Alcohol Self Assessment

Almost empty mug of beer and cigarette burning in ashtray uid 1344166Individual drinking habits may be found on a continuum from responsible drinking through alcohol abuse to alcoholism, or physical dependence.

There are many signs that may point to an alcohol problem. Drunkenness on its own or solitary drinking does not necessarily indicate alcoholism. The questionnaire will be meaningful to you only if you are honest with yourself when taking it.

The important question is: Is your use of alcohol creating significant negative consequences in your life?

  • Do you sometimes drink heavily after a setback or an argument, or when you receive a poor grade?
  • When you experience trouble or are undergoing stress, do you always drink more heavily than usual?
  • Can you handle more liquor now than you could when you first began drinking?
  • Have you ever awakened the “morning after” and found that you could not remember part of the evening before, even though your friends said that you didn’t pass out?
  • When drinking with others, do you try to have just a few additional drinks when they won’t know of it?
  • Are there times when you feel uncomfortable if alcohol isn’t available?
  • Have you noticed lately that when you start drinking you’re in more of a hurry to get to the first drink than you used to be?
  • Do you sometimes have negative thoughts or feelings about your drinking?
  • Are you secretly irritated when your friends or family discuss your drinking?
  • Do you often want to keep drinking after your friends have said that they’ve had enough?
  • When you’re sober, do you often regret things you have done or said while drinking?
  • Have you tried switching brands or following different plans for controlling your drinking?
  • Have you often failed to keep promises you have made to yourself about controlling or cutting down on your drinking?
  • Do you try to avoid your girlfriend/boyfriend when you are drinking?
  • Are you having an increasing number of school, work, or financial problems?
  • Do more people seem to be treating you unfairly without good reason?
  • Do you eat very little or irregularly when you’re drinking?
  • Do you sometimes have the “shakes” in the morning and find that it helps to have a drink?
  • Have you noticed lately that you cannot drink as much as you once did?

If you can answer “yes” to several of these questions, your drinking is causing problems for you and professional consultation can help prevent problems from getting more intense or numerous. Additionally you may find help at Alcoholics Anonymous.

Some people resolve to curb their drinking and can do so for a time only to have their alcohol problems persist or reoccur. The drinking habits of alcohol abuse or alcoholism can become very entrenched.

Depression, alcoholism take toll on lonely evacuees in Japanese disaster areas

At least once during the daytime, she says she thinks about killing herself.

“Perhaps I had better die,” the woman muttered. “But I want to die in Hirono.”

Cases of depression and alcoholism are rising in number among evacuees of the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and the nuclear accident.

A team of mental care specialists from Kyoto Prefecture treated 262 people at seven evacuation centers, including one in Aizuwakamatsu in Fukushima Prefecture, until July.

The team said 51 evacuees, or 19.5 percent, were suffering from reactive depression.

Toru Ishikawa, president of the Tohokukai Medical Hospital in Sendai, says the survivors of disasters have become more susceptible to depression and alcoholism since moving into temporary housing from evacuation centers. That’s because many of them now live alone.

Full story at; Depression, alcoholism take toll on lonely evacuees in disaster areas – English.

Can You Be Addicted To People?

Can You Be Addicted To People? – EmpowHER.com.

With the recognition of alcoholism as an actual disease that can be passed down both culturally and genetically from one generation to the next, more and more outstanding work has been done to shed light on the numerous causal factors and impact of addiction on people, families, and communities. The sense of shame and hopelessness that people often feel is sometimes a stumbling block as they recognize their problems, but then go through denial and lose sight of how to begin the recovery process.

Full story at Can You Be Addicted To People? – EmpowHER.com.

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  • Alcohol Addiction

    Woman drinking glass of red wine in bar alcoholic? Where does one draw the line between being a social drinker and having an alcohol addiction?

    For many people, the lines aren’t always so clear, especially when everyone around them seems to be binge drinking, drinking on a daily basis or glamorizing alcohol use.

    Social drinking can easily progress into a psychological, or even physical, dependence over time, as it becomes habitually ingrained in our behavioral patterns.

    Suddenly, we drink to be more interesting, drink to make others more interesting, drink for courage in social settings, drink to give ourselves a boost of energy, or drink to cover up negative feelings like pain, depression or anxiety.

    Prior to an addiction to alcohol, there is generally a prolonged time period when the social drinker finds that he or she is drinking more frequently, experiencing more adverse effects and is slightly losing control.

    Alcohol abusers start showing signs like drinking and driving, participating in dangerous activities while under the influence, continuing to drink even when problems with friends or family happen as a result of alcohol consumption and getting into physical fights. Drinking alcohol begins to interfere with not only social relations, but also obligations at work and school, and in some cases, drinking may even land an individual in legal trouble. These are early warning signs that alcohol use is crossing over into alcohol abuse.

    The next stage is alcohol addiction, or as it is sometimes called, alcoholism or alcohol dependency.

    Now the drinker loses all control and the physiological/psychological effects of alcohol surface. Drinkers find that they’re consuming more than they originally intended to, find that they can’t stop or cut back drinking, and find that they need to drink more to get drunk. They may have trouble sleeping, have shaky hands, sweating, nauseousness, nervousness or the feeling of bugs crawling all over them. They likely drink or take medication to avoid hangovers and continue drinking alcohol to cover up sadness, anger or anxiety. The binge drinking bouts become progressively longer and the individual often loses interest in all other hobbies in favor of drinking.

    Full story at Cool Kids Stuff

    See also;

    The Middle Stage of Alcoholism

    Grapes and Wine may cause disease of alcoholism

    The Disease of Alcoholism

    There are, and have been, many theories about alcoholism. The most prevailing theory, and now most commonly accepted, is called the Disease Model.

    Its basic tenets are that alcoholism is a disease with recognizable symptoms, causes, and methods of treatment. In addition, there are several stages of the disease which are often described as early, middle, late, treatment and relapse.

    While it is not essential to fully define these stages, it is useful to understand them in terms of how the disease presents itself.

    This series of articles describes the signs and symptoms of each stage as well as exploring treatment options.

    1. Early or Adaptive Stage
    2. Middle Stage
    3. Late Stage
    4. Treating Alcoholism
    5. Relapse to drinking

    2 – The Middle Stage of Alcoholism

    There is no clear line between the early and middle stages of alcoholism, but there are several characteristics that mark a new stage of the disease.

    Many of the pleasures and benefits that the alcoholic obtained from drinking during the early stage are now being replaced by the destructive facets of alcohol abuse. The drinking that was done for the purpose of getting high is now being replaced by drinking to combat the pain and misery caused by prior drinking.

    One basic characteristic of the middle stage is physical dependence. In the early stage, the alcoholic’s tolerance to greater amounts of alcohol is increasing. Along with this, however, the body becomes used to these amounts of alcohol and now suffers from withdrawal when the alcohol is not present.

    Another basic characteristic of the middle stage is craving. Alcoholics develop a very powerful urge to drink which they are eventually unable to control. As the alcoholic’s tolerance increases along with the physical dependence, the alcoholic loses his or her ability to control drinking and craves alcohol.

    The third characteristic of the middle stage is loss of control. The alcoholic simply loses his or her ability to limit his or her drinking to socially acceptable times, patterns, and places. This loss of control is due to a decrease in the alcoholic’s tolerance and an increase in the withdrawal symptoms. The alcoholic cannot handle as much alcohol as they once could without getting drunk, yet needs increasing amounts to avoid withdrawal.

    Another feature of middle stage alcoholics is blackouts. Contrary to what you might assume, the alcoholic does not actually pass out during these episodes. Instead, the alcoholic continues to function but is unable to remember what he or she has done or has been. Basically, the alcoholic simply can’t remember these episodes because the brain has either stored these memories improperly or has not stored them at all. Blackouts may also occur in early stage alcoholics.

    Impairment becomes evident in the workplace during the middle stage. The alcoholic battles with loss of control, withdrawal symptoms, and cravings. This will become apparent at work in terms of any or all of the following: increased and unpredictable absences, poorly performed work assignments, behavior problems with co-workers, inability to concentrate, accidents, increased use of sick leave, and possible deterioration in overall appearance and demeanor. This is the point where the alcoholic employee may be facing disciplinary action.

    See also;

    1. Early or Adaptive Stage of Alcoholism
    2. Middle Stage
    3. Late Stage
    4. Treating Alcoholism
    5. Relapse to drinking

    Binge Drinking to a Bad Life

    binge drinking The Risks of Teen Binge Drinking

    The aim of this study was to determine outcomes in adult life of binge drinking in adolescence in a national British study over thirty years from 1970.

    PARTICIPANTS:

    A total of 11,622 subjects participated at age 16 years and 11,261 subjects participated at age 30 years.

    MEASUREMENTS:

    At the age of 16 years, data on binge drinking (defined as two or more episodes of drinking four or more drinks in a row in the previous 2 weeks) and frequency of habitual drinking in the previous year were collected. Thirty-year outcomes recorded were alcohol dependence/abuse (CAGE questionnaire), regular weekly alcohol consumption (number of units), illicit drug use, psychological morbidity and educational, vocational and social history.

    FINDINGS:

    In 1970, 17.7% of participants reported binge drinking in the previous 2 weeks at the age of 16 years.

    Adolescent binge drinking predicted an increased risk in adulthood of;

    • adult alcohol dependence 1.6 times average
    • excessive regular consumption 1.7 times
    • illicit drug use 1.4 times
    • psychiatric morbidity 1.4 times average
    • homelessness 1.6 times average
    • convictions 1.9 times average
    • school exclusion 3.9 times average
    • lack of qualifications 1.3 times average
    • accidents 1.4 times average and
    • lower adult social class, after adjustment for adolescent socioeconomic status and adolescent baseline status of the outcome under study.

    These findings included both adolescent binge drinking and habitual frequent drinking as main effects.

    CONCLUSIONS:

    Adolescent binge drinking is a risk behaviour associated with significant later adversity and social exclusion.

    These associations appear to be distinct from those associated with habitual frequent alcohol use.

    Binge drinking may contribute to the development of health and social inequalities during the transition from adolescence to adulthood.

    Research report; J Epidemiol Community Health. 2007 Oct;61(10):902-7. Adult outcomes of binge drinking in adolescence: findings from a UK national birth cohort. Viner RM, Taylor B.

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