According to a national survey in the United States, more than half of all Americans aged 12 and older reported being current drinkers of alcohol; this translates to an estimated 135. 5 million current drinkers. For most of them, drinking alcohol is considered controlled and safe. Still 59. 7 million reported being binge drinkers and 17 million people reported heavy drinking. Alcohol use disorder runs in families. It is more common among men than women and is most common among those aged 18 to 25. Alcohol abuse is common in people older than 65 and can be especially dangerous for them: alcohol can interact with medications and is responsible for many fall-related injuries. In young people, alcohol and drug use can lead to car crashes, suicide and homicide. About a third of those with drinking problems also have a mental health condition such as anxiety, depression or personality disorder. Treating these problems is often an integral part of overcoming alcohol addiction.
WHAT IS ONE DRINK?
A standard “drink” in the United States contains about 0. 6 fluid ounces or 14 grams of “pure” alcohol and is the equivalent of: 12 ounces of regular beer; 8-9 ounces of malt liquor; 5 ounces of wine; 1. 5 ounces of 80 proof distilled spirits. These examples may not actually reflect actual servings, however a mixed drink for example, can be the equivalent of one to three or more standard drinks, depending on the recipe. Also, the alcohol content for different types of beer, wine, or malt liquor can vary. A lot of people drink alcoholic beverages. Happy hour after work always sounds good.Some even say that red wine or moderate alcohol consumption may be healthy for the heart. But what is normal or acceptable drinking?
WHEN IS ALCOHOL DRINKING A PROBLEM?
If alcohol is having a negative effect on your life you’re probably drinking too much.
Answer these questions:
• Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
• Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
• Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking? Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of hangover?
• Have you lost control of your drinking?
• For example, do you sometimes find that you drink more than you meant to?
• Do you need to drink larger and larger amounts to get that effect that you want?
If you said yes to these questions or if you just think you have a problem, mention it to your doctor or nurse. Do not be embarrassed to talk with him or her about it. Alcohol problems are common but there are treatments that can help.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I KEEP DRINKING TOO MUCH?
People who drink too much can get serious liver and heart disease. They can get different types of cancer. Plus, people who drink too much are more likely than people who do not to: Have car accidents , Kill themselves ,Drown , Be seriously hurt.
WHAT IS ALCOHOL USE DISORDER?
Alcohol use disorder is basically the medical term for alcoholism or alcohol addiction. People who have alcohol addiction have two or more of the following problems:
• They end up drinking more alcohol than they planned to or for a longer time than they planned to.
• They wish they could cut down on alcohol, but they can’t.
• They spend a lot of time trying to get alcohol, getting drunk, recovering from being drunk.
• They crave or have a strong desire or urge to drink alcohol.
• Because of their alcohol use, they often don’t do things that are expected of them, such ask go to work or school, remember family events, and clean their home.
• keep drinking even if it causes or worsens problems in their relationships or interactions with other people.
• They stop or cut back on important social, work, or fun activities that they used to do.
• keep drinking alcohol even in situations where it is dangerous to do so such as while driving.
• They keep drinking alcohol even when they know they have a physical or mental problem that was probably caused or made worse by their drinking.
• They need to drink more and more to get the same effects they used to get with less. Or they get less effect from using the amount that used to get them drunk. This is called “tolerance”.
• They have “withdrawal symptoms” if they stop drinking alcohol after drinking for a long time. WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS CAN INCLUDE: •Sweating or racing heart. •Hand trembling. •Insomnia or difficulty sleeping. •Nausea or vomiting. •Seeing, feeling, or hearing things that aren’t really there also called “hallucinations” •Being restless. •Anxiety. •Seizures which can be serious and even life-threatening.
WHAT TREATMENTS CAN HELP?
People who have problems with alcohol can:
• See a counselor such as a psychologist, social worker, or psychiatrist,
• They can take medicines,
• And they can take part in support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous sometimes called AA.
All of these treatments can help, and they can be combined. There are a few different medicines doctors and nurses can use to treat alcohol problems. These medicines work in different ways. They can:
- Change the way your brain responds to alcohol such that it is less fun
- Reduce your craving for alcohol
- Make you sick if you do drink
- Help you feel less sick when you stop drinking.
CAN I STOP DRINKING ON MY OWN?
Many people get over their drinking problem on their own. But people who have been drinking several days a week for weeks in a row should not try to cut down without the help over doctor or nurse. People who drink that much can die if they stop or cut down on their drinking too quickly.
HOW CAN YOU CARE FOR YOURSELF AT HOME?
• If you have been given medicine to help keep you sober or reduce your cravings, be sure to take it as prescribed.
• Talk to your doctor about programs that can help you stop using drugs or drinking alcohol.
• If your doctor prescribes DISULFIRAM (ANTABUSE) do not drink any alcohol while you’re taking this medicine. You may have severe, even life-threatening, side effects from even small amounts of alcohol.
• Do not tempt yourself by keeping alcohol or drugs in your home.
• Learn how to say “NO” to other people who drink or use drugs.
• Use the time and money spent on drinking to do something fun with your family or friends.
• Call your local emergency anytime you think you may need emergency care, for example, CALL IF: You feel that you cannot stop from hurting yourself or someone else.
• Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if you have serious withdrawal symptoms such as confusion, hallucinations, or severe trembling.