How to Know When Your Drinking Becomes a Problem

Alcoholism (now typically referred to as an alcohol use disorder) is often the subject of much stigma leading to an overwhelming lack of essential, potentially life-saving addiction treatment.  Every year millions of Americans, some as young as age 12, struggle with an alcohol use disorder. According to data provided by the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, as many as 85.6% of people over age 18 reported alcohol use at some point in their lives, and of those, nearly 26% reported binge drinking in the last month. Information from the same survey indicates the rate of alcohol consumption and alcohol use disorder among adolescents and teens continues to rise. In 2019, nearly 15 million people of the age of 12 (414,000 between ages 12 and 17) met the diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorder or alcoholism. 

 

What Is the Definition of Alcoholism? 

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines alcohol use disorder as a medical illness characterized by the inability to stop or control one’s alcohol intake. When someone struggles with an alcohol use disorder, the need or urge to drink persists regardless of known and obvious social, medical, emotional, or occupational consequences. 

 

How to Know When Your Drinking Becomes a Problem

Alcohol use disorder is considered a disease of the brain. Depending on the duration and severity of your addiction, alcohol use disorder may be classified as mild, moderate, or severe based on a list of eleven diagnostic criteria presented in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). It is not necessary to present with all eleven criteria to have an alcohol use disorder. Generally, two to three criteria are considered a mild disorder, four to five are deemed moderate, and six or more are considered severe. Your treatment team at Rise in Malibu will work with you to determine the severity of your unique symptoms and, from there, design a comprehensive addiction treatment program that can help you overcome alcohol addiction. 

 

In addition to the criteria in the DSM-5, various behavioral and mental health criteria may also point to an alcohol use disorder. If you or a loved one have tried to cut down on drinking but failed or found that drinking has conflicted with your relationships, it may point to a more significant problem with alcohol. Also, increased difficulties with finances, law enforcement, or your overall physical health directly related to your alcohol consumption may indicate you have an alcohol use disorder. If you find you experience withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, nausea, shaking, sweating, seizures, or erratic heart rate when you stop drinking, it is essential to seek professional addiction treatment to help overcome alcohol addiction. 

 

How to Get Help With Alcohol Addiction

If you are concerned about your alcohol use, don’t wait another day to begin exploring your treatment options. Deciding to seek professional addiction treatment at our luxury Malibu rehab can help you overcome addiction and learn vital relapse prevention skills that will help you maintain ongoing sobriety and recovery. At Rise in Malibu, we use various evidence-based treatment options, including to provide you with the tools necessary to defeat addiction. Beginning with comprehensive medically assisted detox services and continuing through therapy and aftercare, our skilled team of addiction treatment professionals is here to help you start your sobriety journey. 

 

If you or a loved one are ready to put alcohol use behind you and start your path to addiction recovery, contact us at Rise in Malibu today. Our admissions team is ready to answer your questions about alcohol addiction treatment and provide information about how you can get help with alcohol addiction in Malibu. 

 

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