April 2, 2007
Ways To Recognize Problem Drinking
There are ways to recognize people who have alcohol problems. If you are concerned about your drinking habits or those of someone close to you, here are a few ways to determine if alcohol is indeed a problem:
If you are a woman who has more than seven drinks a week or more than three drinks at a party, bar or celebration, you may be drinking too much.
The same is true for a man who has more than 14 drinks a week or more than four drinks at a party, bar or celebration. For those over 65, more than seven drinks a week or three drinks per occasion could mean you are
drinking too much.
Think that you or a loved one or friend may be in the drinking heavily category?
If you are a woman who is drinking more than three drinks every day or 21 drinks per week, the answer is, “yes.” Men who consume more than five drinks a day or thirty-five a week also fit into the drinking heavily category.
Maybe you are concerned about the risks you or someone who is close to you is taking when you drink. Those who drink and drive are taking risks with the consumption of alcohol.
If you operate heavy machinery or mix alcohol with medications, either over-the-counter or prescription medicines, you are putting yourself and others at risk.
When you don’t tell your pharmacist, doctor, or surgeon that you are a regular drinker, you are taking risks with alcohol. Did you know that even small amounts of alcohol can be dangerous for an unborn child?
If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, you are taking risks every time you drink and even if you are not putting yourself at risk, you are putting your baby in a precarious and dangerous situation.
Drinking has become a habit when you or a loved one uses alcohol to relieve anxiety, relax or to get to sleep. The use of alcohol has become a habit if you consistently drink so that you will feel more comfortable in social situations.
When drinking is used as a way to avoid thinking about unpleasant or sad situations, it may have become a habit. The same is true if you spend quite a bit of time socializing with other drinkers.
There may come a time when the consumption of alcohol begins to take over your life. One sign that this is happening is if you worry about having enough alcohol for the evening or the weekend.
If you hide alcohol or purchase it at various stores so that people won’t know how much alcohol you are consuming you may have reached the point of having alcohol take over your life.
When you are at a social gathering do you try to avoid letting others know how much alcohol you are drinking? Do you attempt to get extra drinks and hope that others will not see you doing it?
If you fit into any of the above categories, it may be time to talk to a doctor or other professional about your alcohol consumption.
There are also self-help and support groups that can offer assistance. Do not feel that you are alone or that you can not stop drinking. The misuse of alcohol can lead to ruined health, the end of relationships and other serious consequences for you and for others.