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Danger signs

Concise self-assessment

More detailed self-assessment

Assessment of the youth

Danger signs 

In the early stages, there are usually few outward signs of a problem. The victim functions normally most of the time but a few personality changes may be present: the inability to handle stress and increased conflict with family members.

While this is not necessarily indicative of an alcohol problem, additional signs will be present to others BEFORE they are accepted by the victim:

bulletAn increase in the amount of alcohol required to achieve the same effect or "buzz"
bulletLapses in memory or "blackouts"
bulletA feeling that a drinking pattern is getting out of control
bulletAnd in the final stages, the victim is unable to stop drinking for any lengthy period of time but derives little or no pleasure from the alcohol consumption.

The most prevalent and pervasive symptom exhibited by the victim is that of denial: no problem exists. Chronic drinking and other related problems will be attributed to other causes.

Concise self-assessment

(with recognition to )

Alcoholism is also known as "alcohol dependence." It is a disease that includes alcohol craving and continued drinking despite repeated alcohol-related problems, such as losing a job or getting into trouble with the law. Alcoholism includes four symptoms:

bulletCraving--A strong need, or compulsion, to drink.
bulletImpaired control--The inability to limit one's drinking on any given occasion.
bulletPhysical dependence--Withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety, when alcohol use is stopped after a period of heavy drinking.
bulletTolerance--The need for increasing amounts of alcohol in order to feel its effects.

More detailed self-assessment

(with recognition to Online Alcoholics Anonymous)

Question Yes No
1. Have you ever decided to stop drinking for a week or so, but lasted only a couple of days?

2. Do you wish people would stop nagging you about your drinking?



3. Have you ever switched from one kind of drink to another hoping that would keep you from getting drunk?



4. Have you had a drink in the morning during the past year?



5. Do you envy people who can drink without getting into trouble?



6. Have you had problems connected with drinking during the past year?



7. Has your drinking caused you trouble at home?



8. Do you ever try to get extra drinks at a party because you did not get enough to drink?



9. Do you tell yourself you can stop drinking any time you want, even though you keep getting drunk?



10. Have you missed days at work because of the drinking?



11. Do you have blackouts?



12. Have you ever felt that your life would be better if you did not drink?



13. When you take one or two drinks, you can not stop and walk away?



14. Have you ever embarrassed yourself or someone else when drinking?



15. Do you drink every day?



16. Have you awakened with a hangover a number of times in the last month?



17. Do you spend money you don't have on alcohol?



18. Has this affected your sleeping habits? (Do you pass out, get a drink in the middle of the night, or wet the bed when you sleep because of alcohol?)



If you have answered yes to four or more of these questions, you are either an alcoholic or on your way to becoming one.

If you now realise you have a problem and want to determine at what stage of the disease you are, see the progression of the disease.

Last update: April 18, 2007

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