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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Adult and Senior Health Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol Abuse

Social drinking is common, but difference between social drinking and alcohol abuse is when alcohol becomes your focus. Increased dependence on alcohol leads to alcoholism, where the person is physically dependent on alcohol and have lost control of the amount you drink.


 Causes of alcohol abuse

  • Family history of alcoholism- interplay btw genetics and environment. If there is a family history of addiction then there is a higher risk for abusing alcohol.
  • History of mental illness: alcohol abuse can worsen mental illness.
  • Stress and tension: stress and tension are important risk factors in alcohol abuse.

 Signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse

  • Drunkenness
  • Drowsiness
  • Behavioral changes
  • Poor judgment
  • Coordination difficulty
  • Difficulty standing
  • Slurred speech
  • Aggression
  • Inappropriate sexual behavior
  • Oversleeping or difficulty in sleeping
  • Poor attention span
  • Redness of face or cheeks
  • Numbness and tingling sensation of hands and feet
  • Memory problems
  • Coma

 Effects of alcohol abuse

 Health effects of alcohol abuse

 Other complications of alcohol abuse

  • Accidents and falls
  • Hangover
  • Injuries and assaults
  • Homicides
  • Alcohol withdrawal

 What is heavy drinking?

  • Women who has more than 3 drinks every day or 21 drinks per week
  • Man who has more than five drinks every day or 35 drinks per week.

 Treatment of alcohol abuse

  • Getting started
  • Trusted family and friends- trusted family or friends help more in quitting alcohol.
  • Peer support- Peer support groups provide a place to share experiences with alcohol abuse and others experiences in alcohol recovery.
  • Psychological counseling: Counseling with a psychiatrist gives more mental support to individuals and helps in quitting alcohol

 Alcohol addiction treatment programs

Residential treatment

It involves living at a treatment facility while undergoing intensive treatment during the day. Treatment varies from 30- 90 days.

Partial hospitalization

Medical monitoring on an outpatient basis 4-5 hrs per day, for 3-4 days in a week

Intensive outpatient program

Usually meets 2-3 hrs per day in 2-3 days in a week.



Psychiatric counseling is an important part of alcohol de addiction program

Sober living

It’s done after intensive treatment like residential treatment. Sober living homes are comprised of recovering alcoholics and addicts who support each other, and provide an alcohol and also provide a drug free environment.

Brief intervention

It consist several visits to a healthcare professional discussing the harmful effects and health risks of alcohol abuse and strategies and community resources for cutting down.