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This One Is Not For The Road But For My Life
Alcohol is a mind-altering drug, which has picked up some illusion of exception compared to drug addiction. If you drink too often then there are chances that you could be addicted to it. Addiction to alcohol can be fatal and can ruin the entire life of a person and his family.
Alcohol abuse is a factor in many of the most serious social problems in contemporary urban life, including poverty, unemployment, domestic violence, divorce, sexual abuse, suicide, murder and automobile fatalities.

One of the symptoms of alcohol abuse is denial, which makes the initiation of the treatment problematic. But if one knows what to look for, someone might recognise in himself or herself, or a loved one, a problem or a tragedy in the making.

Doctors and substance abuse specialists say these are the questions you should ask yourself if you suspect that you or a loved one might have an alcohol problem:

Are you uneasy about your drinking behaviour?
Does drinking make you feel guilty or ashamed?
Do you sometimes think you should quit?
Has someone close to you spoken to you about your drinking behaviour?
Do you drink at most social occasions you attend, such as parties, dates or informal get-togethers?
Do you sometimes think that you need to drink to justify having a good time?
Do you feel like you have more courage to meet and talk to people when you have had a few alcoholic drinks?
Do you feel more yourself, more the person you would like to be, after youve had a few drinks?
Have you ever taken a few drinks before going to class, to work or before dates or appointments to bolster your courage or to calm yourself?
Do you keep a bottle in your apartment or car so it will always be handy if you need it?
Do you do things when you drink that you wouldnt do if you were sober?
When things go wrong with work, school, in your home life or with your parents, do you drink to forget about it or to make yourself feel better?
Do you sometimes forget things that happen while you were drinking?

Signs of serious abuse or addiction
The following are indications that drinking may have progressed beyond abuse to addiction:
Do you always drink to the point of intoxication?
Do you drink at inappropriate times such as before driving, at work or at school?
Have you ever missed work or school because of drinking?
Has drinking caused tension or conflicts between you and your family or friends?
Has drinking compromised your performance at school or work?

Other behaviors signaling a problem
If, in addition to any of the above symptoms or behaviors, you observe in your-self or a loved one the following signs, a discussion with a doctor about an alcohol abuse treatment program is appropriate:
Steals or borrows money from work, home or friends
Secretive, defensive behaviour about activities and possessions
Unusual mood changes
Abrupt temper outbursts
Changes in eating or sleeping habits
Changes friends and companions regularly
Deterioration in personal appearance or hygiene
Loses interest in usual activities, past-times and hobbies

If, after honestly asking and answering these questions, you are concerned that drinking may be a problem, see your doctor. Your doctor will discuss your concerns in confidence and will refer you to an appropriate treatment programme.
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Posted on : 29/10/2005
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