Do you know the signs of a drinking problem?

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According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, more than 15 million adults have an alcohol use disorder (AUD). This means they cannot stop or control their drinking.


It can be hard to admit that you or someone you love has AUD. Plus, someone with AUD can’t just decide to stop drinking. AUD is a health condition that requires treatment and support. Knowing the signs can help a person seek medical help.


Alcohol abuse is defined as:

•  A woman who has more than 7 drinks per week or more than 3 drinks per sitting.

•  A man who has more than 14 drinks per week or more than 4 drinks per sitting.

•  A person older than 65 who has more than 7 drinks per week or more than 3 drinks per sitting.


Questions to ask about alcohol abuse

If you’re not sure whether your drinking is a problem, ask yourself:

•  Have I tried to stop drinking, but keep slipping up?

•  Do I feel that once I start drinking, I can’t stop?

•  Have I been told by others that my drinking is a problem?

•  Do I drink in the morning to “get my day started”?

•  Have I ever hurt myself or others because of my drinking?

•  Do I ever hide my drinking from others or lie about how much I’ve had?

•  Do I have “blackouts” or memory lapses  after drinking?

•  Is drinking interfering with my relationships?

•  Is my alcohol use getting in the way of success at work?


If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may have AUD. Talk to your doctor about treatment that may help you.


Preventing alcohol abuse

Alcohol problems can run in families. If you have a close family member with AUD, you may have to work harder than others to avoid alcohol problems. But, preventing alcohol abuse is possible. Follow these tips to help:

•  Be extra cautious about signs of AUD and ask yourself the questions in this article on a regular basis.

•  If you decide to drink, stop after one drink and switch to non-alcoholic beverages.

•  Get regular checkups with your doctor. Follow any recommended treatment for health conditions.

•  Avoid people who drink too much or abuse alcohol.

•  Consider joining a support group.


Did you know?

As adults grow older, our bodies are less capable of tolerating addictive substances like alcohol, and are more susceptible to their negative effects.


Source: American Academy of Family Physicians

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