According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 70.1 percent of people ages 18 or older reported that they had consumed an alcoholic beverage in the past year, with 56 percent reporting that they drank in the past month. For many, alcohol consumption is casual and social – a beer at a ballgame or a cocktail out with friends. However, for those who have Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), drinking becomes compulsive and uncontrollable.
A chronic disease, AUD is characterized by a difficulty controlling when and how much alcohol one consumes, despite the negative consequences it has on their health, safety and life. Ranging in severity from mild to severe, commonly referred to as alcoholism in its most severe form, an estimated 16 million people in the U.S. meet the criteria for AUD – although fewer than 7 percent of those affected will seek treatment. Learn more about when alcohol use becomes misuse.
Knowing the signs of Alcohol Use Disorder and taking the steps to treat it just may save your life. Take this 10-question self-evaluation to determine your AUD risk.
Whether you’re at the lowest or highest risk for Alcohol Use Disorder – or any behavioral health disorder – it’s important to know that there is help out there. Nobody deserves to suffer in silence. Support and medical professionals can offer a safe, nonjudgmental environment to help you recover.
As a certified peer recovery support specialist who also is in long-term recovery for AUD I know a thing or two about the stigma surrounding the disease and the challenges facing those who seek help. From access to resources to finding a treatment plan that works, the road to recovery can be hard – but it’s so very worth it.
If you or a loved one are struggling with Alcohol Use Disorder, help is available. In addition to the care you can receive from South Shore Medical Center’s primary care providers or through Aspire Health Alliance, here are three other organizations that can help put you on the road to recovery: Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline; the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Hotline; and locally, South Shore Peer Recovery, in Scituate, Massachusetts.