Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (cont.)
Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD
Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Alcoholism and alcohol abuse facts
- What is alcohol abuse?
- What is alcoholism?
- What differentiates alcohol abuse from alcoholism?
- What are risk factors for alcoholism?
- What causes alcoholism? Is alcoholism hereditary?
- What are alcohol abuse and alcoholism symptoms and signs in teenagers, women, men, and the elderly?
- How is alcoholism diagnosed?
- What are the stages of alcoholism?
- What is the treatment for alcoholism?
- What medications treat alcoholism?
- How can you tell if someone has a drinking problem?
- Can an alcoholic just cut back or stop drinking?
- Is there a safe level of drinking?
- Is it safe to drink alcohol while pregnant?
- How can someone find more information or get help or support to treat alcohol abuse and alcoholism?
- What are the long-term physical and psychological effects of alcohol abuse and alcoholism?
- What is codependency and what is the treatment for codependency?
- Can alcoholism be prevented?
- What is the prognosis of alcoholism?
- Find a local Psychiatrist in your town
How can you tell if someone has a drinking problem?
Signs of a drinking problem include behaviors like drinking for the purpose of getting drunk; drinking alone or keeping it secret; drinking to escape problems; hiding alcohol in odd places; getting irritated when you are unable to obtain alcohol to drink; and having problems at work, school, home, or legally as a result of your drinking. Other warning signs of alcohol abuse include losing interest in activities you used to enjoy, having blackouts because of heavy drinking, and getting annoyed when loved ones say you may have a drinking problem. Behaviors that may indicate that a person is suffering from alcohol dependence include being able to drink more and more alcohol, trouble stopping once you start drinking, powerful urges to drink, and having withdrawal symptoms like nervousness, nausea, shaking, or having cold sweats when you don't have a drink.
Can an alcoholic just cut back or stop drinking?
While some people with alcohol dependence can cut back or stop drinking without help, most are only able to do so temporarily unless they get treatment. Individuals who consume alcohol in lower amounts and tend to cope with problems more directly are more likely to be successful in their efforts to cut back or stop drinking without the benefit of treatment.
Is there a safe level of drinking?
Recent research describes potential health benefits of consuming alcohol, including decreased risk of heart disease, stroke, and dementia. Given that, it is fair to say that low intake, along the lines of 4-8 ounces of wine per day, is likely safe.
Viewers share their comments
- Submit »
Find out what women really need.