In this article we shall look at the first 4 signs or symptoms that indicate that your drinking is getting out of hand; it is becoming dangerous. Remember that, alcohol is not the problem; the problem is when you drink too much alcohol to the extent that your health and social life are dangerously compromised. In such a situation you end up developing a condition known as, Alcohol Use Disorder. This (AUD) is a situation where your use of alcohol has become problematic, negatively affecting all areas of your life; health, relationships and performance of your duties and obligations at school, home, work/business among others. When you have an AUD, you are unable to control your alcohol intake such that you become enslaved by alcohol.
According to WHO (DSM 5), there are at least 11 criteria or questions that can help you assess whether your drinking is problematic. These have to do with; controlling the amount and time spent on drinking, cutting down or stopping, craving, impact on your relationships, work, health and safety among others. The severity of your drinking problem will be determined by the number of signs and symptoms, experienced.
Two to three symptoms mean that your problem is mild, while four or five indicate a moderate disorder and six or more symptoms indicate that your problem is severe. Let us look at these eleven assessment criteria or questions on Alcohol use Disorder.
Are you unable to limit the amount of alcohol you drink? According to the US Dietary Guidelines on alcohol, the daily limit for a man is 2 drinks or less in a day and 7 to 8 within a week. For a woman, the limit is 1 drink or less daily and 4 to 5 drinks in week. That aside, perhaps you want reduce your amount to 2 drink but you find yourself taking much more.
Have you been making attempts to cut down or to stopping using alcohol unsuccessfully? This question is directly tied to the 1st one. Perhaps you have been trying to limit the amount, and time spends on drinking with an intention of gradually putting a stop to your drinking but you have not managed. This is based on your awareness that one cannot stop drinking all of a sudden but it can be done gradually.
Are you spending a lot of time getting, using and recovering from alcohol Use? May be you find yourself spending most of your time thinking and strategizing on how and where you will get money to buy alcohol? Once you get the money you end up drinking the whole night and the following day, you get a hangover. You then start struggling on how to beat this dreadful hangover because you are already late for work or for that promising business deal date? What a situation for find yourself in.
Do you feel a strong desire or urge to drink alcohol? In other words, are you craving for it? You feel that you must drink, come what may. Even when you are in the middle of an important, urgent activity, you stop everything and go out to seek for alcohol. (Kufungua lock). This is now a danger signal that you have an alcohol Use Disorder; you are headed “south”, stop and take stoke; is it really worthy?