The first step to getting help with alcoholism is to recognize that you really need help. The following are two tools to help with that: 20 Questions from Alcoholics Anonymous And the criteria from the DSM-V, Diagnostic Criteria from the American Psychiatric Association.
THE 20 QUESTIONS OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS
Here are 20 Questions designed to help you determine how alcohol has affected your life.
- Do you lose time from work due to drinking?
- Is drinking making your home life unhappy?
- Do you drink because you are shy with other people?
- Is drinking affecting your reputation?
- Have you ever felt remorse after drinking?
- Have you got into financial difficulties as a result of drinking?
- Do you turn to lower companions and an inferior environment when drinking?
- Does your drinking make you careless of your family’s welfare?
- Has your ambition decreased since drinking?
- Do you crave a drink at a definite time of the day?
- Do you want a drink the next morning?
- Does drinking cause you to have difficulty sleeping?
- Has your efficiency decreased since drinking?
- Is drinking jeopardizing your job or business?
- Do you drink to escape from worries or trouble?
- Do you drink alone?
- Have you ever had a complete loss of memory as a result of drinking?
- Has your physician ever treated you for drinking?
- Do you drink to build up your self-confidence?
- Have you ever been to a hospital or institution on account of drinking?
If you have answered YES to any of the questions, there is a definite warning that you may be alcoholic.
If you have answered YES to any 2, the chances are that you are an alcoholic.
If you have answered YES to 3 or more, you are most likely an alcoholic.
ALCOHOL ( OR OTHER SUBSTANCE) USE DISORDER from the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association)
Please note: The criteria for addiction is the same for other drugs as it is for alcohol. Just substitute the substance in the following where alcohol is used.
A problematic pattern of alcohol use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by at least two of the following, occurring within a 12-month period:
- Alcohol is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended.
- There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control alcohol use.
- A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain alcohol, use alcohol, or recover from its effects.
- Craving, or a strong desire or urge to use alcohol.
- Recurrent alcohol use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home.
- Continued alcohol use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of alcohol.
- Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of alcohol use.
- Recurrent alcohol use in situations in which it is physically hazardous.
- Alcohol use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by alcohol.
- Tolerance, as defined by either of the following:
- A need for markedly increased amounts of alcohol to achieve intoxication or desired effect.
- A markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of alcohol.
- Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following:
- The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for alcohol.
- Alcohol (or a closely related substance) taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Mild : Presence of 2-3 symptoms
Moderate: Presence of 4-5 symptoms
Severe: Presence of 6 or more sypmtoms
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