A newly published study in JAMA Psychiatry found that alcohol use and abuse both increased significantly from 2001 to 2013, when more than 40,000 adults were studied. After completing the study, JAMA called alcohol abuse a “public health crisis” due to the dramatic increases; alcohol use disorder increased 49 percent and high-risk drinking by nearly 30 percent in the study.
How can you determine if you have a drinking problem? Here are four questions to ask yourself from the CAGE questionnaire by the American Psychiatric Association.
1. Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
Most people who abuse alcohol know that they need to drink less, but their attempts to do so often fail as part of the disease of alcohol abuse. When willpower is not enough, they may justify their drinking and try to convince themselves or others that their drinking is not a problem and they can handle it. If this is something that you recognize you have done, it is time to get help.
2. Have people criticized your drinking, and did their criticism annoy you?
Not every criticism by others is always valid, but when you cannot shrug off criticism about your drinking and it really annoys or bothers you, it may be because, deep down, you know the criticism may be valid and that you may be drinking too much. Generally, people are not eager to criticize their friends and family members, so chances are, by the time they actually say anything, it may have gotten pretty bad.
3. Have you ever felt guilty or bad about your drinking?
When alcohol becomes a problem, it tends to cause problems in your relationships and how you treat others. Treating others badly when you are drinking can impair or ruin relationships and make you feel bad or guilty about the things you have done while you are drinking.
4. Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover (eye opener)?
Drinking in the morning for these reasons indicates a dependence on alcohol that should be cause for concern. Drinking because of dependence is never a healthy action for anyone, and it should be a red flag for those engaging in it even occasionally.
Scoring the Assessment
If you answer “yes” to two or more of these questions, you may have an alcohol problem and should seek further counsel to determine whether you may need help to stop drinking.
Alcohol abuse has serious impacts on the bodies, minds, and hearts of those who abuse it as well as many around them. If you struggle with your alcohol use or have realized that drinking is a problem for you, Recovery Village is an alcohol rehab in Colorado that provides treatment programs according to your personal needs. Learn about admissions today.