An estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes each year. 10,000 of these accidents are from drinking and driving, and account for 31% of driving fatalities each year.
Nearly 1 million people in the United States suffer from some type of AUD, or Alcohol Use Disorder. However, some people don't realize they're alcohol dependent until it's too late.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists produced a list of classic symptoms that can mean your drinking has reached a troubling level:
- You regularly use alcohol to cope with anger, frustration, anxiety or depression - instead of choosing to have a drink, you feel you have to have it.
- You regularly use alcohol to feel confident
- Your drinking affects your relationships with other people – they may tell you that when you drink you become gloomy or aggressive. Or, people around/with you look embarrassed or uncomfortable when you are drinking.
- You stop doing other things to spend more time drinking - these other things become less important to you than alcohol.
- You carry on drinking even though you can see it is interfering with your work, family and relationships.
- You hide the amount you drink from friends and family
- Your drinking makes you feel disgusted, angry, or suicidal – but you carry on in spite of the problems it causes
- You start to drink earlier and earlier in the day and/or need to drink more and more to feel good/get the same effect
- You start to feel shaky and anxious the morning after drinking the night before
- You get 'memory blanks' where you can't remember what happened for a period of hours or even days
There are 10 questions you can ask yourself to reveal your alcohol risk. The questions, developed by medical professionals in collaboration with the World Health Organization, is called the AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test.)
Take the test and track your scores. What your final tally means will be revealed after the quiz.
If you scored...
0-7: You are within the sensible drinking range and have a low risk of alcohol-related problems.
Over 8: Could indicate harmful drinking.
8-15: Medium level of risk. Your current level of drinking makes you more vulnerable to suffering health problems as well as life problems related to drinking. Consider cutting down.
16-19: Higher risk of complications from alcohol. You may need professional help to cut down your drinking habit, but it is recommended to do so. Consult your general practitioner.
20 and over: You have a possible alcohol dependency and it is suggested you seek medical attention. Your drinking is causing problems in both your own body as well as your relationships.