Alcohol And Your Health: How Much Do You Know?

Kathleen Maio | Feb 16, 2018 Feb 21, 2018

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The official medical diagnosis for "alcoholism" is:
  1. 0 Alcohol abuse
  2. 0 Risky drinking
  3. 0 Alcohol misuse
  4. 1 Alcohol use disorder
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Answer: 4. Problem drinking that becomes severe is given the medical diagnosis of "alcohol use disorder" or AUD. AUD is a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol intake, and a negative emotional state when not using.

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  1. 1

    The official medical diagnosis for "alcoholism" is:

    Correct Answer: Alcohol use disorder

    Answer: 4. Problem drinking that becomes severe is given the medical diagnosis of "alcohol use disorder" or AUD. AUD is a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol intake, and a negative emotional state when not using.

  2. 2

    How many American adults have alcohol use disorder?

    Correct Answer: 1 in 15

    Answer: 2. About 15 million people in the United States have AUD. Approximately 6 percent or 14.6 million adults in the United States ages 18 and older had AUD in 2016. This includes 9.2 million men and 5.4 million women. Adolescents can be diagnosed with AUD as well and in 2016, an estimated 488,000 adolescents ages 12-17 had AUD.

  3. 3

    Which of the following is a symptom of alcohol use disorder?

    Correct Answer: All of the above.

    Answer: 5. To be diagnosed with AUD, individuals must meet certain criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Under DSM-5, the current version of the DSM, anyone meeting any two of the 11 criteria during the same 12-month period receives a diagnosis of AUD. The severity of AUD-mild, moderate, or severe-is based on the number of criteria met. To see the complete list of symptoms visit the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

  4. 4

    True or false: 90 percent of people with alcohol use disorder do not receive any form of treatment.

    Correct Answer: True

    True. Only one in 10 people with alcohol use disorder receives any form of treatment. The latest science shows that AUD can cause lasting changes in the brain. That's why AUD is best treated by a health professional. The good news is that effective treatment can help the brain recover, while giving people with alcohol problems the skills and support they need to sustain their recovery.

  5. 5

    True or false: A shot of hard liquor has more alcohol than a can of beer.

    Correct Answer: False

    False. Despite being different sizes, a 1.5-ounce shot of distilled spirits (80 proof) has the same amount of alcohol as a 12-ounce beer - both count as one "standard" drink. In the United States, a "standard" drink is any drink that contains about 0.6 fluid ounces or 14 grams of "pure" alcohol.

  6. 6

    True or false: There are medications available to treat alcohol use disorder.

    Correct Answer: True

    True. Three medications have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help people with AUD stop or reduce their drinking and avoid relapse: naltrexone, acamprosate, and disulfiram. All of these medications are non-addictive. They are designed to help manage a chronic disease, just as someone might take medications to keep their asthma or diabetes in check. Naltrexone works by blocking the receptors in the brain that are involved in craving alcohol or the rewarding effects of drinking. It comes either as a pill that is taken daily, or as an injection that can be given once per month. Acamprosate is prescribed to help people with AUD maintain abstinence from alcohol by alleviating some negative symptoms of prolonged abstinence. It is a pill that is taken three times per day. Disulfiram is a pill that causes unpleasant symptoms such as nausea and flushing of the skin when a person drinks. Wanting to avoid those unpleasant effects can help some people refrain from drinking.

  7. 7

    How many drinks are in a regular bottle of table wine?

    Correct Answer: 5 standard drinks

    Answer: 3. A regular bottle of table wine (750 mL) at 12 percent alcohol by volume contains about five standard drinks. Learn more about standard drink sizes and the number of servings in common containers at Rethink Drinking.

  8. 8

    True or false: A 140-pound woman will have the same blood alcohol content as a 140-pound man after drinking the same amount over the same time period.

    Correct Answer: False

    False. Alcohol disperses in body water and, pound-for-pound, women have less water in their bodies than men. So after a man and woman of the same weight drink the same amount of alcohol, the woman's blood-alcohol concentration will tend to be higher, putting her at greater risk for harm. Research shows that women start to have alcohol-related problems at lower drinking levels than men.

  9. 9

    True or false: If you're able to "hold you liquor," you're at lower risk of developing alcohol use disorder.

    Correct Answer: False

    False. For some people, it takes quite a few drinks to get a buzz or feel relaxed. Often they are unaware that being able to "hold your liquor" isn't protection from alcohol problems, but instead a reason for caution. They tend to drink more, socialize with people who drink a lot, and develop a tolerance to alcohol. As a result, they have an increased risk for developing alcohol use disorder.

  10. 10

    True or false: Having biological family members with alcohol use disorder indicates you may be at a higher risk of developing AUD yourself.

    Correct Answer: True

    True. Many scientific studies - both family-based studies including adoption and twin studies, and population-based studies - have shown that genetic factors may account for about half an individual's risk for developing AUD. However, alcohol use disorder is complex, multifactorial, and thus is not determined only by inherited genetics - environmental factors play an important role as well.

  11. 11

    True or false: Alcohol is the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States.

    Correct Answer: True

    True. An estimated 88,000 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. The first is tobacco, and the second is poor diet and physical inactivity.

  12. 12

    True or false: A typical pina colada can have more calories than two donuts.

    Correct Answer: True

    True. A standard 9-ounce pina colada packs 490 calories, according to NIAAA's Alcohol Calorie Calculator, as much as two donuts.

  13. 13

    True or false: Many light beers have almost as much alcohol as regular beer.

    Correct Answer: True

    True. "Light" beers aren't always light on alcohol - many have about 85 percent as much, or 4.2 percent versus 5 percent alcohol by volume (alc/vol), on average.

  14. 14

    Which of these is a symptom of alcohol overdose?

    Correct Answer: All of the above.

    Answer: 4. Alcohol overdose occurs when there is so much alcohol in the bloodstream that areas of the brain controlling basic life-support functions - such as breathing, heart rate, and temperature control - begin to shut down. Symptoms of alcohol overdose include confusion; difficulty remaining conscious; vomiting; seizures; trouble with breathing; slow heart rate; clammy skin; dulled responses, such as no gag reflex (which prevents choking); and extremely low body temperature. If you suspect someone is experiencing an alcohol overdose, get medical help immediately. Cold showers, hot coffee, or walking will not reverse the effects of alcohol overdose and could actually make things worse. Left untreated, alcohol overdose can lead to permanent brain damage or death.