Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, that works by slowing down vital functions in one’s body. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) explains that “alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, and can affect the way the brain looks and works.” Alcohol was legalized in America in the 1930s, and since then there are many people who drink alcohol regularly, without any problems. However, there are also many individuals who struggle with alcohol abuse and/ or addiction.
Alcohol Use Disorder
Alcoholism, also known as addiction to alcohol or alcohol use disorder (AUD), is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic brain disorder. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism explains that “alcohol use disorder is a medical condition characterized by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences.” Excessive alcohol abuse can lead to addiction. When referring to a certain number of drinks consumed, it implies one standard drink which, is defined as:
- 12 ounces of regular beer (5% alcohol content)
- 8 – 9 ounces of malt liquor (7% alcohol content)
- 5 ounces of unfortified wine (12% alcohol content)
- 1.5 ounces of 80-proof hard liquor (40% alcohol content)
Excessive alcohol use, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) includes males drinking more than five alcoholic drinks within a two-hour period and females drinking more than four alcoholic beverages within a two-hour window.
When It’s A Problem
Every individual is different, and each person contributes uniqueness to the relationship dynamics that make up a couple. The habits, patterns, and roles in a relationship are often assumed by each party early on. Individuals are constantly evolving, and as each individual changes and develops, so too must their relationship. The threshold for when drinking becomes a problem in a relationship is variable, as everyone is different. However, drinking alcohol can become problematic in a relationship when drinking becomes a central part of the relationship, becomes excessive, or when a member of the relationship has developed alcoholism. Addiction encourages the development and reinforcement of harmful patterns and behaviors that corrode relationships. The nature of this disease is all-encompassing, and therefore individuals struggling with an active addiction are inherently unable to achieve authentic intimacy with others, which can be problematic in a relationship.
For Information and Support
If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-258-6792. You are also welcomed to contact anytime us via email at email@example.com.