No objective definition exists for "problem drinking." Alcohol
problems occur at all educational and social levels, and in every age group.
Ask yourself the following questions. If the answer to any of them is yes,
you need to examine how alcohol is affecting your health, safety, job performance
and relationships with others.
- When under pressure at your job, do you calm down with a drink at lunch?
- Do you ever have hangovers?
- Do family quarrels most often occur after you've had a drink or two?
- Does your family think you drink too much?
- Have you ever injured yourself or another person after drinking?
- Are you often on - and off - the wagon?
- If you drink regularly, do you know how much you spend at the liquor store or in restaurants, or do you avoid the calculation?
- Do you avoid situations where it would be impossible for you to get a drink if you wanted one?
- When pouring yourself the second or third glass of wine or beer, or mixing the additional highball, do you reassure yourself that you deserve it?
- If you know that you have to drive home in an hour, do you have a second drink anyway?
(Source: National Council on Alcoholism)
Do You Have a Problem?
Maybe you have a problem, and maybe you don't. If you do, the odds are good that you're denying it. Denial of the negative effects of alcohol in your life is another usual symptom of an alcohol problem.
You don't have to hit rock bottom - penniless, homeless, jobless, friendless - to stop drinking. You only have to realize that alcohol is having an increasingly negative impact on your life.
What To Do
Recognizing that there is a problem is the first step towards recovering from problem drinking. If you think you might have a problem, here are some steps you can take:
- Acknowledge the problem openly.
- Seek professional help from doctors or therapists who deal with alcohol problems and
recovery. You might benefit from counseling or a recovery program at a hospital or private clinic.
- Avoid time spent with people who encourage alcohol use, or who believe that a drinking problem is a problem of weak will.
- Seek out the support of people who are recovering themselves. Many 12-step programs are available, such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
Your OEA Is Here To Help
If you or a family member has a problem
with alcohol or other drugs, your OEA can help you. The OEA is strictly
and OEA professionals are specially trained to help people get the right
help for an alcohol or drug problem.
Why not call your OEA today at 305.348.2469? We're here to help.
- Alcoholics Anonymous - Alcoholics Anonymous is an informal society of more than 2,000,000 recovered alcoholics in the U.S., Canada, and other countries. These men and women meet in local groups to share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. For information or questions contact: A.A. World Services, Inc., P.O. Box 459, New York, NY 10163, (212) 870-3400. Comprehensive website:
- Al-Anon - A worldwide non-profit organization with over 30,000 local chapters that offers a self-help recovery program for the family and friends of alcoholics, whether or not the alcoholic seeks help or even recognizes the existence of a drinking problem. For information or a catalog of literature contact: Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., 1600 Corporate Landing Parkway, Virginia Beach, VA 23454-5617, 1-888-4AL-ANON. Comprehensive website:
- Alateen - A fellowship of young people whose lives have been affected by someone else's drinking. Young people come together to discuss their difficulties and learn effective ways to cope with their problems. Local chapters are nationwide. For information or a catalog of literature contact: Alateen Family Group Headquarters, Inc., 1600 Corporate Landing Parkway, Virginia Beach, VA 23454-5617, 1-888-4AL-ANON. Comprehensive website: