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Alcohol Abuse and How Therapy Can Help

Picture this: someone who frequently indulges in excessive alcohol consumption, like binge drinking several times a week. Their drinking habits often lead to problems such as missing work due to hangovers, neglecting family responsibilities, and engaging in risky behaviors while under the influence. Despite facing these issues, they find it challenging to control their alcohol intake or cut down, even when they want to. This repetitive and harmful pattern is a clear example of alcohol abuse.

Alcohol abuse refers to a persistent and detrimental drinking pattern causing significant impairment or distress, often evidenced by various indicators over a 12-month period. These signs may encompass excessive consumption, loss of control, craving, neglecting responsibilities, and more. Recognizing and addressing alcohol abuse is vital for achieving emotional well-being.

Here are some common signs of alcohol abuse:

  • Excessive Consumption: Consistently drinking more than intended.

  • Loss of Control: Repeated unsuccessful attempts to cut down.

  • Craving: An intense desire or urge to drink.

  • Neglecting Responsibilities: Failing to fulfill obligations due to alcohol use.

  • Social Problems: Continued alcohol use despite persistent interpersonal issues.

  • Hazardous Use: Engaging in risky activities under the influence.

The presence of these signs over a year may suggest alcohol abuse or an alcohol use disorder (AUD). Seeking professional help is advisable for anyone experiencing these signs.

The main difference between alcohol abuse and AUD is the severity and criteria:

Alcohol Abuse:

  • Less severe problematic drinking.

  • Leads to problems but may not meet full AUD criteria.

  • Diagnosis based on specific symptoms over 12 months.

Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD):

  • Represents a more severe form of problematic alcohol use.

  • Encompasses a range of symptoms and severity levels.

  • Includes loss of control, withdrawal symptoms, and tolerance.

Alcohol abuse is a subset of problematic drinking, while AUD covers a broader range of symptoms. Both are serious issues that may require professional intervention. Ready to make a positive change? Call Veronica Listens today, and together, we'll work towards a healthier and happier you. Contact: or 561-903-TALK (8255) 

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