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Alcohol Abuse

man having difficulty with alcoholThere are several tell tell signs of alcohol abuse, but in this day and age where drinking has become the norm it can be difficult to know whether someone is in trouble. People drink socially or to unwind with a glass of wine during dinner. But there comes a line that is crossed where abuse comes into play and the drinker is at risk of harming themselves and others around them. Alcohol abuse has become a serious problem in this society. According to WebMD, 30% of U.S. adults have experienced alcohol abuse or alcoholism.

So if you are asking if you're guilty of abusing alcohol, then chances are, if you have to ask, then you probably are. What starts out as a social drink or two comes to be habit or binge drinking.

If you're worried about somebody else's alcohol use whether it be too much or too often or both, then you're be prepared. The drinker may be in complete denial.

So the question should be, what are the signs of alcohol abuse and/or alcoholism. Some are easier to spot than others.

Alcohol abuse has a major impact on society causing thousands of innocent deaths every year. Many signs of alcohol abuse are easy to recognize but others are harder to detect because over time, alcohol takes its toll on and can do extensive damage to almost every system in the body.

Alcohol abusers would be people who clearly drink too much on a regular basis. They drink without dependence. The drinker's actions can become self-destructive or dangerous to others but still maintain a certain level of control over their drinking.


Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?

Have others been critical about your drinking or shown concern that you may have a problem?

Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking? Or has alcohol ever been the source of exacerbating situations involving domestic violence or a violent crime.

Do you drink regularly to relax, relieve anxiety or to fall asleep. Do you drink in order to feel comfortable in a social environment; or to drown your sorrows or to avoid thinking about sad or stressful things?

Have you ever driven while under the influence of alcohol or operating machinery?

Have you ever worried about not having enough alcohol to get through and evening or weekend?

Have you hid alcohol or buy it at different stores so people don't know how much you drink?

Ever drink first thing in the morning to get going, or to get rid of a hangover?

Have you ever switched from one kind of drink to another in order to keep from getting too drunk?

Do you try to get extra drinks at social engagements or sneak drinks when you believe others are not looking.

Have you ever not remembered conversations or larger stretches of time commonly referred to as blackouts?

Are you losing interests in activities that once were pleasurable.

Do you have a lack of discipline? Won't follow rules? Do you find you can't complete household chores, school assignments or work duties? Can't you keep appointments or commitments?

Do you have a strong overwhelming desire to drink at specific times or triggered by conditions in the environment.

Do you have mood swings - the drinker may be happy one moment and angry and violent the next. Or passive and withdrawn one minute and the life of the party the next.

Have you tried more than once to cut down or stop and found you could not.

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Do you crave alcohol?

Have you loss control and find that you can not stop drinking?

When you don't drink, do you experience withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, sweating, shakiness and a general anxiety after stopping drinking?

Do you find you need to drink more consuming larger quantities of alcohol without apparent intoxication. Or switching to different drinks or types of alcohol to get intoxicated?

Continue to drink even though it causes health issues or make pre-existing ones worse?

Do you have a tendency to drink more than intended or unable to stop drinking once you start.

Do you schedule your day around drinking.

Do you drinking alone or in secret.

As a parent of a teenager, you need to be especially alert to signs of drinking in your child. They're bodies are still growing and changing and their brains are still developing which drinking alcohol may inhibit.

One great reason to be diligent on making sure your child doesn't drink is this quote from Joseph A. Califano, Jr., Chairman and President, The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, "A child who reaches age 21 without smoking, abusing alcohol or using drugs is virtually certain never to do so."

According to research by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, adolescents who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin drinking at age 21.

It's been estimated that over three million teenagers are alcoholics.

A lack of parental support, monitoring and real communication with their kids has been significantly related to drinking among adolescents.

Parents should look for these signs:
Slurred speech
Smell of alcohol on breath or clothes
Poor coordination
Difficulty waking up in the morning (hangover)
Excessively thirsty in the morning
Signs of child having thrown up
Strange mood


Exacerbating: making worse.

Moderation: the quality of being moderate; restraint; avoidance of extremes or excesses; temperance.



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