When it’s the time to admit you have an addiction problem and to start looking for a solution and searching for specialized addiction treatment and rehab help?
Alcohol-related problems — which result from drinking too much, too fast, or too often — are among the most significant public health issues in the United States.
Many people struggle with controlling their drinking at some time in their lives. Approximately 17 million adults ages 18 and older have an alcohol use disorder (AUD) and 1 in 10 children live in a home with a parent who has a drinking problem.
The good news is that no matter how severe the problem may seem, most people with an alcohol use disorder can beneit from some form of treatment.
Research shows that about one-third of people who are treated for alcohol problems have no further symptoms 1 year later. Many others substantially reduce their drinking and report fewer alcohol-related problems.
Signs of an Alcohol Problem
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a medical condition that doctors diagnose when a patient’s drinking causes distress or harm. The condition can range from mild to severe and is diagnosed when a patient answers “yes” to two or more of the following questions.
In the past year, have you:
#Had times when you ended up drinking more, or longer than you intended?
#More than once wanted to cut down or stop drinking, or tried to, but couldn’t?
#Spent a lot of time drinking? Or being sick or getting over the aftereffects?
#Experienced craving — a strong need, or urge, to drink?
#Found that drinking — or being sick from drinking — often interfered with taking care of your home or family? Or caused job troubles? Or school problems?
#Continued to drink even though it was causing trouble with your family or friends?
#Given up or cut back on activities that were important or interesting to you, or gave you pleasure, in order to drink?
#More than once gotten into situations while or after drinking that increased your chances of getting hurt (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in a dangerous area, or having unsafe sex)?
#Continued to drink even though it was making you feel depressed or anxious or adding to another health problem? Or after having had a memory blackout?
#Had to drink much more than you once did to get the effect you want?
Or found that your usual number of drinks had much less effect than before?
#Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, you had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, nausea, or sweating? Or sensed things that were not there?
If you have any of these symptoms, your drinking may already be a cause for concern. The more symptoms you have, the more urgent the need for change. A health professional can conduct a formal assessment of your symptoms
to see if an alcohol use disorder is present. For an online assessment of your drinking pattern, go to RethinkingDrinking.niaaa.nih.gov.