Being able to “hold your liquor” may be a sign of alcoholism.
Alcoholism, alcohol abuse, and alcohol use disorders center on alcohol dependence, in which the body is physically unable to stop drinking. The alcohol cravings that arise as a result may lead to the individual to take drastic measures, such as stealing, lying, hiding alcohol, consuming dangerous chemicals and medications and other unhealthy behaviors. Alcohol dependency leads the body to go through a state of withdrawal when deprived of alcohol, leading to symptoms such as tremors, hallucination, and convulsions. This addiction uproots every aspect of life, creating conflict that is personal, professional, and social. There are multiple assessments available to screen for alcohol use, such as the 10-question Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), the abbreviated 3-question Audit-Consumption (Audit-C) and the CAGE questionnaire. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition, also outlines symptoms that define alcohol use disorder.
Professional treatment for an alcohol use disorder is the best way to stop drinking. Alcohol is very addictive, with physical withdrawals in the initial abstinence period. We aim to ease the withdrawals symptoms through close observance and the prescription of benzodiazepines, which help prevent and lessen the deadly withdrawal effects. After the initial 72-hour period in which patients must be monitored in a hospital or residential period, we will begin identifying the triggers that motivate the pattern of alcohol abuse, replacing the negative coping skills with positive skills through cognitive behavior therapy. We utilize both a pharmacological and psychotherapeutic approach, with medicines such as acamprosate, disulfiram, or naltrexone, and psychotherapy such as family therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT).