alcoholism or Alcohol Use Disorder?

Pixabay: DariuszSankowski

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Alcoholism is when one can no longer control their use of alcohol, compulsively abuse alcohol, despite its negative ramifications, and/or experience emotional distress when they are not drinking may be suffering from an alcohol use disorder (AUD) or alcoholism.

AUD is a chronic, relapsing disease that is diagnosed based on an individual meeting certain criteria outlined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

To be diagnosed with alcoholism, individuals must meet any two of the below criteria within the same 12-month period:

Using alcohol in higher amounts or for a longer time than originally intended.

Being unable to cut down on alcohol use despite a desire to do so.

Spending a lot of time obtaining, using, and recovering from the effects of alcohol.

Cravings, or a strong desire to use alcohol.

Being unable to fulfill major obligations at home, work, or school because of alcohol use.

Continuing to abuse alcohol despite negative interpersonal or social problems that are likely due to alcohol use.

Giving up previously enjoyed social, occupational, or recreational activities because of alcohol use.

Using alcohol in physically dangerous situations (such as driving or operating machinery).

Continuing to abuse alcohol despite the presence of a psychological or physical problem that is probably due to alcohol use.

Having a tolerance (i.e. needing to drink increasingly large or more frequent amounts of alcohol to achieve desired effect).

Developing symptoms of withdrawal when efforts are made to stop using alcohol.

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My two cents: PTSD sufferers have an issue with self medicating.

Adding alcohol to PTSD does not end well.

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