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Abuse Of Alcohol

AMBULATORY CARE:

Alcohol abuse

is when you drink large amounts of alcohol often to change your mood or behavior.

Common signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse include:

  • Loss of balance or numbness that causes you to injure yourself and not realize it
  • Slurred or fast speech
  • Blackouts or seizures
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes
  • Large, swollen abdomen

Call 911 for any of the following:

  • You have sudden chest pain or trouble breathing.
  • You have a seizure or have shaking or trembling.
  • You feel sad or angry enough to harm yourself or others.
  • You were in an accident because of alcohol.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have hallucinations (you see or hear things that are not real).
  • You cannot stop vomiting or you vomit blood.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You need help to stop drinking alcohol.
  • You have trouble with family members or loved ones, work, or school because you drink too much alcohol.
  • You get into fights because of alcohol.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Treatment for alcohol abuse

may include any of the following:

  • Vitamin supplements , such as vitamin B1, help you get the nutrients your body needs. Vitamins may also help prevent alcohol related brain damage.
  • Brief intervention therapy helps you set goals to decrease the amount of alcohol you drink. A healthcare provider meets with you to discuss ways to control your risky behaviors, such as drinking and driving.

Avoid alcohol:

You should stop drinking entirely, or at least decrease the amount you drink. Alcohol can damage your brain, heart, and liver. It also increases your risk for injury, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancer. Alcohol is dangerous when you combine it with certain medicines.

Do not drive if you have had alcohol:

Make sure someone who has not been drinking can help you get home.

Manage stress:

Learn ways to manage stress. Deep breathing, meditation, and listening to music may help you cope with stressful events. Talk to your healthcare provider about other ways to manage stress.

Get support:

Most people need support to stop or decrease the amount of alcohol they drink. Mental health providers, support groups, rehabilitation centers, and your healthcare provider can provide support.

For more information:

  • Alcoholics Anonymous
    Web Address: http://www.aa.org

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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