What is Alcohol Use Disorder or AUD?

Alcohol use disorder is a chronic and relapsing disease characterized by a pattern of excessive drinking despite the negative effects of alcohol on an individual’s work and social life.

The approach which is generally considered most appropriate to explain AUD is the “bio-psycho-social” approach. In medicine, the bio-psycho-social approach is one that not just focusses on biological factors but systematically considers biological, psychosocial, and social factors and their complex interactions in understanding health, illness, and healthcare delivery.

What are the Symptoms of AUD?

Depending on the range of symptoms AUD may range from mild to severe. Severe AUD is referred to as “Alcohol Dependence Syndrome

AUD generally has multifactorial pathogenesis with various clinical manifestations like

  • Mental and behavior disorders
  • Internal medicine diseases
  • Neurological and psychiatric problems

Most often, AUD is also associated with co-occurring psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder and cluster B personality disorder. Such psychiatric problems if gone unidentified and untreated might impair the AUD treatment.

How can we treat AUD?

Hence model of treatment should be integration of physicians, psychologists and psychiatrists on a panel so that they may work out together to develop diagnosis and treatment schedules.

As far as pharmacological interventions are concerned , approved medicines for treatment of AUD are:

  • Disulfiram : It acts by causing unpleasant symptoms upon drinking alcohol such as nausea and skin flushing. Once you are aware of the fact that drinking may cause unpleasant effect may help you stay away from alcohol.
  • Naltrexone : it acts by blocking the receptors in your brain that makes you feel good when you drink alcohol.
  • Acamprosate: It acts on multiple brain systems to reduce cravings, especially just after you have quit smoking.

But apart from pharmacological interventions psychological interventions cannot be given a back seat in AUD treatment. For treating AUD rehabilitation center may be helpful to a large extent. One such rehabilitation center is Tulasi Healthcare, located at sector 64, Gurgaon. The treatment for AUD is available with us, which is highly structured and includes different kinds of behavioral therapies. We at our center apart from giving detox medicines, also apply behavioral therapies such as “motivation enhancement therapy”, “cognitive behavior therapy”, “dialectical behavior therapy” and “family therapy” or couple counselling. For more information you may call us at 8800000255 or mail us at [email protected].

How does Psychotherapy help in AUD Management?

Since by now we have completely understood psychological interventions are best offered in specialty addiction treatment programs provided inside some specialty unit or rehabilitation center. Here in these centers in addition to providing the pharmacological treatment doctors also refer their patients for psychological interventions.

COUNSELLING or talk therapy with a professional who is dedicated to help the patient stop their alcohol use. There are different counselling techniques which are scientifically proven. Examples are, motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioural therapy, contingency management and twelve step facilitations.

GROUP THERAPY –in this type of therapy patients are brought together on regular basis to discuss alcohol use and efforts at maintaining abstinence. Patients by using their own experiences, can confront other patients behaviour as peers. Patients may find it beneficial to connect with support groups like Alcohol Anonymous(AA).

FAMILY AND COUPLE COUNSELLING –family counselling and partners counselling have proven very fruitful proposed if done under proper circumstances.

SELF-HELP PROGRAMS – are popularly known as 12 step programs for they feature twelve steps that participants take in their process of recovery from AUD. While 12 step program is generally well-known there are other programs which are prevalent too like SMART recovery, women for sobriety and moderation management.

How AUD affects the quality of life?

AUD also has a negative impact on patient’s quality of life and that of family and friends too. As world health organization defines that health is not only absence of disease but also a state of physical, mental and social well-being. So the quality of life should be improved talking these parameters in mind.

What if AUD gets relapsed?

The cravings for drink once patient has acquired sobriety are often connected to relapse and lack of adherence to treatment. The cravings for drink is directly proportional to the amount of alcohol drunk, the stronger the craving the higher will be the alcohol consumption. Studies have shown a combination of pharmacological and psychological interventions, are effective in reducing the cravings and letting the patient “to adhere to treatment” for long. As far as psychological interventions are concerned in people who have AUD “the motivation to change” has a big role which may facilitate in quitting alcohol. Apart from it other psychological tools such as cognitive behavior therapy may help to identify the feelings and situations that can lead to heavy drinking.