Assuming a drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits, how much alcohol do you drink in a year? How about in one day? National surveys claim that most people will say they do not have a drinking problem, but the Institute of Medicine estimates that 20 percent of the United States adult population’s daily consumption of alcohol exceeds the acceptable limits of one to two drinks per day. The study also estimated that as many as 5% may be addicted to alcohol.
So how dangerous is alcohol abuse? About 85,000 deaths per year and numerous injuries are a result of excessive drinking. In 2009, in California alone, it is estimated there were 950 DUI traffic deaths. This does not take into account the additional devastation caused by alcoholism including: fetal alcohol syndrome, child and spousal abuse and unsafe sex.
The U.S. has also seen young adult’s abuse alcohol, and although they may be able to maintain their jobs or attend school, their binging still brings unwanted consequences like those listed above.
So how do you know if you have a problem with alcohol? According to the World Health Organization there are several questions that can be asked to find out if you have a problem. They have created the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test or AUDIT to help you make a determination. The higher your score the more likely you will need to seek help from an alcohol abuse and education program.
The test includes the following questions:
1. How often do you have a drink containing alcohol?
2. How many drinks containing alcohol do you have on a typical day when you are drinking?
3. How often do you have six or more drinks on one occasion?
4. How often during the last year have you found that you were not able to stop drinking once you had started?
5. How often during the last year have you failed to do what was normally expected from you because of drinking?
6. How often during the last year have you been unable to remember what happened the night before because you had been drinking?
7. How often during the last year have you needed an alcoholic drink first thing in the morning to get yourself going after a night of heavy drinking?
8. How often during the last year have you had a feeling of guilt or remorse after drinking?
9. Have you or someone else been injured as a result of your drinking?
10. Has a relative, friend, doctor, or another health professional expressed concern about your drinking or suggested you cut down?
If you have taken the test and scored too high, it might be time to face the truth that you have a drinking problem. What causes a drinking addiction? Research indicates there are a variety of factors including social, emotion, and genetic factors. Certain groups also have been found to have a higher propensity to drink too much. Many individuals who have a severe mental or physical health condition such as depression, bi-polar or anxiety also may have a higher incidence of alcoholism.
So is it okay to share wine at a meal or celebrate by drinking a few drinks with friends? Moderate, responsible drinking is okay, but if you are using alcohol to avoid dealing with your problems, you have to drink more and more to feel relaxed (you have developed a tolerance for it) or you have to have a drink first thing in the morning to “steady” yourself, you may have a drinking problem.
Understanding warning signs, understanding how to quit and admitting you have a problem, is the first step to conquering your alcohol addiction.
Hiring a DUI Lawyer
If you have a drinking problem and you have been arrested for DUI this can have severe consequences for every aspect of your life. Not only does alcohol affect every organ of your body, a DUI arrest and conviction can damage your career, your personal relationship and your finances. A DUI arrest should not be fought without the help of a DUI lawyer. Contact a DUI attorney in your area who can review your DUI case and answer your DUI questions.
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If you have a drinking problem and you have been arrested for DUI this can have severe consequences for every aspect of your life. Not only does alcohol affect every organ of your body, a DUI arrest and conviction can damage your career, your personal relationship and your finances.
A DUI arrest should not be fought without the help of a DUI lawyer. Contact a DUI attorney in your area who can review your DUI case and answer your DUI questions.