Alcohol Abuse: Are You Among the Millions?

Alcohol Abuse: Are You Among the Millions?
C. Everett Koop, M.D.

It is estimated that 18 million Americans suffer from alcohol-related problems — more than all illegal drugs combined. To know if you belong in this group, examine the physical and psychological symptoms of alcohol abuse.
Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse

temporary blackouts or memory loss after heavy drinking

unusually irritable and aggressive behavior (intermittent)

using increasing amounts of alcohol to relax, sleep, cheer up, deal with problems or feel “normal”
Examine your attitude toward drinking. If you notice yourself getting drunk despite efforts not to, hoarding alcohol, making statements that minimize how much you drink or reacting angrily if someone confronts you about it, seek professional help.
Avoid Becoming a Victim of Alcohol Abuse

Don’t drink as an attempt to escape anxiety or depression.

Substitute other, more healthful activities for social drinking if, during the day, you find yourself eagerly anticipating those martinis, beers or glasses of wine.
Date Published: 11/3/00
Date Reviewed: 11/3/00

This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

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