Alcohol use disorder (which includes a level that’s sometimes called alcoholism) is a pattern of alcohol use that involves problems controlling your drinking. They include being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, having to drink more to get the same effect, or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking.
Acute Physical Effects
Acute Effects on Mental Abilities
Long Terms Effects of Alcohol Use
When to see a doctor
If you feel that you sometimes drink too much alcohol, or it’s causing problems, or your family is concerned about your drinking, talk to your doctor. Other ways to get help include talking with a mental health provider or seeking help from a support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous or a similar type of self-help group.
Because denial is common, you may not feel like you have a problem with drinking. You might not recognise how much you drink or how many problems in your life are related to alcohol use. Listen to relatives, friends or co-workers when they ask you to examine your drinking habits or to seek help. Consider talking with someone who has had a problem drinking, but has stopped.
If your loved one needs help
Many people with alcohol use disorder hesitate to get treatment because they don’t recognise they have a problem. An intervention from loved ones can help some people recognise and accept that they need professional help. If you are concerned about someone who drinks too much, ask a professional experienced in alcohol treatment for advice on how to approach that person.