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Is Alcohol Use Disorder A Disease?

Alcohol use disorder is a chronic disease that affects the brain. Like most substance use disorders, the causes often relate to biological, environmental, and social factors.

A person with alcohol use disorder has come to rely on alcohol physically, psychologically, and emotionally. The brain adapts to the presence of alcohol and undergoes persistent changes. When alcohol use suddenly stops, the body is not used to being alcohol-free. The internal environment changes drastically, causing symptoms of withdrawal.

If you have any of these symptoms, your drinking may already be a cause for concern. The more symptoms you have, the more serious the problem is. If you think you might have an AUD, see our health care provider for an evaluation. We can help you make a treatment plan, prescribe medicines, and give you treatment referrals if needed.