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Alcoholic Use Disorder

Alcohol Use Disorder is a chronic brain disorder that can be characterized by excessive alcohol use, lack of control over drinking habits and a negative emotional state while drinking alcohol. When a drinking problem occurs that affects someone’s life and overall functionality, they may be suffering from alcohol use disorder.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “An estimated 15 million people in the United States have AUD.  Approximately 5.8 percent or 14.4 million adults in the United States ages 18 and older had AUD in 2018. This includes 9.2 million men and 5.3 million women. Adolescents can be diagnosed with AUD as well, and in 2018, an estimated 401,000 adolescents ages 12–17 had AUD.”

Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder

You may have alcohol use disorder if you exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Tried to cut back on your drinking habit but can’t
  • Spend a lot of time drinking, being hungover or sick
  • Drinking more or for longer periods of time than intended
  • Constantly thinking about alcohol and wanting to drink
  • Continue to drink despite the negative consequences associated with it
  • Having trouble with school, work or relationships
  • Having to drink more and more to get the same effects
  • Withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, restlessness, sweating, shakiness, trouble sleeping or seizures

If you’ve answered yes to two or three of the listed items above you may have mild alcohol use disorder, three to four would be moderate and six or more would indicate a severe problem.

Health Consequences of Alcohol Use Disorder

People who drink excessively or binge drink can suffer long term health effects such as:

  • High blood pressure, stroke, liver disease, heart disease or digestive problems
  • Memory or learning problems, including dementia or poor academic performance
  • Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver and colon
  • Alcoholism or alcohol dependence
  • Mental health problems such as depression or anxiety
  • Social problems including unemployment, lost productivity or family problems

What is Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous or known as “AA” is a community of men and women who have a drinking problem and has been around for over 80 years to act as a support system. The group is non-political, multiracial, self-supporting, non-professional and is available almost anywhere. It is open to anyone who would like to work on recovering from their drinking problem.

What does AA do?

  • Participants in AA share their story and personal experience and help support others with their drinking problem
  • Helps a person learn how to live a happy life without alcohol
  • They give person-to-person “sponsorship” to the alcoholic coming to AA
  • Offers open discussion meetings, open speaker meetings, closed discussion groups and/or step meetings

What does AA NOT do?

  • Solicit members
  • Follow up with members to see how they’re doing
  • Engage in education about alcohol
  • Provide detox or other medical services
  • Engage in sponsor research
  • Force someone to stop drinking
  • Offer religious services
  • Provide letters of reference
  • Provide housing, food, clothing, jobs or any other welfare services

History of AA

In 1935 a meeting was held between a New York stockbroker named Bill W. and an Akron surgeon named Dr. Bob S. who were both alcoholics. They had been involved in a non-alcoholic fellowship group that focused on spiritual values which helped Bill achieve sobriety. He maintained his sobriety by working with other alcoholics to help them get sober. Bill began to work with Dr. Bob to help him become sober too. He described alcoholism as a disease and emphasized the mental health, emotions, and malady behind it.

While working together, an idea struck to create Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Immediately, both of them started to work with alcoholics at Akron’s City Hospital where a patient successfully achieved sobriety. The three men together decided to start AA although, the name came later. In 1939 the basic book, Alcoholics Anonymous was published by the Fellowship. This book was published as a resource for people in sobriety to go to for wisdom, ideas and support. Bill W. wrote the text and content for the book which explained the AA’s methods and philosophies which began the Twelve- Step of Recovery.

Alcohol Dependence

When people participate in risky behavior or binge drinking episodes they may suffer from alcohol use disorder. AUD is a chronic disease that effects the brain and around 16 million people in the United States have it.

Continued alcohol use can eventually lead to dependence. AUD can manifest with both physical and psychological symptoms. A studied showed “Withdrawal and relapse have been studied in both humans and animal models of alcoholism. Clinical studies demonstrated that alcohol-dependent people are more sensitive to relapse-provoking cues and stimuli than nondependent people, and similar observations have been made in animal models of alcohol dependence, withdrawal, and relapse.”

Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

Located in Southern California, Experience Recovery is dedicated to the treatment of addiction. We are a privately held company with a staff of over 150 years of combined experience. Our continuum of care begins with an assessment for the level of care a potential client needs. Experience Recovery offers medically-assisted detoxification, residential, day treatment, intensive outpatient, outpatient, aftercare, transitional living, family programming and alumni. Experience Recovery is proud to be a trauma informed treatment facility with the designation from Seeking Safety. In addition, our outcomes are real, and used in our clinical decision making for each client. We are FIT outcome trained and are also a FIT outcomes training facility. Plainly, this means that we incorporate the feedback of each client into their episode of treatment. This allows us to monitor and predict if our clients our trending towards a positive or negative outcome. We incorporate the use of Feedback Informed Treatment at all levels of care.

When choosing a treatment center, we hope you choose us and recognize that the experience at Experience Recovery is one like no other. Under the direction of our Medical Director, Dr. Mario San Bartolome and our Clinical Director, Michael Mazzarino our program is scientifically based, medically driven, and therapeutically sound.