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Alcohol Problems - How To Know If Your Relative / Friend Is Suffering?

Dr. Anuneet Sabharwal 88% (138 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Delhi  •  6 years experience
Alcohol Problems - How To Know If Your Relative / Friend Is Suffering?

Alcohol consumption is a common problem in our society. Ranging from economic issues, to strained relationships, to neglect, to abuse, it can lead to multiple problems. The key point is that in many people, it may go completely unnoticed. While different people could have different tolerance levels, there are some definitions to qualify someone as having ‘alcohol problem'.

Alcohol consumption resulting in blood alcohol levels of 0.08 or more; some men might need about five drinks and women might need four drinks to reach this level. When any individual is compelled to drink up to five drinks on a day regularly, it is considered to be a problem.

Symptoms

If you are suspecting that your friend or relative could be having a potential drinking problem, look out for the following symptoms:

  1. Constant, strong craving for drinking
  2. Unable to control their urge to drink alcohol
  3. Inability to succeed in efforts to reduce or stop alcohol usage
  4. Drinking more than the intended quantity on most occasions
  5. Spending extra effort in terms of time and money to lay their hands on alcohol
  6. Strained relationships at work or at home
  7. Health issues including liver failure, poor overall health, intestinal problems, etc.
  8. Failure to see that their health (physical and emotional) is affected by drinking
  9. Failure to acknowledge that there is a drinking problem (denial mode)
  10. Stealing or lying in an attempt to get money for alcohol
  11. Being violent towards spouse or children or even strangers to get alcohol and/or money for alcohol
  12. Not very reliable in assigning tasks or fulfilling responsibilities
  13. Ability to hold more than their regular quantity of drinks, over a period of time, capacity to tolerate more alcohol
  14. Constantly seen in the company of people who enjoy alcohol

What should you tell your friend/relative?

Admit the problem

  • Stay away from people who drink with you or encourage you to drink
  • Space out drinks, drink with food, and drink enough water as it will reduce the amount of alcohol getting into the body
  • Involve close friends and family for emotional support
  • Enroll for a detox program
  • Get into exercise, sports, photography which are both creative and productive ways to improve your quality of recreation and life. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Psychiatrist.
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