Alcohol is the most-abused substance, and it affects millions of lives daily. Many of us who abuse alcohol don’t know we’re abusing it. We often don’t realize that risky drinking is to blame for many of our problems that affect our family, work and health.
For somebody on the outside looking in, it’s often easy to tell if alcohol is causing problems. Accidents, relationship stress and job loss make the problem clear to family and friends. But when we look at ourselves, it may not be clear. So ask yourself these questions if you think drinking might be a problem for you:
- If you’re a woman, do you regularly have more than seven drinks a week (or fewer if you’re a senior citizen)?
- If you’re a man, do you regularly have more than 14 drinks a week (or fewer if you’re a senior citizen)?
- Can you stop drinking once you start?
- Have you tried stopping for a week but could last only a few days?
- Do you feel guilty after drinking?
- Do you fail in your responsibilities at work or at home because of your drinking?
- Are others making comments about your drinking?
- Does it annoy you when someone criticizes your drinking?
- Do you drink in the morning to get yourself going after drinking heavily the night before?
- Do you forget what happens when you drink?
- Do you drink to feel less anxious?
- Do you drink to help you fall sleep?
- Do you worry whether you have enough alcohol to last the weekend?
- Have you ever hidden alcohol from others so you’ll have more?
- Are you drinking while driving or working with machinery?
- Are you drinking around children?
- Are you drinking while pregnant?
- Are you drinking while having medical problems?
If you’re still unsure whether drinking might be a problem for you, take our assessment test to help you think about it.
What Causes Alcoholism?
Researchers are still trying to understand all the causes of alcoholism, but it’s clear that genetics and family history can be important factors. If you have family members with drinking problems, you may be more at risk yourself. Even with no family history of alcoholism, you may find yourself in a stressful situation that leads to alcohol abuse. Either way, treatment is available.
Your Body on Booze
Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse and Addiction
*These videos and links will give you access to information not produced by Methodist Healthcare.
The first step in treatment for alcohol abuse seems simple, but it is actually the hardest: Admit that you have a problem with alcohol.
Once you take that step, you can begin the process of quitting. Quitting is a commitment. A few of us can do it on our own, but for most of us, group support is the best answer. Here’s how to find support:
- Contact Alcoholics Anonymous at memphis-aa.org or 901.726.6750
- Contact the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence at www.ncadd.org or 800.NCACALL.
- Call for information about local treatment programs (see the list below) and speak to someone about your risky drinking. They will give you the tools and support you need to quit.
- Ask your family and friends for support.
Substance Abuse and Dependency Treatment Facilities
Facilities for adults in the Memphis metropolitan areainclude:
Advanced Horizons LLC
6685 Quince Rd. Ste. 124
Memphis, TN 38119
Memphis Center for Research and Addiction Treatment
1270 Madison Ave.
Memphis, TN 38104
New Directions, Inc.
642 Semmes St.
Memphis, TN 38111
Parkwood Behavioral Health System
8135 Goodman Rd.