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Most people who have a problem with alcohol are in denial about their problem. If you drink, and you are concerned about your drinking, here is the 12 Question Quiz from Alcoholics Anonymous to help you to decide if you might have a problem with drinking. The answers are your business and not anybody else's. It might be time to reflect and ask yourself if you have a problem if you answer yes to any of these questions.

1. Do you drink because you have problems? To face up to stressful situations?

2. Do you drink when you get mad at other people, your friends or parents?

3. Do you often prefer to drink alone, rather than with others?

4. Are you starting to get low marks? Are you skiving off work or school?

5. Do you ever try to stop, or drink less - and fail?

6. Have you begun to drink in the morning, before school or work?

7. Do you gulp your drinks as if to satisfy a great thirst?

8. Do you ever have loss of memory due to your drinking?

9. Do you avoid being honest with others about your drinking?

10. Do you ever get into trouble when you are drinking?

11. Do you often get drunk when you drink, even when you do not mean to?

12. Do you think you're big to be able to hold your drink?

In addition to AA's 12 Question Quiz, there are some further signs of a developing drinking problem. Examine yourself closely and honestly. You can use these signs on yourself, if you're worried you might be developing a problem. Or you can use them on someone else if you're worried they might be developing a drinking problem.

The first thing to consider is how much you actually drink. Think back to the last week and try and write down how much you drank or if you can't remember note down how much you drink each day in the upcoming week. Try to do it on a typical week, as special occasions like birthdays and Christmas often mean you have a bit more. It's Ok to drink a little extra at these times but it's definitely not Ok to drink this much all the time.

The recommended limit of what you should drink is different for men and women. It's 3-4 units (1.5 - 2 pints of beer) a day for men and 2-3 units a day for women. If you find out that you're drinking more than this, when you look at what you've drunk in the last week then you should definitely cut down, as a drinking problem could be developing.

Initial signs of a drinking problem can be:

  • Drinking more frequently even if you've got big plans or commitments the next day and drinking more and more each time
  • Often missing school or work due to hangovers
  • Getting into some kind of trouble when drunk, like fights, accidents or hurting yourself
  • Having arguments with your friends and family when drunk or over your drinking
  • Waking up, worrying about what happened the night before or worrying about what you did as you wouldn't have done it if you hadn't drunk so much
If the above are "one-off's" it still might be a very good idea to cut down. But if they're not,  then check to see any of these ring a bell:
  • Drinking alone
  • Drinking at times of the day when people don't usually drink
  • Feeling like you need a drink
  • Finishing the first drink really quickly before anyone else
  • Ordering larger amounts and stronger drinks than others
  • Drinking to face certain situations, like something stressful
  • Getting into more arguments with friends and family
  • Getting argumentative if someone else says you drink too much
  • Hiding any evidence of drinking and lying about drinking
  • If people say they're worried due to how much you drink
  • Having the shakes and feeling sick when not drinking
  • Spending a lot of money on alcohol, more than you can afford
  • Feeling secretly uncomfortable about your drinking.
It is a definite problem bordering on alcoholism if the following are happening:
  • Waking up with the shakes and the sweats
  • Increasing what you drink to get the same effect
  • Starting the day with a drink
  • Drinking a lot during the day without getting drunk
  • Feeling uneasy without a drink
  • Hiding any evidence of drinking and lying about drinking

If you notice the above signs in you or another person then a drinking problem is developing. The first, bravest and best step to overcoming a problem like this is admitting it you then it is a must to seek professional help to overcome it. Alcoholics Anonymous is always a good first step and even if it's not you with the problem they're good to talk to so you know how to go about helping someone else you're worried about.

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Date of Last Update: 07/27/12