Many people with AUD continue to drink even as they develop health problems related to drinking. Over the long term, AUD may lead to serious health conditions, while worsening others. Daily drinking can have serious consequences for a person’s health, both in the short- and long-term.

what is the difference between alcohol abuse and alcoholism

Moderate alcohol consumption is defined as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. It’s important to note that this does not mean it’s safe or healthy for everyone to consume alcohol, even in moderation. People with certain health conditions or who are taking certain medications should avoid alcohol completely. For example, someone with liver disease or a history of alcoholism should not consume any amount of alcohol.

Find a Drug and Alcohol Abuse Rehab Center in West Virginia

Others use alcohol to cope with psychological issues or stress in their daily lives. Another complication is alcohol withdrawal syndrome, which may occur after you stop drinking and can cause symptoms such as nausea, shaking, and sweating. It can also lead to serious symptoms like seizures, fever, or hallucinations, and can be a medical emergency.

  • We’re going to break it down further, and share why the term “alcohol use disorder,” or “AUD,” is preferred by the medical community and the team at Monument.
  • A person who abuses alcohol may also be dependent on alcohol, but they may also be able to stop drinking without experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
  • The person suffering from this disease will feel like they cannot cope with day to day life without drinking.
  • These symptoms can be severe and may lead to a loss of control over one’s life.

Ten percent of Americans who drink excessively are classified as alcoholics, according to Reuters. Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate the body’s natural healing process and reduce cravings for alcohol. Some studies suggest that acupuncture can help reduce alcohol consumption and improve overall well-being in people with alcohol use disorder. For example, a person in recovery from alcoholism might try acupuncture as a complementary therapy to reduce their cravings for alcohol and improve their mood. Both alcohol abuse and alcoholism can be successfully treated using a combination of therapies, including medications, behavioral therapy, and support groups.

Understanding the Difference Between Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

The definition of AUD also includes the impact that such drinking has on your health and life. Withdrawal symptoms from alcohol dependence can range from irritating to fatal. Anyone struggling to stop drinking alcohol should seek proper supervision, such as a medically supervised detox program.

Our team of addiction medicine experts are compassionate and committed to making addiction treatment accessible, understandable, and affordable. Substance abuse can result when the pattern of  drinking damages the drinker’s health, relationships, what is the difference between alcohol abuse and alcoholism or work. You experience intense cravings to drink alcohol, and find yourself unable to stop drinking even when you want to. Signs of alcoholism can vary from person to person, but there are some common symptoms to look out for.

What’s the Difference Between Binge Drinking and Alcohol Use Disorder?

Alcohol withdrawal can be deadly if not treated and is the most dangerous type of substance withdrawal someone can undergo. When people use this term, they are typically referring to an alcohol use disorder, which is the diagnostic term for alcohol addiction. Alcoholism generally refers to a disease in which a person is unable to stop drinking. People with alcoholism can develop withdrawal symptoms, including seizures. Many symptoms can be managed at home, but moderate to severe withdrawal should be supervised by a healthcare professional and may require inpatient treatment.

If you have a drinking problem, you don’t have to deal with it alone. The specialists at our Northeast addiction treatment center are ready to help you regain control of your life. The CDC recommends no more than 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink per day for women to avoid the risk of harm and chronic disease. Therefore, individuals regularly consuming drinks in excess of these guidelines may be defined as abusing alcohol. You may have also heard of the term “gray area drinking,” which can apply to folks who aren’t sure which of these categories their drinking habits fall into. Taking a closer look into how alcohol is affecting your life can help illuminate if you’re in an unhealthy relationship with drinking.

While alcoholics typically require treatment to stop consuming alcohol, alcohol abusers may be able to choose to limit their consumption based on circumstances like their financial situation. Alcohol abuse occurs when alcohol consumption results in repeated adverse consequences. Essentially any time drinking alcohol has a negative impact on your life, it’s become a problem that requires attention. By implementing these strategies into your daily routine after completing treatment for alcohol abuse or addiction, you can increase your chances of long-term success in maintaining sobriety and avoiding relapse. Remember that recovery is a journey and there may be bumps along the way – but with the right tools and support, you can overcome any obstacle and live a healthy, fulfilling life in sobriety.