While there are many people who can occasionally have a drink or two without issue, for others, alcohol causes major problems in their lives. People with alcohol use disorder (AUD) struggle to control their drinking, which negatively impacts several areas of their lives.

Definition of Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcohol use disorder refers to a pattern of unhealthy behavior related to alcohol consumption. People with AUD have difficulty controlling their drinking, are preoccupied with alcohol, use alcohol despite the problems it causes in their lives, have built a tolerance to alcohol, and go through withdrawal when they stop drinking alcohol.

Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) is the handbook used by medical professionals to diagnose mental health conditions. According to the DSM-5, AUD is indicated by the presence of two or more of these symptoms within a 12-month window:

  • Drinking more than intended or for longer than intended
  • Trying to cut down or quit drinking, but not being able to
  • Spending a lot of time doing activities that revolve around alcohol — obtaining it, consuming it, and recovering from using it
  • Frequently craving alcohol or feeling a strong desire to drink
  • Alcohol use that repeatedly causes issues at work, school, and home
  • Alcohol use despite recurring interpersonal issues caused by the effects of drinking
  • Giving up or cutting back on important activities due to alcohol use
  • Repeatedly using alcohol in hazardous situations
  • Using alcohol despite its known impact on a physical or psychological issue
  • Alcohol tolerance, meaning either a need for more alcohol to achieve desired level of intoxication or a diminished effect when drinking the same amount of alcohol
  • Alcohol withdrawal, meaning when you cut back on how much you drink, you experience symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, headache, sweating, anxiety, and insomnia

Do I Have Alcohol Use Disorder?

A medical professional can assess whether or not you meet the diagnostic criteria for AUD, but if you identify with two or more of the symptoms listed above, it may indicate that your drinking is a cause of concern. It may seem like a dire situation, but ultimately, AUD is treatable, and the sooner you consult with an addiction specialist, the better your chances are for going soberHow Our Alcohol Treatment Center in Denver Can Help

At Go Sober, we use a scientific approach to alcohol treatment. People with alcohol use disorder often blame themselves, believing that there is something inherently wrong with them because they can’t resist the urge to drink. In reality, there is a valid, biological reason why they struggle to go sober. It doesn’t matter how much they want to quit; long-term, excessive alcohol consumption changes their brain chemistry, creating a diagnosable medical condition. That is why we use a comprehensive, scientific approach to alcohol use disorder. With a combination of medical treatment, lifestyle changes, and a supportive community in an intensive outpatient program, we are able to work with your life to change your life.

You don’t have to be defined by your alcohol addiction. Contact our outpatient alcohol treatment center in Denver for a free hour-long consultation with one of our knowledgeable addiction specialists. During this confidential, no-obligation meeting, you have a safe space where you can be specific about your struggles with alcohol. In response to your honesty, we will give you candid advice about the best course of treatment for you and how you can stop drinking forever. If you’re interested in learning more, contact us today.


Mayo Clinic
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
American Psychological Association

More From This Category

COVID-19 Quarantine Poses Serious Threat to Those Struggling With Alcohol Abuse

The recent call to stay at home and isolate to halt the spread of Coronavirus hits those struggling with alcohol abuse harder than most. Keep reading to hear from Go Sober co-founder, Greg Hoffman, to learn about how the quarantine can impact those individuals...

It’s Not About “Willpower”: The Science of Alcohol Addiction

By now, you have resolved to stop drinking countless times. You know how much it hurts your loved ones when you drink. You know that it impacts your job performance. You know that your life is at risk due to your drinking. Yet every time you say, “this is my last...

Depression and Alcohol

While it probably won’t hurt to have a glass of wine or a beer with dinner occasionally, turning to alcohol in order to get through your day could be a sign of a more serious problem. Alcohol use, and abuse have continued to have a strong link to depression. Nearly...

What Happens to Your Body When You Quit Drinking?

Alcohol has negatively impacted your life in so many ways that you’re finally ready to go sober. You may be prepared to live a healthier lifestyle, you may be wondering what to expect when you finally do put down the bottle. Here are some things you can expect to...

New Year, Better You

While we’re already a few weeks into the new year of 2020 and you may have skipped out on your resolution to hit the gym more, keep your resolution of living a sober life with Go Sober. Many times, people don’t end up following through with their new year's...

The Relationship Between Alcohol and Mental Health

There is a direct correlation between alcoholism and a decrease in mental health. This is something we know and have heard many times before. However, many do not know what that exactly means and how alcoholism specifically affects the brain. With over three million...

The Physical Effects of Alcohol

We’re all aware of the effects that alcohol has on your brain. The impaired judgment, blurry vision, and slower motor skills are all common effects of alcohol than adults are, for the most part, very familiar with. However, it's important to look at the physical...

The Dangers of Drinking and Driving

As an outpatient alcohol treatment center in Denver, we have seen the way drinking and driving can destroy lives. Many of our patients come to us after an experience with drinking and driving, whether the worst case scenario happened, or they just came close. Putting...

Life Gets Better When You’re Sober

It can seem impossible to imagine a life without alcohol when you’ve been living in a life where alcohol is at the center of your world. You’ve said it so many times before, “This is my last drink”, but sadly that is not usually the case. If you’ve been looking for an...

Fun Things To Do This Weekend That Don’t Involve Alcohol

Weekends are the perfect time to unwind and have fun after a long week of work or school. However, many people associate fun activities with drinking alcohol. While there's nothing wrong with having a drink or two, it's important to remember that there are plenty of...