San Diego People: Addiction, alcoholism and how to get help - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

San Diego People: Addiction, alcoholism and how to get help

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When addiction invades a family, those who love the addict/alcoholic tend to want to protect him/her, often at the expense of themselves.

Here are some of the signs that you might be suffering from addiction, too, and that it might be time to seek help for yourself. You CAN change, even if the addict isn’t currently willing to.

  • Feeling tired but having difficulty resting
  • Feeling stressed
  • Attempting to control people, situations or things
  • Canceling plans for fear of what the addict/alcoholic might do/say Covering up and making excuses for the addict/alcoholic Defensiveness
  • Denial
  • Withholding information from friends. family and employer
  • Lying to friends, family, employer and even yourself
  • Minimizing (“It’s not really that bad.”)
  • Missing work or school
  • Isolating
  • Heightened anxiety or fear
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Racing thoughts

Medical issues: such as low back pain, headaches, sleep disturbances, urinary tract issues [UTIs, kidney stones, etc], GI issues [ulcer, Crohn’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, diarrhea, constipation, stomach ache/cramps, etc] Disorganization

  • Absentmindedness
  • Inability to set or keep limits or boundaries
  • Indecisiveness
  • Compulsive behaviors such as shopping, eating, dieting, exercising, cleaning, checking bank balances, checking his/her cell phone, etc]
  • Mood swings
  • Resentments
  • Anger coming out “sideways”
  • Using alcohol or medication yourself as a means of coping
  • Feeling lonely
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling trapped 

The Eleven Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder

1.   Alcohol is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended.

2.   There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control alcohol use.

3.   A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain alcohol, use alcohol, or recover from its effects.

4.   Craving, or a strong desire or urge to use alcohol. 

5.   Recurrent alcohol use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home.

6.   Continued alcohol use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of alcohol.

7.   Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of alcohol use.

8.   Recurrent alcohol use in situations in which it is physically hazardous.

9.   Alcohol use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by alcohol.

10.  Tolerance, as defined by either of the following: a) A need for markedly increased amounts of alcohol to achieve intoxication or desired effect b) A markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of alcohol.

11.  Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following: a) The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for alcohol (refer to criteria A and B of the criteria set for alcohol withdrawal) b) Alcohol (or a closely related substance, such as a benzodiazepine) is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.

The presence of at least 2 of these symptoms indicates an alcohol use disorder (AUD). The severity of an AUD is graded mild, moderate, or severe:

  • Mild: The presence of 2 to 3 symptoms
  • Moderate: The presence of 4 to 5 symptoms
  • Severe: The presence of 6 or more symptoms

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