Recognizing warning signs of alcohol abuse

April 02, 2001

Recognizing warning signs of alcohol abuse

The first step in getting treated is recognizing the signs of alcohol abuse or alcoholism. If you or someone you know can answer "yes" to any of these questions, it may signal a problem with alcohol abuse or alcoholism:

  • Alcohol dependence - Do you drink more than your peers? Do you continue to drink even when they stop? Do you feel like you need to drink?
  • Abnormally high tolerance - Do you binge drink, especially without appearing to be intoxicated?
  • Loss of control - Do you drink at inappropriate times, such as in school or while on probation?
  • Has there been a general decline in your health and appearance?
  • Has your performance in school suffered?
  • Do you get annoyed or hostile when others criticize your drinking?
  • Do you drink when driving?
  • Have you blacked out after drinking?
  • Can others detect a lingering, "stale" odor of alcohol on you even when you are not drinking?

If you answered "no" to all of these questions, but are experiencing drinking-related problems with school, relationships, the law or your health, seek help.


HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Talk to a school guidance counselor. Counselors are trained in student assistance and will keep the information you disclose confidential. If you admit that you have a problem and are seeking assistance, your counselor will help you and cannot hold that information against you in a disciplinary way. If you are concerned that a classmate has an abuse problem, make an anonymous referral through your counseling center.

Other resources:
HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Washington County Health Department

Adolescent Addictions: 301-791-3314, 112 W. Baltimore St., Hagerstown

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Washington County Hospital, Behavioral Health Services, 301-766-7600

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> National Drug and Treatment Referral Routing Service, toll-free: 1-800-662-HELP

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