AUD can affect people of all ages including adolescents. Symptoms are different for everyone, though common threads exist. These include:

    
  • Increase in amount of alcohol that is being consumed to try to reach same effects
  • Inability to stop or limit drinking despite associated problems
  • Significant amount of time doing activities to obtain or use alcohol
  • Craving or urge to use alcohol
  • Repeated home, school, or work problems
  • Difficulty in relationships with family members, friends, and coworkers
  • Missing previously favored activities in order to drink alcohol or recover from alcohol
  • Alcohol use even if it creates physically unsafe situations or leads to legal trouble
  • Alcohol use that continues even when it causes or worsens health problems
  • Dependence may also cause physical symptoms (withdrawal) when alcohol is stopped. Withdrawal may cause:

        
  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorientation
  • Seizures that may result from delirium tremens (DTs)
  • Complications Associated with AUD

    Complications of AUD cover a wide range of personal, family, social, and health problems, such as:

        
  • Accidents and injury—including motor vehicle accidents and falls
  • Violence, murder, and suicide
  • Domestic violence
  • Family problems
  • Failed relationships
  • Lost jobs
  • Problems with the law, including drunk driving arrests and jail time
  • Some common physical problems associated with AUD include:

        
  • Red palms, flushed face
  • Spidery veins showing through the skin around the umbilicus and on the face
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Yellowing of the whites of the eyes and/or skin—jaundice, which indicates liver problems
  • Enlarged liver and/or spleen
  • Nausea, bloating, indigestion, and ulcers
  • Pancreatitis
  • Easy bruising and/or bleeding
  • Peripheral neuropathy or nerve damage, which can cause muscle weakness, numbness, or tingling
  • Impaired memory and cognitive function
  • Infertility in both men and women
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Increased susceptibility to infections and cancer
  • Organs That Can Be Damaged by Alcoholism

    si55551355.jpg

    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

    Medical complications include:

        
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Certain cancers, especially of the liver, esophagus, throat, larynx, and pancreas
  • Acute and chronic pancreatitis
  • Liver damage, which can occur with hepatitis and cirrhosis
  • Gastrointestinal problems, such as bleeding, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, ulcers, and inflammation of the esophagus
  • Heart and circulatory problems, including arrhythmias
  • Mental health problems, including depression
  • High blood pressure, which can lead to a hemorrhagic stroke
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Neurological problems and brain damage (with long-term use)
  • Postoperative complications, including infections, bleeding, and delayed healing
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome (in the babies of women who drank during pregnancy)
  • Early death