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Understanding alcohol use disorders and their treatment

Alcohol use disorders cause people to drink excessively, putting both themselves and others at danger. This fact sheet’s questions and answers describe alcoholism and the ways in which psychologists can aid in recovery.

Moderate alcohol use is generally considered to be risk-free for most individuals, defined as no more than two drinks per day for males and one for women and older people. (A “drink” consists of 0.5 ounces of alcohol and 1.5 ounces of spirits, 5 ounces of wine, or 12 ounces of beer.

However, moderate consumption is at one end of a spectrum that extends from alcohol abuse to alcohol dependence:

Alcohol abuse is a drinking pattern that results in significant and recurrent adverse consequences. Alcohol abusers may fail to fulfill major school, work, or family obligations. They may have drinking-related legal problems, such as repeated arrests for driving while intoxicated. They may have relationship problems related to their drinking.

Alcoholism is the condition in which a person no longer has reliable control over their alcohol consumption. It doesn’t matter what kind or even how much alcohol someone consumes: When they start drinking, persons with alcoholism frequently find it difficult to stop. 

Even mild to moderate alcohol problems inflict significant harm to people, their families, and the community, despite the fact that severe alcohol problems receive the majority of public attention.

6.2% of persons in the United States who were 18 and older had an alcohol use problem, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

1 According to a government survey, for instance, one in five people between the ages of 12 and 20 already use alcohol, while one in five young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 binge drink, and one in ten severe drinkers.

Causes of alcohol-related disorders:

Genetic, physiological, psychological, and social variables are only a few of the causes of problem drinking. Each cause has a different impact on different people. Some alcoholics engage in problematic drinking because of psychological characteristics like impulsivity, low self-esteem, and a need for approval. Some people use alcohol as a coping mechanism or “medication” for emotional issues. Peer pressure and the accessibility of alcohol are two examples of social and environmental factors that can be important. The likelihood of becoming dependent on alcohol is further increased by poverty and physical or sexual abuse.

Some persons are particularly susceptible to alcohol dependence due to genetic factors. Contrary to popular belief, being able to “hold your liquor” actually makes you more likely to develop alcoholism than less likely. However, a family history of alcoholism does not guarantee that children will have the same issues as they get older. Additionally, it’s not always a guarantee that kids won’t experience drinking issues if their families don’t.

Additionally, Melbourne’s Hader Clinic is a specialised centre for drug and alcohol treatment. For individuals seeking drug and alcohol treatment, they provide a medical-psychosocial approach of therapy. They are comprehensive approach addresses every aspect of substance abuse and mental health problems, including: psychologically through exercise and detoxification; emotionally through family therapy; spiritually through mindfulness; psychologically through individual counselling; and socially through group and community therapy.

Their extensive programmes, which include our 28-Day Withdrawal & Detox Program and Outpatient Relapse Prevention, provide inpatient and outpatient rehab care. The residential Melbourne rehab facilities assist patients in ending addiction cycles via the use of these intensive programmes.

Melbourne’s Hader Clinic, alcohol and drug treatment facility also provides a tried-and-true family intervention service to assist families in assisting a loved one with alcohol and drug addiction treatment.


Once someone start drinking too much, the issue could not go away. It may be necessary to drink more in order to alleviate any discomfort brought on by heavy drinking. People who abuse alcohol may do so in part to lessen or prevent withdrawal symptoms.


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