A Simple Self-Help Assessment Tool to Determine if You Might Need Help With Alcohol Use
Decades ago, Hollywood and mainstream entertainment had stereotyped the “alcoholic.” Most people describe one as a shaky-handed, jobless, or job-struggling, disheveled-looking, relatively violent person near or at a complete wreck.
That image still exists in reality, but they are the minority of today. There exist more alcohol problems that do not look the part.
Nowadays, science and medicine have made known that alcohol problems have a more accessible minimum. So you might not realize it, but you could be an alcoholic, alcohol-dependent, or at least alcohol problem-prone.
Whether you drink daily, every weekend, occasionally, or too casually, the amount you drink at a time will determine whether you need to change things or not.
How Much Should I Drink?
The rule of thumb is that if you are a male taking four or more drinks a day or a female doing two or more, you have the minimum problem. The general minimum “okay” drinks are 14 for men and 7 for women.
Of course, it’s better for you not to drink at all.
However, these measurements are averages, and the human body has its particulars – size, age, sex, etc. So, some people metabolize, tolerate, or process alcohol differently from others
Some people are high-functioning alcoholics, and some are abusing drinks at an almost unnoticeable level.
Sometimes a person’s body seemingly reacts well to the poison, but the liver, pancreas, lungs, heart, kidneys, and nervous system always suffer in the short and long run. You will always risk or damage your physical, mental, and emotional health with alcohol.
Alcohol is Bad for You.
If you are here, reading this article, you probably think that you might need to take a step back from your alcohol consumption.
Maybe you feel some pains that you have learned are associated with dependence or addiction. Or you are already at a point where you are unsure or confused whether you are hungover or drunk at any point in time.
Whether you drink to up your personality, celebrate, focus on work, put on some courage, tone down stress, help sleep, or temper depressive thoughts and feelings, the “benefits” you get are not worth the problems. You will lose years, months, days, hours, and seconds of quality life.
Your Drinking is Bad for the People Around You.
Also, in the process, you will become unfair to people you live and work with, you included. Nobody is getting the best of you anymore, and you are potentially becoming a piece of heavy baggage or an abusive person.
At the minimum, a drunken you are prone to accidents, severely damaging decisions, and imminent death by any unfortunate event, including alcohol poisoning. If you have heard of water poisoning, please consider the worse effects of alcohol poisoning.
Remember that accidents can be fatal not just to you but also to the person riding the car you could crash with or the person in your backseat. Also, your recklessness can get you or someone unknowingly pregnant.
One more inconvenience for others is that when you suffer severe health problems with alcohol, you might require costly hospitalization that your family will have to cover – we can try not to guilt you, but this is reality.
Hence, it’s time to break the habit. And the first thing to do is get yourself a proper diagnosis.
Assess Yourself and Your Health.
If you feel unwell or are worried about your situation with alcohol, the best thing you can do is consult an expert. Go to a doctor for help.
When you do so, you can expect that the doctor will check you for physical damage to your body by your alcohol use. Also, the generalist will assess your physical and mental capacity to go through alcohol cessation.
At any level, the doctor will advise you to do an alcohol detox.
If you don’t have a severe alcohol problem, you can privately go through cleansing with regular outpatient checkups with the doctor and a psychiatrist.
If you are a candidate for Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome, you will have to go to a medical facility or a detox treatment place.
You will have complete medical monitoring, prescriptions to ease withdrawal pains and discomforts, and an atmosphere that helps you mitigate drinks, cravings, and triggered bouts at an alcohol detox facility.
What is Alcohol Detox?
Alcohol detoxification happens when you stop drinking alcohol for a long time after consecutive abuse of any level. Abuse officially starts when you surpass drinking the average recommended amounts for a month or less, depending on your physical and mental health.
While detox can have you free of alcohol in as fast as a week or two, that can only be true for the least of alcohol problems. Severe alcoholics take longer to recover.
Since the variation between one alcohol problem to another can be somewhat vague or at least too broad in range, it can be complex to determine for yourself whether you need a detox or not.
A doctor will effectively help you determine that, but you can ask yourself qualifying questions that can tell you if you need to make changes soon.
Here are 7 Questions to Ask Yourself to Determine if You Might Need Alcohol Detoxification
If you feel severe symptoms, drink alcohol all day, or binge drinks every night, you need to get immediate help.
Otherwise, you consider these questions.
- Do you somewhat or entirely drink plenty on purpose during gatherings?
- Is getting tipsy or drunk a weekend requirement?
- Do you need to drink yourself to sleep?
- Do you sometimes drive after drinks?
- Do you sometimes go to work hungover or still a bit drunk from the night?
- Do you drink a managed dose at a particular time every day?
- Can you last a week without drinking? How about a month?
If your answer to any of the items 1-6 is yes or to 7, no, then you are probably a potential alcohol abuser or are already in a small to medium case of alcohol dependence. So you need to go to a professional or at least consult a loved one and help you assess yourself further.
To help you some more, here are the signs & symptoms of alcoholism.
Assess yourself, get help, and live better.
Interesting Related Article: “Tips for Detoxing from Alcohol“