Experts in the medical field no longer use the terms “drug abuse” and “addiction” separately. Now, these terms fall under the umbrella term “drug use disorder” or “substance use disorder.” This all-encompassing name covers every drug addiction. For example, the term for people who suffer from alcohol addiction is “alcohol use disorder.”
Drug Use Disorder or Addiction?
Should people use drug use disorder or addiction when they talk about a loved one who abuses drugs? In reality, they can use either term. In most cases, they call it an addiction because it’s the term that has been around the longest. Technically speaking, however, addiction and dependence are just components of drug use disorder.
Since drug use disorder is an all-encompassing problem, it comes in various forms. Addiction is the most severe form of the disorder.
Learning About Alcohol Use Disorder
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is the medical diagnosis for people who have a problem with drinking. People who have AUD show signs of abnormal behavior such as:
- Compulsive tendency to use alcohol
- Negative emotions when they don’t drink
- Loss of control when they don’t drink
- Using alcohol despite physically harming their bodies
Studies suggest that millions of people in the United States have AUD. Men are more likely to develop it than women, but it can affect both genders. There’s no age limit when it comes to the development of AUD. In fact, kids, teens and adults can develop symptoms.
People have to meet certain criteria before getting a diagnosis of AUD. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders outlines these criteria. People must have two of the 11 criteria to have AUD, and they also have to fall together within a 12-month period.
Levels of Drinking
There are three different levels of drinking. The first level is moderate drinking. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans sets these standards. Moderate drinking is two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women.
Binge drinking is another level of drinking. It involves having five or more drinks during the same occasion.
The last level is heavy drinking. To reach the criteria for a heavy drinker, two things must occur. First, people need to have more than five drinks during the same occasion, which is the same as binge drinking. Second, they have to consume these five drinks on five or more days during a 30-day span.
Let Us Help You Overcome AUD
At Ashley Addiction Treatment, we offer a wide variety of substance abuse programs. We can help people overcome AUD and other issues such as opioid use disorder. We offer help to people of all ages and even have a Young Adult Extended Care Program for 18–25-year-old men.:
Regardless of age, all of our addiction treatment programs feature:
- Group therapy
- Pain management
- Alcohol detox
- Individual therapy
- Relapse prevention
Don’t waste another day of your life at the mercy of AUD. Let us lead you down the path to recovery. Contact us at 866-313-6307 for more information.