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April is Alcohol Awareness Month

Alcohol Awareness Month is a national public health awareness campaign sponsored by the National Council for Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD). It takes place every April. Alcohol Awareness Month was developed in order to increase awareness and understanding of the causes and treatment of one of our nation’s top public health problems: alcoholism.

Identifying that you have a drinking problem isn’t always simple, but there are some common signs and symptoms that you can look out for. Ask yourself the questions below to find out if you should be getting help.

Signs of Alcohol Abuse

Sometimes it can be hard to notice when a regular couple of drinks has turned into too many, too often. The fact that you’re thinking about whether you have a problem is a good start. There are some signs of alcohol dependence that you can look out for.

Mental and social signs include:

  • worrying about when you’ll be able to have your next drink
  • drinking alcohol, or wanting to, when you wake up in the morning
  • consuming alcohol regularly on your own, or trying to hide your drinking from those around you
  • worsening relationships with friends or family
  • always staying out late and encouraging friends to keep drinking when they’ve said they want to go home.

Physical signs include:

  • sweating when you don’t drink alcohol
  • feeling nauseous when you don’t drink alcohol
  • being unable to get to sleep without drinking alcohol
  • needing to drink more and more alcohol to get drunk.

Questions to ask yourself

Do you drink because you have problems or to relax? To take the edge off after work?

Do you prefer to drink alone, rather than with other people?

Is your work or education suffering as a result of your drinking? Calling in late?

Have you ever tried to stop drinking, or to drink less, and found that you can’t?

Do you drink in the morning, before school or work?

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

Do you lie about how much or how often you drink?

Do other people comment on your drinking and think it’s a problem?

If you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, it’s important that you talk to someone about your drinking. Facing up to the fact that you might have a problem takes courage. Deciding to get some help is a really brave move, but it can be one of the best things you’ll ever do.

Where can I get help?

Here at Valley Professionals Community Health Center!  The good news is that VPCHC offers an addiction program that encompasses our Medical Home approach, which includes physician services, behavioral health, addiction specialists, and a variety of specialties such as dentistry and chiropractic services. Our supportive approach will help you reach your goal of sobriety and assist you in building a strong support system with the skills needed to maintain a long-term sober lifestyle. Talk with your provider at your next visit for more information on addiction services, or to just discuss your thoughts and concerns about your alcohol use. 

By: Becky Robeson, LMHC

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