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Problem drinking - 12 questions to find out how much is too much.

Published 24/06/2008

Too many people fail to seek help for drinking problems from specialists at an alcohol rehab centre until their addiction has taken over their lives, staff at Linwood Manor Group have claimed. Could you be making the same mistake?

It's perfectly possible. While 69 per cent of us have heard about the government's safe drinking guidelines, only 40 per cent of us know what those recommendations are, according to recent research from the NHS Information Centre.

Even those that do stick within the weekly guidelines (21 units for men, 14 for women) may have a drinking problem if they drink heavily on a single night and abstain the rest of the time, says Linwood Manor Group research director Sue Allchurch.  

"There's a common misconception that, to be an alcoholic, you must be drinking every single day. But the trouble is that periodic episodes of binge drinking can wreak far more damage on the human mind and body than daily, continuous drinking," she says.

Either way, she adds, problem drinkers are often in denial about the extent of their alcohol dependency. She recommends the following quiz, published by Alcoholics Anonymous, as a good way to find out whether your drinking has become a problem that you need to address.

Answer ‘yes' or ‘no' to the following 12 questions. If you can answer yes to any one of these questions, maybe it's time you took a serious look at what your drinking might be doing to you.

  1. Do you drink because you have problems? To face up to stressful situations?
  2. Do you drink when you get mad at other people, your friends or parents?
  3. Do you often prefer to drink alone, rather than with others?
  4. Are you starting to get low marks? Are you skiving off work?
  5. Do you ever try to stop or drink less - and fail?
  6. Have you begun to drink in the morning, before school or work?
  7. Do you gulp your drinks as if to satisfy a great thirst?
  8. Do you ever have loss of memory due to your drinking?
  9. Do you avoid being honest with others about your drinking?
  10. Do you ever get into trouble when you are drinking?
  11. Do you often get drunk when you drink, even when you do not mean to?
  12. Do you think you're big to be able to hold your drink?

If you would like help, contact the Alcoholism Clinic at Linwood Manor.


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