By: By: Valeria Marquez Luna and Caleb Long
Alcohol use disorders affect about 5.8% of our population according to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Alcoholism does not just affect one certain age group, but people of all ages. Whether you are 16 or 85, it can cause major health problems that can eventually take your life.
Early signs of alcohol abuse can be difficult to notice. Many of the warning signs can be seen as minor issues, but these minor issues can develop into dangerous habits over time. According to the alcohol rehab guide, some of the most common symptoms and warning signs are: Making excuses for drinking such as to relax, drinking alone or in secret, becoming isolated and distant, and feeling hungover when not drinking. A commonly used questionnaire to assess someone for alcoholism is called the four CAGE screening questionnaire. The questions are: Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking? Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking? Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking? Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get over a hangover?
Treatment for alcohol abuse has gratefully gotten better. Instead of focusing on the disease itself, treatment centers have started to incorporate mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health to be able to help their patients beyond just their alcoholism. The slogan now is that “recovery is just the first step”. Because of the relationship that you build with alcohol, it is important to become aware of your mental state and work to find an appropriate way to deal with emotions and stressors in your life.
For more information or to get help, please contact your local abuse clinic or call the national substance abuse and mental health services phone number at 1-800-662-HELP