Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a medical term for binge drinking that has progressed to the point of becoming dangerous. Alcoholism is a chronic relapsing brain illness marked by obsessive drinking, a loss of control over how much alcohol is ingested, and a negative emotional state when alcohol is not available. There are three levels of AUD: mild, moderate, and severe.
Alcohol is a legal substance that has been used to unwind, socialize, and celebrate for as long as it has existed. Drinking can lead to legal issues, health problems, anxiety, sadness, and damaged relationships among people who have an alcohol use disorder.
It can be difficult to distinguish between alcohol abuse and social drinking. Each person is affected differently by alcohol. Although alcohol use plays a significant role in AUD, there are additional environmental, biochemical, and developmental aspects to consider.
Although there are as many as 16 million persons in the United States who have an AUD, not everyone who drinks alcohol becomes addicted or abuses it. Binge drinkers may never develop a tolerance for alcohol or develop a need for it, but they are more likely to develop alcohol dependence.
Definition of Alcoholism
Even if a person isn't physically hooked on alcohol, it can cause major issues in their health, home life, employment, or academics. Binge drinking and high alcohol consumption are two types of alcohol misuse.
Binge drinking is defined as consuming five drinks in less than two hours for men and four drinks in less than two hours for women. Binge drinking for at least five days in the previous month is considered heavy alcohol use. One drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for males is considered moderate drinking.
Each person's experience with alcohol is unique, and it varies tremendously depending on their:
amount of food consumed
the amount of time spent drinking
Alcohol's relaxing, euphoric effect may become more than a social hobby over time. To cope with stress, trauma, bereavement, social anxiety, mental illness, and even loneliness, many people abuse alcohol. When drinking becomes a habit, it can easily grow into addiction or dependence.
Abuse's Short-Term Consequences
The symptoms of alcohol misuse that occur on a regular basis are known as short-term consequences. The more alcohol a person consumes, the more severe the short-term consequences become.
A little dose of alcohol can have a soothing effect, whereas a medium quantity can create slurred speech and a high dose can cause respiratory problems.
The following are some more short-term impacts of alcohol abuse:
inhibitions have been reduced
inability to concentrate
slower reaction times
reaction time is slower
speech that is slurred
feelings that have changed
Urination has increased.
Urination that is out of control
poisoning from alcohol
death from overdosing
Abuse's Long-Term Health Consequences
Alcohol can be harmful to one's health on a single occasion or over years. Any person who consumes too much alcohol risks harming their organs.
Long-term alcohol consumption can harm the organs listed below:
Brain: affects the physical look and function of the brain by interfering with the brain's communication networks.
Cardiomyopathy, arrhythmia, stroke, and high blood pressure can all be caused by drinking too much alcohol.
Fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis are all symptoms of heavy drinking.
Alcohol damages the pancreas, causing it to create toxic compounds that might induce pancreatitis. Drinking too much alcohol can impair the pancreas' ability to make insulin, resulting in diabetes.
A person's immune system can be weakened by too much alcohol, making the body more vulnerable to disease and nutrient shortages. Chronic drinkers are more likely to develop thiamine deficiency, a condition in which the body does not receive enough vitamin B-1. Vitamin deficiencies caused by alcohol addiction can make a person feel weak, clumsy, and even lead to muscular loss.
Long-term effects of alcohol may raise the incidence of oral, esophageal, throat, liver, and breast cancers. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome affects an estimated 40,000 newborns each year, and it can be harmful in a variety of ways, often lasting into adulthood.