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Identifying alcohol abuse disorder, ways to get help

ST. LOUIS, Mo. _Many of us eat too much and maybe drink too much over the holiday season. You may be concerned about a friend or loved one who doesn't "know when to say when"  but it can be hard to know what to do about it.

Dr. Georgee Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism shares tips to identify signs of an alcohol use disorder and ways to get help.

Fact: Alcohol-related problems—which result from drinking too much, too fast, or too often are among the most significant public health issues in the United States.

Fact: Approximately 14.6 million U.S. adults ages 18 and older have an alcohol use disorder, according to a recent national survey. But less than 10 percent of people diagnosed with AUD receive treatment—and even then, it is not always quality treatment.

Fact: An estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the 3rd leading preventable cause of death in the U.S.

Many people love to celebrate during the holidays, family gatherings, office parties, and other celebrations, but some people will drink beyond their limits. Adverse consequences can range from family fights or relationship problems, to embarrassing situations with co-workers or accidents resulting in hospitalization. For people who spend a lot of time drinking—including finding themselves craving alcohol or drinking more to get the same effect—this may be a sign of an ongoing alcohol use disorder AUD.

If you or a loved one has had any issues or struggles with alcohol over the holidays, the start of a new year can be a good time to start off on a healthier note. NIAAA has a new online resource that can help to navigate the often-complicated process of choosing treatment for alcohol problems.

Visit www.Alcoholtreatment.Niaaa.Nih.Gov to learn more.