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NIAAA launches tool to diagnose alcohol addiction

Posted on 01-11-2018 Posted in Alcohol Abuse - 0 Comments

NIAAA launches tool to diagnose alcohol addiction

In the light of the growing number of cases of alcohol abuse and addiction, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), one of the establishments under the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has taken an innovative step to fight the crisis. The NIAAA has launched a website to help people assess their dependence on alcohol. The online tool can be used to evaluate whether one needs to seek assistance for alcohol addiction as well as the most suitable treatment for the person.

After defining alcohol use disorder (AUD) – “a condition that health care professionals diagnose when a patient’s drinking pattern causes significant distress or harm” – the website invites participants to answer a few questions to help them determine their level of alcohol abuse. The assessment process has been kept simple to encourage maximum number of users.

How urgent the treatment is?

The survey includes questions related to the symptoms of drinking disorder. Some of the questions asked include whether the participant has spent a lot of his/her time during the past year drinking, being sick or getting over the aftereffects. Another question asked is whether the participants would continue drinking even if it made them feel depressed, anxious or added to their health problems, etc. If an individual answers “yes” to most of the questions or displays  major symptoms of alcoholism, then it concludes that he/she is in an urgent need to seek intervention.

NIAAA Director George Koob said, “We now know that there’s a full spectrum in alcohol use disorder.” A lot of people struggling with an AUD do not know where to seek treatment or support from, he added. In fact, 90 percent of such adults do not receive any treatment.

Alcohol addiction rising at alarming rates

Alcohol addiction has always been a major concern among Americans. With easy availability and lack of awareness of the consequences, more and more people are falling prey to its dependence. Recent years have seen an alarming rate of growth in the number of problem drinkers.

This has been substantiated by a study, published in the journal Jama Psychiatry in September 2017. According to the study, the overall prevalence of alcohol use during a 12-month period saw an increase of 11 percent between 2002 to 2013. Moreover, high-risk drinking increased by 30 percent, and AUD, as defined by the fourth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-4), by almost 50 percent. High-risk drinking refers to an individual having four or more alcoholic drinks a day. The increase was observed throughout the American population.

Treatment can help

Experts suggest that individuals battling an AUD can benefit immensely from timely intervention. Therefore, it is important for an alcoholism patient to seek the right kind of help at the earliest. While there are a number of treatment options available, the most suitable form of treatment for alcohol addiction depends on an individual’s level and duration of abuse. Some of the common treatment options include medications, counselling sessions, group therapy, etc.

If you or someone you know is looking for a facility that can help you detoxify the harmful effects of alcohol and attain lifelong recovery, Sovereign Health of Florida can help. Get in touch with one of our experts to access our alcohol addiction treatment center near you. Call our 24/7 helpline number or chat online with our representative for more information on our alcohol treatment centers in Florida.

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