Orleans Parish Coroner, Dr. Dwight McKenna, wants you to know what to do if you are
dependent on alcohol. If you didn’t know, alcohol use disorder is a common and often untreated
condition that is prevalent in the United States. It is a serious disorder that accounts for an
estimated 3.8% of all global deaths and 4.6% of global disability-adjusted life years.
How do you know if you have Alcohol use disorder? Some symptoms include:
1. Consuming larger amounts of alcohol over a longer period than intended
2. Persistent desire or unsuccessful attempts to cut down or control drinking
3. Making a significant effort to use, or recover from alcohol
In moderate-to severe cases, symptoms may include:
1. Cravings or urges to use alcohol
2. Recurrent failure to fulfill major work, school or social obligations
3. Continued alcohol use despite having physical or psychological problems
4. Withdrawal symptoms
Other symptoms can be tremors, insomnia, fatigue, poor concentration, depressed mood, anxiety,
panic attacks, poor appetite, poor balance, memory loss, headache, nausea or vomiting.
Some studies show that both genetic and environmental factors play an important roles in getting
this disease. A family history of excessive alcohol use increases the risk of alcohol disorder.
Alcohol dependence is a chronic disorder that can lead to serious physical and mental health
issues. Here are 10 signs you’re dependent on alcohol:
• Making excuses to drink
• Waking up and drinking
• Eating poorly or not eating
• Being unable to control alcohol intake
• Having a high tolerance
• consuming more to feel the effects of alcohol
• Putting alcohol above personal responsibilities
• Craving alcohol when not drinking
• Withdrawal symptoms (when not drinking) such as sweating, shaking and nausea
•Lapses in memory
The good news is that there is help available. It involves counseling by a healthcare professional. A
detoxification program in a hospital or medical facility is an option for those who need additional
assistance. Medications are available that reduce the desire to drink.
Remember to always drink responsibly!
*National Survey of Drug Use and Health