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The Epidemic of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) Essay

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One of the growing epidemics of young adults in the United States is the dependence and/or abuse of alcohol, which is commonly referred to as alcoholism. The condition is described by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-V, as an alcohol use disorder (AUD), a type of substance abuse disorder, which encompasses both alcohol abuse and dependence. More specifically AUD is defined as, “medical conditions that doctors can diagnose when a patient’s drinking causes distress or harm (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2007).” When the reliance or use of alcohol interferes with daily functioning, or causes greater harm to the one’s self, it can then be looked at as a disorder. According to the DSM-V, patients must exhibit at least two of the eleven criteria to meet the standard for AUD. Along with a list of eleven criteria, there are some common symptoms of alcoholism, or alcohol use disorders. These symptoms are cravings for alcohol, loss of being able to contain drinking, physical dependence and lastly a tolerance build-up (National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2007). This is a very prevalent mental disorder among adults, but the major concern of this study is the development of AUDs in emerging adults, which are classified by the ages 18-25. According to one study, “18- to 25-year-olds had the highest prevalence of past-year alcohol abuse or dependence, with 19.8% of 18- to 25-year-olds meeting criteria for an AUD (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2011).” The dependence and abuse of alcohol of this age group is alarming and has motivated researchers to search for underlying causes of the development of the disorder. Trocmè et al., 2010 previously indicated th...


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Goldstein, A.L., Henriksen, C.A., Davidov, D.M., Kimber, M., Pitre, N.Y., & Afifi, T.O. (2013).
Childhood maltreatment, alcohol use disorders, and treatment utilization in a national sample
of emerging adults. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 185-194.
Nevid, J.S., Rathus, S.A., & Greene, B. (2014). Abnormal Psychology in a Changing World (9th ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2011). Results from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Trocmé, N., Fallon, B., MacLaurin, B., Sinha, V., Black, T., Fast, E.,…Holroyd, J. (2010). Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect 2008: Major Findings. Ottawa, Ontario: Public Health Agency of Canada.



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