6 Things To Know About Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)

The term Alcohol Use Disorder (a.k.a. AUD) may be new, but it describes one of man’s first addictions.

Alcohol overuse has been around since man first started brewing beer some 10,000 years ago.  Severe drinking used to be called alcoholism. Medically speaking, AUD is a chronic, relapsing brain disease. AUD merges the previous definitions of alcohol dependence and abuse to one broad diagnosis.

Alcohol Use Disorder Can Be Mild, Moderate Or Severe

No matter what we call it, alcohol is still the king of addictions. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, alcohol misuse causes more than 88,000 deaths in America each year.

This name reflects a kinder, more politically correct term. It’s based on people first language. For example, Sue is a person who has an alcohol use disorder (AUD). First and foremost, Sue is a person.

Today, we are changing the language to say people suffer from Alcohol Use Disorder. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 16 million Americans suffer from alcohol use disorder.

No matter what we call it, it’s most important to remember a few key facts:

  1. This is a disease.
  2. Individuals with this disease have a compulsive need to drink.
  3. People with this disease may not be able to control their alcohol intake.
  4. When people with this disease are not drinking, they are often in a negative emotional state.
  5. It is dangerous for those who are severely affected by alcohol use disorder to quit drinking “cold turkey.”
  6. However severe the problem may seem, most people can benefit from treatment. They can overcome their alcohol use disorder.


Recovery Guidance lists several hospitals and centers capable of helping you detox. You can find them by clicking on the Recovery Centers. Under the Search by Specialization feature, you can scroll down to find the medically assisted detox option.

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