What Is the Difference Between EtOH Abuse and Alcohol Use Disorder?

You may have heard the terms being used interchangeably, but what is the difference between “ethyl alcohol (EtOH) abuse” and “alcohol use disorder (AUD)”? If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, we can help at BlueCrest Recovery. Contact our team online or call 888.292.9652 today to learn more about alcohol abuse treatment.

What Is the Difference Between EtOH Abuse and Alcohol Use Disorder?

All alcoholic drinks contain ethanol or ethyl alcohol, meaning the terms “EtOH” and “alcohol” really are interchangeable. The difference exists in the use of “abuse” and “use disorder.”

When you’re considering EtOH abuse vs. AUD, you want to remember that abuse can lead to an alcohol use disorder. Alcohol abuse refers to excessive drinking, meaning eight or more drinks per week for women and 15 or more drinks per week for men. It’s possible to abuse alcohol without struggling with an alcohol use disorder.

Signs of Alcohol Abuse

Signs of EtOH abuse include:

  • Drinking to the point of blacking out
  • Binge drinking
  • Making excuses about alcohol consumption
  • Drinking large quantities with the intent of getting drunk

Although EtOH abuse doesn’t always lead to a use disorder, it can easily do so. This is because of the structural changes alcohol makes to the brain.

An alcohol use disorder involves a dependence on drinking that affects all aspects of your life. You can find yourself thinking about drinking and even forgoing your favorite activities in favor of drinking. An alcohol use disorder makes it impossible to stop drinking despite the negative consequences alcohol consumption causes.

Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder

Signs of an alcohol use disorder include:

  • Powerful cravings
  • Being unable to cut down on your drinking
  • Drinking more than intended
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Drinking in situations when it’s dangerous (i.e. while driving)
  • Neglecting duties

The human brain is wired to want to repeat pleasurable experiences, and drinking alcohol floods your system with dopamine, making you feel good. Your brain takes this as a sign that you will want to experience that again, so it causes cravings.

Once you become dependent on alcohol, you are no longer able to feel pleasure with anything other than drinking. If you stop drinking, you also begin to experience withdrawal symptoms because your body can’t regulate itself without it.

About Alcohol Abuse and Addiction Treatment Programs

If you struggle with an alcohol use disorder, turning to a treatment program offers the chance to get sober. At our center, we provide various outpatient options that can cater to your needs.

For those who are just starting the recovery process, we recommend our partial hospitalization program (PHP). Our PHP provides hours of individual and group therapy sessions without requiring that you stay overnight at our facilities.

We also offer an intensive outpatient program (IOP). This program requires fewer treatment hours so that you can start applying what you learn during your sessions to your daily life.

Standard outpatient treatment programs are another option we offer. They offer fewer treatment hours but encourage you to focus on relapse prevention and joining 12-step programs.

As part of all of our programs, we offer individual therapy sessions that address the causes of addiction using evidence-based therapies. Group sessions are also vital since they allow you to meet with others who are battling addictions.

Addiction affects everyone around you, so we also offer family therapy sessions. These help with the process of rebuilding trust.

Get Alcohol Abuse and Addiction Treatment at BlueCrest Recovery

You don’t have to struggle with an alcohol addiction when you can get help. At BlueCrest Recovery, we provide the guidance you need to get and stay sober. With treatment options that don’t require you to stay at our facilities overnight, there’s no reason to avoid starting your recovery. Contact BlueCrest Recovery online or call 888.292.9652 today to learn more.

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