Getting help for a drinking problem can be incredibly intimidating. For some people, heavy drinking might lead to a chronic condition that could lead them to the depths of homelessness, diseases such as cirrhosis and cancer or even death. Abusers of alcohol may not be aware of the negative consequences of their drinking until they are faced with an intervention. There are also daily drinkers that could live with or without alcohol. Everybody is different, and not everybody that drinks alcohol on a regular basis is necessarily considered an addict.
The American Psychological Association (APA) is in charge of the development and application of psychology, as well as promoting research for improvement in developing ways to diagnose and treat mental health disorders and addictions. (APA 2015) In order to professionally treat addictions by medical and psychological standards, the APA utilizes a diagnosis system.
In the APA’s Diagnostic Statistical Manual 4th Edition (DSM-4), the alcohol addiction disorder is separated into two distinct categories: “Alcohol Abuse Disorder” and “Alcohol Dependence Disorder”. The new addition has combined the two and named it “Alcohol Use Disorder”. (NIAAA 2015) There has also been one other criterion added to the list of symptoms, as well as a gauging system. In an effort to appropriately determine the severity of the drinking problem, the label method that is used ranges from mild to moderate to severe Alcohol Use Disorders (AUDs). Mild Alcohol Use Disorder (Mild – AUD) involves the presence of two to three of the symptoms below. Moderate Alcohol Use Disorder (Moderate – AUD) involves the presence of four to five of the symptoms below and Severe Alcohol Use Disorder (Severe – AUD) involves the presence of six or more of the symptoms below.
If you or a loved one has an addiction to alcohol, and you have experienced some of the aforementioned criteria, help is available and there is a perfect treatment program to fit your individual needs. The first step to living a life without problems due to drinking is to face the problem and find help as soon as possible. Professional therapists are a great resource to treat addiction to alcohol, as well as any other co-occurring disorders.
To find help for alcohol addiction you can contact the Drug and Alcohol Recovery Helpline at 855-441-4405 for more information.