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10 Questions to see if you have an Alcohol Problem


Tuesday, December 16th, 2008 10 Questions to see if you have an Alcohol Problem

The Festive Season should be full of joy and revelry. Most of us drink for socialisation. However, it may be difficult to evaluate when regular use of alcohol has developed into a serious health issue. It is a fact that alcohol misuse causes many social problems.

There is a check list below, answer the questions honestly, to identify whether there is a drink problem.

  • Do you ever worry that you drink too much?
  • Have friends or family expressed concern about you about your drinking habits?
  • Do you find you can drink a lot without becoming drunk?
  • Do you need to drink more to have the same effect?
  • Have you tried to stop drinking, but found that you were unable to for more than a few days?
  • Do you carry on drinking even though it is interfering with your work, family or relationships?
  • Do you need a drink to start the day?
  • Do you get shaky, sweaty or anxious a few hours after your last drink?
  • Have you experienced blanks in your memory, where you can’t remember what happened for a period of hours or days?
  • Is your judgement affected by alcohol, so that you do things that you normally wouldn’t, such as starting fights or arguments, having unprotected sex with strangers or becoming violent.

If you answer yes to a few of these questions, you may need to seek help. Start by seeing your GP for advice and support.

Indeed there are both physical and mental health warnings surrounding alcohol and it’s misuse. Alcohol is addictive. Listed below are key indicators towards alcohol misuse.

Some positive first steps are keep a diary of your drinking - you may be surprised by how much you really do drink, and this can give you the motivation to cut down. It helps if you can talk your plans over with a friend or relative. Do not be ashamed to tell someone. Most real friends will be pleased to help - you may find they have been worried about you for some time.

As indicated previously seek help ie your GP or go for advice to a local alcohol organisation (see below for contact details). If you feel you cannot stop because you get too shaky or restless and jumpy when you try to cut down; your doctor can often help with some medication for a short time. If you still find it very difficult to change then you may need specialist help.

Drinkline - The National Alcohol Helpline
0800 917 8282 - (England and Wales, Mon -Fri, 9am -11pm)
Drinkline offers free, confidential information and advice on alcohol.

Alcoholics Anonymous
Helpline: 0845 769 7555; email: helpline@alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk
Contact details for all English AA meetings. There is a quiz to determine whether AA is the right type of organisation for an individual, and a frequently asked question section about AA and alcoholism.

Al-Anon Family Groups UK and Eire
Helpline: 020 7403 0888 (10am -10pm, 365 days a year); email: enquiries@al-anonuk.org.uk
Support group for friends and families of alcoholics. Includes a frequently asked questions section, pamphlets and other literature, and information on group meetings in the UK.

Alcohol Concern
Tel: 020 7928 7377; email: contact@alcoholconcern.org.uk
This site provides information and articles on a range of topics surrounding alcoholism. Includes 18 excellent factsheets crammed with information that would be very useful for professionals such as Alcohol and the Law and Drink-drive accidents, a search engine, and a good list of alcohol related links.

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