1) Client psychosocial history
2) Physical health problems related to alcohol and/or drug use
3) Previous history of arrests related to alcohol and/or drug use
4) Decrease in attendance/productivity at work or school due to alcohol and/or drug use
5) Prior history of drug or alcohol treatment
Risk factors which you may not know about that can cause alcoholism are:
* Steady drinking over time. Drinking too much on a regular basis for an extended period can produce a physical dependence on alcohol.
* Age. People who begin drinking at an early age are at a higher risk of alcohol dependence or abuse.
* Sex. Men are more likely to become dependent on alcohol than are women. However, women are at greater risk of developing some medical complications linked to drinking, such as liver disease.
* Family history. The risk of alcoholism is higher for people who have a parent who abused alcohol.
* Depression and other mental health problems. It’s common for people with a mental health disorder such as anxiety or depression to abuse alcohol or other substances.
* Social and cultural factors. Having friends or a close partner who drinks regularly could increase your risk of alcoholism. The glamorous way that drinking is sometimes portrayed in the media may also send the message that it’s OK to drink excessively.
Alcohol addiction — physical dependence on alcohol — occurs gradually. Over time, drinking too much changes the balance of chemicals in your brain associated with the pleasurable aspects of drinking alcohol. Excessive, long-term drinking can affect the balance of these chemicals, causing your body to crave alcohol to restore good feelings or to avoid negative feelings.
Because denial is a frequent characteristic of alcohol abuse and alcoholism, you may not feel like you need treatment. You might not recognize how much you drink or how many problems in your life are related to alcohol use. Listen to family members, friends or co-workers when they ask you to examine your drinking habits or to seek help. The goal of the alcohol screening is to assess the extent of a client’s current and past alcohol abuse and/or dependence.
Alcoholism is a chronic disease in which your body becomes dependent on alcohol. When you have alcoholism, you lose control over your drinking. You may not be able to control when you drink, how much you drink, or how long you drink on each occasion. If you have alcoholism, you continue to drink even though you know it’s causing problems with your relationships, health, work or finances.
It’s possible to have a problem with alcohol but not have all the symptoms of alcoholism. This is known as “alcohol abuse,” which means you drink too much and it causes problems in your life although you aren’t completely dependent on alcohol. If you have alcoholism or you abuse alcohol, you may not be able to cut back or quit without help. A number of approaches are available to help you recover from alcoholism, including medications, counseling and self-help groups.