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Alcohol | Is It Becoming A Problem?

Alcohol can be great and help us relax - most of us can have a couple of drinks and that be that. However, for some of us that isn’t possible. The Center for Disease Control states that over 15 million people in the United States struggle with an alcohol abuse disorder. The earlier someone gets help the better so it’s important we understand the warning signs of an alcohol abuse disorder.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism provides the following questions that can help assess whether you or a loved one might have an Alcohol Abuse Disorder. In the past year, have you:

  • Had times when you ended up drinking more, or longer than you intended?

  • More than once wanted to cut down or stop drinking, or tried to, but couldn’t?

  • Spent a lot of time drinking? Or being sick or getting over the aftereffects?

  • Experienced craving — a strong need, or urge, to drink?

  • Found that drinking — or being sick from drinking — often interfered with taking care of your home or family? Or caused job troubles? Or school problems?

  • Continued to drink even though it was causing trouble with your family or friends?

  • Given up or cut back on activities that were important or interesting to you, or gave you pleasure, in order to drink?

  • More than once gotten into situations while or after drinking that increased your chances of getting hurt (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in a dangerous area, or having unsafe sex)?

  • Continued to drink even though it was making you feel depressed or anxious or adding to another health problem? Or after having had a memory blackout?

  • Had to drink much more than you once did to get the effect you want? Or found that your usual number of drinks had much less effect than before?

  • Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, you had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, nausea, or sweating? Or sensed things that were not there?

If you or a loved one are displaying any of these symptoms then it may be time to get some help. The more of these symptoms that are displayed, the more urgent the need for help. The best first step is to speak to your primary care doctor who can inform you of local services and refer where needed.

There is help and hope for everyone - for more information visit the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website.

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