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Assess alcohol’s role in your life

Jailed agianThere’s no clear line as to how much is too much, and there are too many variables for there ever to be an established rule/definition. We all tolerate alcohol differently, but there is still an individual’s own limit. Because of the many variables it is often hard for someone admit to possibly having an alcohol problem – especially if they see themselves functioning well in their own definition of the word and their view their drinking in comparison with others. Following below are guiding questions to assess the role of alcohol in your life, and possible ways as how to go about an alcohol problem. The list is compiled from several questionnaires used world wide and incorporates many of the common symptoms of alcoholism. Alcoholism is an individual’s dependency on alcohol, and the abuse thereof. Alcoholism is treatable through complete abstinence from alcohol and with help.

Answer the questions, even if you don’t think you have an alcohol problem – because very few alcoholics think they have. If you feel or suspect yourself of having an addiction, seek professional help, regardless of the questionnaire turnout.

 “Drink” in the following is defined as:

  1. a single (8 ounces; 1/2 pint) glass of beer,
  2.  a single shot/measure of liquor/spirits,
  3.  a single glass of wine.

Questions:

Answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Lame as this may sound: The first step is admitting, so please – be honest; after all, who are you fooling? 

  1. Do you crave a drink at a definite time?
  2. Do you drink alone?
  3. Do you drink to escape from worries or trouble or after a disappointment, a quarrel?
  4. Have you ever felt like you were unable to stop drinking once you had started?
  5. Do you feel depressed after drinking, feeling negative about life?
  6. Do you have regret after drinking?
  7. Have you ever had a complete loss of memory as a result of drinking?
  8. Do you feel less efficient when working, or that your ambitions are gone? (Are you unable to do what is normally expected from you because of drinking?)
  9. Do you eat very little or irregularly when you are drinking?
  10. Do you lose time from work due to drinking?
  11. Is your drinking affecting your reputation? (Good or bad)
  12. Does drinking cause you to have difficulty sleeping?
  13. Have you tried switching brands or types of alcohol, or used other plans for controlling your drinking?
  14. Are you having an increasing number of financial and work problems as a result of drinking?
  15. Is drinking making your home life unhappy?
  16. Has a relative or friend or doctor or other health worker been concerned about your drinking or suggested you cut down?
  17. Have you or someone else been injured as a result of your drinking?
  18. Do you sometimes have the “shakes” in the morning, and find that it helps to have a drink?
  19. Do you drink to build up your self-confidence?
  20. Do you sometimes stay drunk for several days at a time?
  21. Have you ever been treated you for drinking (e.g. gone to a hospital or institution because of drinking)?
  22. Do you ever get terribly frightened after you’ve been drinking?

If you have answered YES to any one of the questions, it indicates a probable symptom of alcoholism and the possibility that you have an alcohol problem.

[* This shouldn’t be used as an absolute evaluation instrument. These are guidelines that should be helpful to a great extent, but for an accurate evaluation speak to professional.]

Looking towards a solution:

If you realize that you have an alcohol problem, you are already a step into the right direction. Remember that million others are in the same situation as you and you’re not alone. Which ever treatment option you plan on taking, it will require a lot of commitment on your behalf.

There are several treatment options available. AlcoholismMany people turn to Alcoholics Anonymous (a spiritual foundation that help people in personal recovery) as they have a long history in helping people with alcohol related problems. There are also alternatives to the AA, such as the “SMART” program, the DRA and several others. The internet has become a great medium in this respect, as it offer several online help sites. There are also self-help books and CD’s available on this topic.

Some helpful tips for a start:

  • Explore treatment options and facilities before you join one.
  • Speak to recovered alcoholics and read recovery stories for motivation.
  • Use the internet: There are several sites and chat rooms that deal with this topic.
  • Avoid situations that will lead to being pressured for a drink.

Most importantly: Take it one day at a time, and persist in the goals you set for yourself.

 

Sources:

[1] [2] [3] [4

DRA  &  SMART

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2 Responses

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  1. Man I wish I would have read that questionaire about 8 years ago when I wondered whether I was an alcoholic. All the signs were there, but I just lived in denial. Now, many years later, I answered yes to almost every one of those questions. God help me.

    365reasons

    November 2, 2009 at 3:44 am

    • Dear 365reasons,

      First of all, there is still hope – it’s not too late! You have clearly acknowledged the problem, so now just go on to find help. Read “Looking towards a solution” (below the questionnaire).
      A friend recommended a book called “WAKING UP JUST IN TIME”. It is a cartoon (Snoopy)-based book, “full of anecdotes and very uplifting”, that addresses the problem of addiction. [See http://www.judaism.com/display.asp?etn=DACBF; it’s also available from Amazon]
      Feel free to contact me at thebeercap@gmail.com should you require further information. Do not give up, with help it is a solvable problem, and it is a problem worth solving. Best of luck!

      Pierre

      Pierre

      November 4, 2009 at 12:38 pm


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