Posts Tagged ‘drug alcohol’
Many of us use alcohol as a social lubricant, or as an enjoyable way to relax. A drink or two with friends is a common way to unwind after a long day at the office. However, have you ever had the experience of drinking more than you intended? Do you rely on alcohol to regulate your mood or anxiety? How much alcohol is too much? When does drinking become a problem?
Do you have a drinking problem?
The CAGE questionnaire is one of the most widely used screening tests for alcoholism. It consists of four questions:
1. Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
2. Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
3. Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
4. Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?
How to Score:
Item responses on the cage are scored 0 for No or 1 for Yes, with a higher score an indication of alcohol problems. A total score of 2 or greater is considered clinically significant.
Alcoholism is a primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychological and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. This disease is often progressive and fatal. It is characterized by continuous or periodic:
➢ Impaired control over drinking
➢ Preoccupation with the drug alcohol
➢ Use of alcohol despite adverse consequences
➢ Distortions in thinking, most notable denial
Why do people drink too much?
Negative reasons for drinking alcoholic beverages include:
➢ Escaping from tension or worries
➢ Blocking out painful feelings such as fear, loneliness and self-doubt
➢ Attempting to relate better to people
➢ As a substitute for meaningful relationships with people
➢ Finding courage or strength to face certain situations
The most effective treatment for alcoholism includes both psychotherapy and regular participation in a support group. Psychotherapy is essential to identifying the psychic pain that often underlies and drives addictive behaviors. A support group is an equally essential component of a successful treatment plan. In addition to providing support for recovery, such groups help an individual to overcome the social isolation and the self absorption that characterize and perpetuate the addictive state.
Resources to locate such groups include:
1. The American Council on Alcoholism (http://www.ACA-USA.org)
2. Alcoholics Anonymous (http://www.AA.org)
The description of the CAGE questionnaire, and the two following paragraphs, are reprinted from the American Council on Alcoholism website.