By: Bethany Winkel
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How Do You Know if You Have a Problem with Alcohol?
Many people use and abuse alcohol, but do not believe they have a real problem with it. Alcoholism is a disease that starts out with alcohol abuse, and before long, the person is addicted and can’t stop drinking.
If you consume alcohol regularly or find yourself thinking about alcohol and craving it when you’re not drinking, you could be at risk for alcoholism. The more you drink, the more likely you are to become dependent on alcohol.
The National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence (NCADD) has developed a self-test that can help you determine if you have a problem with alcohol dependence. The following are just a few of the signs of alcoholism, as described by NCAAD:
- Tolerance: Tolerance means that, over time, you need more alcohol to feel the same effect. Do you drink more than you used to? Do you drink more than other people without showing obvious signs of intoxication?
- Withdrawal: As the effect of the alcohol wears off you may experience withdrawal symptoms: anxiety or jumpiness; shakiness or trembling; sweating, nausea and vomiting, insomnia, depression, irritability, fatigue or loss of appetite and headaches. Do you drink to steady the nerves, stop the shakes in the morning? Drinking to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms is a sign of alcoholism and addiction. In severe cases, withdrawal from alcohol can be life-threatening and involve hallucinations, confusion, seizures, fever, and agitation. These symptoms can be dangerous and should be managed by a physician specifically trained and experienced in dealing with alcoholism and addiction.
- Loss of Control: Drinking more than you wanted to, for longer than you intended, or despite telling yourself that you wouldn’t do it this time.
Visit NCAAD’s website to read about more signs of alcoholism, and to take the self-test.