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What is Alcohol Use Disorder?

A lot of us turn to alcohol because it relaxes us, it relieves stress, and can even help us “open up” in social situations. One or two drinks a week – that’s not unusual or excessive. But what if you’re drinking every day? How many drinks does it take to recognize you might have a drinking problem?

If you’re concerned that you may have developed an addiction to alcohol, you may have what’s called “alcohol use disorder.” According to the Mayo Clinic, alcohol use disorder, also known as alcoholism, “is a pattern of alcohol use that involves problems controlling your drinking, 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.”

Unhealthy alcohol use includes:

  • Bing drinking (five or more drinks within two hours for males, four or more drinks within four hours for females),
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol.
  • Alcohol triggers violent episodes, such as assault, domestic violence, sexual assault, animal abuse.
  • Drinking affects job performance.
  • Alcohol use leads to accidents.
  • Alcohol use leads to engaging in risky or criminal behavior.
  • Drinking affects personal relationships.
  • Drinking affects sleep patterns, productivity or health.

“If your pattern of drinking results in repeated significant distress and problems functioning in your daily life, you likely have alcohol use disorder,” according to Mayo Clinic. “However, even a mild disorder can escalate and lead to serious problems, so early treatment is important.”

Symptoms of alcohol use disorder:

  • Unable to limit how much alcohol you drink.
  • Wanting to reduce alcohol consumption.
  • Unsuccessful attempts to reduce alcohol intake.
  • Having a strong craving for alcohol.
  • Failure to perform major tasks at home, school or work due to repeated drinking.
  • Using alcohol in unsafe situations, such as when driving, swimming, skiing, or bicycling.
  • Developing a high tolerance to alcohol.
  • Drinking to avoid nausea, shaking or sweating.

Have you developed a habit of drinking alcohol on a daily basis? If so, were you recently arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Orange County? To fight your DUI charges, contact our firm for a free case evaluation!