Several recent scientific papers have tackled the health effects of alcohol, some claiming there are health benefits while others suggest the national published guidelines for “safe drinking” should be lower.
The debate may make it harder to know if you or someone you care about has a drinking problem.
“The questions below won’t give a diagnosis, but they can help people identify risk of – or increased risk of developing – an alcohol use disorder or medical problems related to alcohol use,” says Dr. J. Craig Allen, medical director of Rushford.
- Has a friend or family member ever expressed concern about your drinking?
- Do you use alcohol to cope with feeling angry, depressed or stressed?
- Are you having problems with finances, work or relationships because of your drinking?
- Have you had the shakes in the morning and need a drink or medication to calm yourself?
- If you’re a man, do you have more than five drinks a day or more than 15 a week? If you’re a woman, do you have more than four drinks a day or eight or more a week?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, Dr. Allen suggests speaking to your primary care provider about your alcohol use. Hartford HealthCare’s Behavioral Health Network also offers alcohol recovery help through its MATCH (Medication Assisted Treatment Close to Home) Program. For more information, click here.