“There is pain and suffering going on that is undiagnosed – and untreated – simply because it hasn’t really been described or defined.”
~Drs. Robert Doyle, M.D., and Joseph Nowinski, PhD – Almost Alcoholic: Is My (Or My Loved One’s) Drinking a Problem?
Alcohol is the most-used, most-abused, and most destructive addictive intoxicant in the world. According to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2015):
- Over 15 million adults and 623,000 adolescents/teens in America have an Alcohol Use Disorder
- Only 3% of adults and 2.5% of youths who need specialized treatment receive it.
- Approximately 88,000 Americans die every year from alcohol-related causes.
But what about those people who don’t QUITE meet the criteria for a medical diagnosis of an AUD, but whose drinking behaviors have the potential to become significantly problematic in the future?
In some sectors of the recovery industry, these people are known as “almost alcoholics”. The Jellnick Chart outlines the progression of alcoholism.
Similar to Other Chronic Diseases
As you can see, drinking at any stage has the potential to progress further and THAT is why identifying an “almost alcoholic” is so important. With early detection and effective intervention, that progress can be halted.
In this way, AUDs are like other chronic health conditions:
- Glucose Intolerance is often a precursor to diabetes.
- Osteopenia increases the risk of osteoporosis.
- Pre-hypertension may lead to high blood pressure.
In each case, proper treatment and lifestyle changes can keep the “almost” condition from progressing into the more serious illness.
It is the same way with drinking. Your behaviors/genetic propensity NOW may lead to the development of a full-blown AUD LATER. If you are concerned about your – or someone else’s – drinking, contact Lasting Recovery outpatient alcohol rehab in San Diego for a confidential assessment.