Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Do You Have a Drinking Problem? Questions to Ask Yourself

More than five million women in the U.S. drink "in a way that threatens their health, safety and general well-being," according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Heavy drinking can lead to a host of health complications for females, including liver disease, brain disease, cancer and heart disease. And these effects tend to occur more quickly and last longer in women. What’s more, chronic drinking can put your family, job, relationships and finances at risk. 

If you ever find yourself wondering if you have a drinking problem, you might want to start by answering some of these questions outlined in a recent Women’s Health article. Try your best to be honest, and if you find yourself nodding, question after question, make an appointment with your healthcare professional. 

Here’s a promise: Getting help for alcohol abuse is one decision you’ll never regret. 
  • Does your social life revolve around alcohol? Losing interests in hobbies or people you once socialized with because you’re preoccupied with drinking or finding the next drink is a common sign of alcoholism.  
  • How much do you drink? The rule for women, according to the NIAAA, is no more than three drinks in a sitting and no more than seven per week. But even if you don’t exceed that amount, it doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have a problem. Alcoholism is a progressive disease, so be on the look out for any upward trends – drinking more or longer than intended, for instance -- notes Women’s Health
  • If you wanted to stop drinking, cold turkey, could you? Ask yourself how many times you’ve really tried to cut back or stop, and failed. 
  • What’s your intention when you drink? “If you need alcohol to survive the day or to function, or if you feel physically compelled to drink, it would be a smart move to start exploring help,” licensed mental health counselor and registered dietitian Anna Ciulla, RD, told Women’s Health. 
  • Has a friend or family member expressed concern? If your mom, sister, friend, spouse or partner expresses concern, listen. Along the same lines, if you notice yourself making excuses for your drinking — “I only drink expensive wine” — it’s time to get help. 
To further assess whether you could have alcohol use disorder, here are a few more questions to ask yourself, notes the NIAAA: 

Have you:
  • 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?
  • 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?
  • 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?
Alcohol Abuse Help for Women
Making the decision to seek help for your own addiction, or helping a loved one to decide to seek help for alcohol abuse, may be the biggest and most important choice of your life. Let us lead the way. To learn more about our rehab services for women, call today: 866-746-1558. 

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