Do I Have A Drinking Problem? Alcoholism Test

We present the information on this page as a generalized, educational overview. Specific details below regarding treatment protocols may not reflect the protocols utilized by Compass Recovery.

Please do not hesitate to reach out if you would like to learn more about Compass Recovery and our individualized programs for those struggling with substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders.

What Is Alcohol Use Disorder?

An alcohol use disorder is a pattern of problematic alcohol use. This disorder includes problems controlling drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, and not stopping drinking even when it’s causing problems. It also causes feelings of needing to drink more to get the same effect and withdrawal symptoms when drinking stops or is limited. An alcohol use disorder can range from mild to severe depending on many different factors.
A commonly known level of alcohol use disorder is alcoholism. Once a physical and psychological dependence on alcohol has developed, and it can become very addictive. There are different stages of alcoholism that can help you determine if you or someone you care about is on the path to addiction. Alcoholism can affect life in numerous ways, and it’s vital that those struggling can get help. Taking an alcoholism test could be an excellent first step in determining an alcohol problem and how severe it may be. A test can also help you get an idea of what next steps you may need to take.

Statistics On Alcohol Use

Here are some statistics about alcohol use from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).1
  • According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 85.6 percent of people ages 18 or older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime.
  • In 2019, 25.8 percent of people ages 18 or older reported that they engaged in binge drinking in the past month.
  • According to the 2019 NSDUH, 14.1 million adults ages 18 and older (5.6 percent of this age group) had an alcohol use disorder.
  • Only 7.9% of adults who had an alcohol use disorder received treatment.

What Causes AUD?

Alcoholism can impact anyone. There is no exact formula to determine the actual cause, as it can be different for everyone. However, some signs or behaviors are linked to the development of alcoholism. After a long period of excessive drinking, your brain begins to rely on alcohol. This is the process of developing a dependence. Dependence can lead to someone feeling like they can’t function normally without drinking. It is frequently a primary factor in the development of an addiction. Other causes of addiction may be psychological, environmental, social, or biological. Psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, depression can lead someone to drink excessively to self-medicate these issues. Alcohol can feel calming or like an escape, so some people turn to it during some kind of stress.
Alcohol is also very prevalent in society, which can lead people to drink for social purposes. The availability of alcohol combined with the social aspect can lead to some people having difficulty avoiding drinking, even if they know an alcohol use disorder is present.

Is Alcoholism Genetic?

You may wonder, is alcoholism genetic? Many people have a history of alcohol abuse in their families, which can be a common concern. There are genetic factors linked to alcoholism.2 While some people can limit alcohol use, others feel an impulse to keep going. This desire is linked to chemical factors in the brain. These chemical factors make it much more likely that an alcohol use disorder will develop. Scientists have also indicated that alcoholism may be associated with up to 51 genes in various chromosome regions. This genetic connection can make alcoholism more likely to be passed down from generation to generation.

Alcoholism Gene Test

Now that we’ve answered the question, “is alcoholism genetic?” You may also be wondering, is there an alcoholism gene test? Over the years, scientists have been working on testing if a predisposition to alcoholism. Even though they have made a lot of progress in determining genes associated with alcoholism, these tests can still be a coin flip in terms of accuracy. The best way to decide on specific risks for addiction or to get treatment is to speak with a medical professional specializing in addiction. A comprehensive assessment can help determine the type of support best for recovery in your situation.

Recognizing Problem Drinking and AUD

It can be easy to see when someone has been drinking. You’ll notice things like slurred speech, lack of coordination, lowered inhibitions, and the smell of alcohol on their breath. However, determining the presence of an alcohol use disorder is a bit more complicated. Many people may try to cover it up, and some people around them may not recognize the signs of addiction or may even try to ignore it. However, there are common signs that can help you determine the presence of an AUD.3
  • Being unable to control how much or when you drink
  • Developing a tolerance to alcohol, needing to drink more to get the same effect
  • Having to drink to feel "normal" or "good"
  • Storing alcohol in hidden places
  • Drinking alone or in secret
  • Continuing to drink despite it causing problems in your life
  • Feeling withdrawn from social activities you would usually enjoy
  • Experiencing blackouts, long periods where you don't remember where you were, what you did, or who you were with

Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder

  • Being unable to control how much or when you drink
  • Developing a tolerance to alcohol, needing to drink more to get the same effect
  • Having to drink to feel "normal" or "good"
  • Storing alcohol in hidden places
  • Drinking alone or in secret
  • Continuing to drink despite it causing problems in your life
  • Feeling withdrawn from social activities you would usually enjoy
  • Experiencing blackouts, long periods where you don't remember where you were, what you did, or who you were with

How Does AUD Affect The Body?

Excessive drinking over a long time can take a toll on health, both mentally and physically. Excessive alcohol use can weaken the immune system and affects the brain, leading to cognitive and behavioral problems. Excessive drinking can also cause heart damage, liver damage and has been linked to numerous types of cancer.4 This toll that AUD can take is why it’s essential to get help if you’re struggling. There are resources available, and you don’t have to go through it alone.

Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

There are many treatment options available for AUD. Seeking help from a medical professional or going to a treatment center can be an excellent first step in getting needed support.

Detox

It’s possible to develop both a physical and psychological dependence on alcohol. This dependence can lead to many different types of withdrawal symptoms when drinking stops. Withdrawal symptoms depend on numerous factors, such as the stage of alcoholism someone is in as well as the biological factors of the individual. Withdrawal symptoms can be severe, which is why going to a treatment center to detox is essential. A treatment center will provide medical attention 24/7, so you can be as comfortable as possible while detoxing.

Delirium Tremens

Delirium tremens is a rapid onset of confusion that can be caused by alcohol withdrawal.5 It usually occurs about three days after drinking stops and continues for about two to three days. Symptoms may include shaking, shivering, irregular heart rate, sweating, and hallucinations. Detox symptoms like this are why it’s crucial to go to a treatment center when going through the detox process.

Medication-Assisted Therapy

AUD can be challenging to address. There are some medications for alcoholism that can be used in treatment to help with the withdrawal symptoms. Common medications are disulfiram, naltrexone, and acamprosate. Taking medicines for alcoholism during detox can help ease withdrawal symptoms or deter the desire to drink alcohol.

Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient rehab is when treatment is provided 24/7 at a treatment center. This treatment can be helpful by offering a stable environment away from temptations and around-the-clock medical support with a good support system.

Stages of Alcohol Detox

The American Academy of Family Physicians provides three stages from withdrawal.
  • Stage 1 (mild): symptoms may include headache, insomnia, anxiety, hand tremor, gastrointestinal disturbances, and heart palpitations
  • Stage 2 (moderate): symptoms include Stage 1 mild symptoms in addition to increased blood pressure or heart rate, confusion, mild hyperthermia, and rapid abnormal breathing
  • Stage 3 (severe): symptoms include Stage 2 moderate symptoms plus visual or auditory hallucinations, seizures, disorientation, and impaired attention
Without treatment from a medical professional, it’s possible to go from stage 2 to 3 very rapidly. This rapid change can lead to many adverse effects, so seeking medical attention when detoxing is essential.

Alcohol Use Disorders Test (AUDIT)

The AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test) is a simple and effective alcohol test used to screen for unhealthy alcohol use, defined as risky or hazardous consumption or alcohol use disorder.6 The AUDIT alcoholism test also provides a framework to help reduce or cease alcohol use to avoid alcohol abuse’s adverse health effects.
This information should not replace a visit to a doctor or treatment center. If you are concerned that you or a loved one might be suffering from tramadol addiction, ask for professional help today.

Do I Have a Drinking Problem Self-Test

HOW OFTEN DO YOU HAVE A DRINK CONTAINING ALCOHOL?
  • Never
  • Monthly or Less
  • 2-4 times a month
  • 2-3 times a week
  • 4 or more times a week
HOW MANY STANDARD DRINKS CONTAINING ALCOHOL DO YOU HAVE ON A TYPICAL DAY WHEN YOU ARE DRINKING?
  • 1 or 2
  • 3 or 4
  • 5 or 6
  • 7-9
  • 10 or more

HOW OFTEN DO YOU HAVE 6 OR MORE DRINKS ON ONE OCCASION?

  • Never
  • Less than monthly
  • Monthly
  • Weekly
  • Daily or almost daily
HOW OFTEN DURING THE PAST 12-MONTHS HAVE YOU FOUND THAT YOU WERE NOT ABLE TO STOP DRINKING ONCE YOU STARTED?
  • Never
  • Less than monthly
  • Monthly
  • Weekly
  • Daily or almost daily
HOW OFTEN DURING THE PAST 12-MONTHS HAVE YOU FAILED TO DO WHAT WAS NORMALLY EXPECTED OF YOU BECAUSE OF YOUR DRINKING?
  • Never
  • Less than monthly
  • Monthly
  • Weekly
  • Daily or almost daily
HOW OFTEN DURING THE PAST YEAR HAVE YOU HAD A DRINK IN THE MORNING TO GET YOURSELF GOING AFTER A HEAVY DRINKING SESSION?
  • Never
  • Less than monthly
  • Monthly
  • Weekly
  • Daily or almost daily
DURING THE PAST 12-MONTHS, HAVE YOU FELT GUILTY OR REMORSEFUL AFTER DRINKING?
  • Never
  • Less than monthly
  • Monthly
  • Weekly
  • Daily or almost daily
DURING THE 12-MONTHS HOW OFTEN HAVE YOU BEEN UNABLE TO REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED THE NIGHT BEFORE BECAUSE OF YOUR DRINKING?
  • Never
  • Less than monthly
  • Monthly
  • Weekly
  • Daily or almost daily
HAVE YOU OR ANYONE ELSE BEEN INJURED AS A RESULT OF YOUR DRINKING?
  • No
  • Yes, but not in the past year
  • Yes, during the past year
HAS A RELATIVE, FRIEND, DOCTOR, OR HEALTH CARE WORKER BEEN CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR DRINKING, OR SUGGESTED THAT YOU CUT DOWN?
  • No
  • Yes, but not in the past year
  • Yes, during the past year

YOUR SCORE:

Add up the points associated with the answers. A total score of 8 or more indicates harmful drinking behavior. If you scored 8-10 or more, you are probably addicted to alcohol.

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