Each April, we recognize Alcohol Awareness Month by providing information about problem drinking. Whether on the radio or on billboards, you have likely heard and seen many of the alcohol-related public service announcements designed to help reduce the harmful effects of alcohol abuse in our community.
The negative effects of drinking can be costly not only to the drinker, but also to their partner and other family members. Alcohol abusers often cannot see how their drinking is harmful to family and loved ones. In fact, recent data suggests that approximately one in four children in the United States is exposed to alcohol abuse or dependence in the family.
Excessive intoxication can lower a drinker’s inhibitions and frequently lead them to do things they normally wouldn’t do when sober. These actions often ignore the legal, ethical, social and moral norms.
Alcohol abuse can often go hand and hand with:
- Violence (slapping, hitting, throwing or breaking objects)
- Marital conflicts (arguments, the “silent treatment”)
- Infidelity (finding someone who understands)
- Economic insecurity (loss of job, poor financial decisions)
- Divorce (isolation)
- Fetal alcohol effect (drinking when pregnant, brain damage to the baby)
Take the quiz
If you have concerns that you, a family member or loved one may be suffering from the harmful effects of alcoholism, take this quiz:
Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking habits?
Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
Have you ever had a drink in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover?
Are you unable to stop drinking when you want to?
Have you gotten in trouble at work, home or with friends due to your alcohol use?
Do you need to drink to get through the week?
Have you neglected your family because of your alcohol use?
Have you ever gotten into fights when under the influence of alcohol?
If you answered yes to any of these questions or recognize the consequences in yourself or others, there is help. If you are interested in an evaluation or starting the treatment process of recovery you can:
- Contact your local Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) hotline
- Attend an AA or Al-Anon meeting
- Consult with your family physician
- Access your employee assistance program, if available
- Make an appointment with a qualified substance abuse counselor
The effects of alcoholism can be difficult to overcome, but with the right treatment approach and support, positive steps can be taken to improve the lives of those affected.
For more information about alcohol abuse and treatment options, contact Prevea Behavioral Care at (920) 272-1200.