When people think of a person who has a drinking problem, they usually will think of someone who drinks every single day, drinks and gets sloppy, drinks and starts slurring their words, drinks and gets sick, or drinks alone. While these scenarios may be relevant to some who have drinking problems, a large percentage of alcoholics do not exhibit all of these behaviors.
Alcohol dependence or abuse may not be apparent to those who have a drinking problem. Some may not even think that their drinking habits are to be of any concern. The nature of the disease, however, is to tell you that you don’t have a disease.
Denial is one of the biggest obstacles to getting help for alcohol abuse and alcoholism. The desire to drink is so strong that the mind finds many ways to rationalize drinking, even when the consequences are obvious. By keeping you from looking honestly at your behavior and its negative effects, denial also exacerbates alcohol-related problems with work, finances, and relationships.
How Can I Tell If I Have A Problem?
There are a few ways to gauge your drinking habits to see if there’s a problem. The CAGE test is a quick assessment tool that helps clinicians identify alcoholism signs in patients. The CAGE test is comprised of four brief questions designed to detect alcohol abuse or dependence. Answering yes to any CAGE question suggests a possible alcohol problem. Answering yes to two or more questions indicates a high risk of alcohol abuse or dependence. *(Note that CAGE questions are only guidelines – not diagnostic criteria).
CAGE Test Questions:
- Have you ever felt the need to Cut down on alcohol consumption?
- Are you Annoyed when people question your drinking habits?
- Do you feel Guilty about your alcohol use?
- Have you ever used alcohol as an Eye opener (drink or shot) in the morning to recover from a hangover?
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) has also devised a self-assessment intended to help you determine if you or someone you know needs to find out more about alcoholism.
Some examples of the questions asked are:
- Do you drink heavily when you are disappointed, under pressure or have had a quarrel with someone?
- Do you sometimes feel uncomfortable is alcohol is not available?
- Are you more in a hurry to get your first drink of the day than you used to be?
- Have you been having more memory “blackouts” recently?
- When you’re sober, do you sometimes regret things you did or said while drinking?
- Have any of your blood relatives ever had a problem with alcohol?
To take the full test, click here.
Please note that these self-assessments are intended only to provide insight into possible drinking problems and alcohol dependence or abuse. These self-assessments are not to be used as criteria in diagnosing someone as alcohol dependent. Rather, these self-assessments can be used to determine if further steps need to be made.
If you answered ‘yes’ to the questions above, you may have a problem or may start to be having a problem. If your drinking or a loved one’s drinking is becoming a concern, Stonewall Institute Treatment Center can help. By scheduling a Clinical Evaluation, our licensed professionals will conduct a thorough analysis of your circumstance and provide you with objective results related to your individual needs.
You don’t need to deal with this alone.
Call us today: (602) 535-6468