The health risks linked to excessive alcohol use are well-known and have been the focus of numerous awareness campaigns. But it’s not always easy to assess your alcohol consumption. Below are guidelines you can use to determine if you have an alcohol problem.    


1.    Determine how much you’re drinking


Start by counting how many drinks or how much alcohol you consume. Try to calculate your average weekly alcohol intake; make sure to include holiday periods as well as abstinence periods. You can also calculate how much you’re spending on alcohol by reviewing invoices and bank statements. Be honest with yourself; remember that excessive alcohol use can lead to health problems (cancer, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal disease, as well as diseases of the nervous system and mental health issues, etc.).

Are you having trouble going about simple daily tasks (getting up in the morning, taking care of your appearance, etc.)? Are you having a very hard time concentrating at work? Are your professional priorities taking a back seat?


2.    Ask your friends and family


Talk to your loved ones and ask them what they honestly think about your alcohol use. Is it causing them distress? Have you ever failed to meet commitments because of your alcohol use? Have you quarreled with friends or strangers? Resorted to verbal or even physical violence? Have you ever engaged in binge drinking (drinking a large amount of alcohol over a short period of time)? Has a family member or friend ever told you that you drink too much? Is alcohol the focus of your social life, with friends whose main activity is drinking with you? Are you afraid these friends might stop socializing with you or pass judgment on you if you stop drinking? Do you feel socially anxious or shy when you don’t drink?  Do you lie about your alcohol use?

If you answered ʺyesʺ to any of these questions, you should consider the possibility that you might have an alcohol problem.

3.     Take a short break from alcohol


If you’re wondering whether or not you’re drinking too much, why not try to take a short break from alcohol. Alcohol-free months like Dry January or the February 28 Day Challenge have become very popular over the past few years and can help you determine if you have trouble staying away from alcohol.

Important: If you feel ill (cold sweats, vomiting, hallucinations) during your break from alcohol, it’s important to seek medical help for detox purposes. Make sure to get help if you are physically dependent on alcohol.


4.    Take action


If alcohol use is becoming a problem in your life, it’s important to act quickly in order to avoid falling into the addiction trap. If you need help reducing your alcohol use or quitting altogether, Portage can offer rehabilitation services geared to various clienteles.

Alcohol can have major short- and long-term effects on your body, so it’s imperative to seek help if alcohol use becomes a problem and is impacting various areas of your life.

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