What is an Alcohol Use Disorder?
The latest data from The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA) estimate that 16 million people in the United States have an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). That includes 15.1 million adults and just under 1 million adolescents. The same report indicates that only a small number of those – 6.7 percent of adults and 5.2 percent of adolescents – receive professional treatment for their disorder.
This means there are millions of people out there struggling with unhealthy drinking habits who aren’t getting the help they need. Untreated Alcohol Use Disorders can lead to severe chronic health conditions, including liver damage, heart damage, stroke, high blood pressure, and in severe cases, even death.
At Pinnacle Treatment, we can help. We offer individualized treatment programs that address the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and give you the chance to rediscover what life is like without alcohol.
If you know you have an alcohol problem, don’t wait until it gets worse.
You Can Heal, Grow, and Change With Us
If you think you may have a drinking problem, the guidelines established by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) present clear criteria for an accurate diagnosis. The DSM-V defines three different levels of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD): mild, moderate, and severe. To determine where you are on the continuum, mental health professionals use the following questionnaire.
In the past year, have you:
- Found yourself drinking more or longer than you intended?
- Tried to cut down or stop drinking, but found you couldn’t?
- Spent a lot of time drinking or dealing with the side effects (i.e. getting over a hangover)?
- Craved alcohol so badly it dominated your thoughts?
- Experienced problems with family, work, home, or school because of drinking?
- Kept drinking even though you answered yes to any part of question (5)?
- Stopped participating in activities you used to love in favor of drinking?
- Engaged in risky behavior, such as unsafe sex or drinking and driving, while under the influence of alcohol?
- Kept drinking after a memory blackout, or despite the fact your drinking causes you to feel depressed or anxious?
- Had to consume more alcohol than previously to achieve the euphoric effect you desire?
- Discovered that when you stop drinking for a day or more, you experienced classic symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, including problems sleeping, shakiness, restlessness, nausea, sweating, a racing heart, delirium/hallucinations, or seizures?
If you answer yes to…
2-3 of these questions, you meet the clinical criteria for a Mild AUD.
4-5 of these questions, you meet the clinical criteria for a Moderate AUD.
6 or more of these questions, you meet the clinical criteria for a Severe AUD.
NOTE: Only a licensed medical practitioner can give you a legitimate medical diagnosis. The questionnaire above is for your information only: it cannot take the place of an assessment administered by a mental health professional.