Do You have a Drinking Problem?

Accepting that you or someone you care about has a drinking problem is often very difficult. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) recommends answering the following four questions:

  • Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
     
  • Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
     
  • Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
     
  • Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover? 

One "yes" answer suggests a possible alcohol problem. More than one "yes" answer means it is highly likely that a problem exists. If you  think that you or someone you know might have an alcohol problem, it is important to talk with someone about the problem right away. Your doctor, religious leader or other professionals may be able to direct you to the resources you need. They can help you determine if a drinking problem exists and help you plan the best course of action.

Another very simple self-assessment tool is available from Alcoholics Anonymous and has been used by many people to lead them into recovery from alcoholism. The National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence also offers a self-test which provides a measure of the severity of alcohol dependence.

If you feel you need help for yourself or someone close to you in dealing with an alcohol problem, the most important thing you can do is become informed and seek help.

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