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Alcohol control tips

There are many ways people can be diagnosed as having unhealthy or dangerous drinking habits. When you abuse alcohol, you continue to drink even though you know it is causing problems.

Common warning signs of an alcohol problem:

  • Increasing amounts. A drinker needs more and more alcohol to get the same feeling.
  • Withdrawal. Stopping drinking may cause reactions from a mild hangover to severe shaking.
  • Loss of control. The urge to drink may become overpowering.
  • Concern by others. Friends or coworkers may report problems.
  • Health, family and legal issues. These may include injuries and arrests.

Many problem drinkers are successful people who work every day. It isn’t always easy to spot alcohol abuse by how much or how often a person drinks.

Who’s at risk

Alcoholism is a long-term (chronic) disease. It’s not a weakness or a lack of willpower. Like many other diseases, it has a course that can be predicted, has known symptoms, and is influenced by your genes and your life situation. Someone is more likely to have a drinking problem if they:

  • Have a mental disorder
  • Have a family history of drinking problems
  • Start drinking at a young age

Healthy resources

Many people do overcome alcohol abuse problems. But taking the first step can be hard. Someone you know might have an alcohol problem, or you could think that you have one yourself.

If you find yourself in this situation, try to get help right away. Alcohol problems can lead to other health concerns, so it’s important to get help quickly. You might start by calling your doctor. Doctors can provide medical advice and treatment options. They can also refer you to other services.

Other ways to get help

Reach out to resources in your government. Look for an agency that works with drug and alcohol treatment programmes.

Download the Alcohol control tips as a PDF here

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Source: Aetna InteliHealth® website. Available at www.healthwise.net/aetna. Accessed 1 March 2017.

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