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Could You Have an Alcohol Problem?

It’s not always easy to identify someone who struggles with alcohol use—even when that person is the one in the mirror. Drinking too much places you in danger of consequences ranging from accidents to chronic diseases to losing jobs and relationships. Admitting you have a problem marks the first step toward improving your health and your life.

Take This Self-Test

Moderate drinkers consume an average of one drink per day for women and two for men. Their weekly totals reach no more than seven beverages if they’re female and 14 among males.

Ask yourself whether you regularly exceed these limits, or whether you have:

  • Experienced problems at home, school or work due to drinking.
  • Ended up drinking more than you planned or tried unsuccessfully to cut back.
  • Needed to drink much more than you used to in order to feel the same effects.
  • Felt withdrawal symptoms when the effects of alcohol start wearing off, such as restlessness, sweating, shakiness or nausea.
  • Felt anxious or depressed because of your drinking.

If you answer “yes” to one or more of these questions, your relationship with alcohol seems to interfere with the rest of your life. Consider taking steps to quit or cut back.

Create Your Support Team

Only you can decide you’re ready to change your relationship with alcohol. But talking with a doctor or other healthcare professional can help you assess your drinking habits and decide a course of action.

Coming to grips with an alcohol problem often takes time. Even after you decide to make a change, you may have mixed emotions. In fact, many people have to choose quitting more than once.

Family members and friends can support you when you’ve made your decision. Explain your goals and request help in specific ways. For instance, ask them to refrain from using alcohol around you and to give you encouragement, rather than criticism.

If you are concerned or have questions about your alcohol use, be sure speak candidly with your primary care provider or other trusted healthcare professional. Make an appointment with us today.

Sources

Fact Sheets- Alcohol Use and Your Health.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Rethinking Drinking: Alcohol and Your Health.” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health. 

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