Diagnosis of problem drinking
If you think that alcohol may be affecting you, ask yourself how much, when, where and how often you drink. You may also ask yourself the following specific questions:
- Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
- Have people annoyed you by criticising your drinking?
- Has your drinking caused you health problems?
- Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
- Are your close relationships affected by your drinking?
- Have you ever had a drink in the morning to get rid of a hangover (known as an “hair of the dog”)?
- Has drinking ever caused you to ‘Blackout’? or no recollection of what happerned?
- Have you ever lost a job because of your drinking?
- Have you ever been arrested because of your drinking?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions then it’s probable that you have a drinking problem.
Individuals may engage in alcohol abuse at different times in their lives as an ‘escape’ from emotional, financial, legal, social and employment issues. However this ‘escape’ can and often does cause the above problems. Alcoholic dependency is not necessarily a daily event and can involve sporadic binge drinking.
It is the individuals inability to consistently drink in moderation.
Alcoholism, also known as alcohol dependence or alcohol addiction has a variety of psychological effects on individuals and can increase anxiety, depression, memory loss and dementia. It can also lead to sleeping problems, mood-swings, violence and suicide.
It is a progressive degenerative disease that can lead to a variety of physiological changes such as; high blood pressure, impotence, infertility, gastritis, pancreatic, some cancers, seizures, liver, brain and heart damage.
The addiction to alcohol is often associated with the following four symptoms:
- Craving— A strong need, or urge, to drink.
- Loss of control—Not being able to stop drinking once drinking has begun.
- Physical dependence—Withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shaking and anxiety after stopping drinking.
- Tolerance—The need to drink greater amounts of alcohol to get “high.”