April is Alcohol Awareness Month. One in every 12 adults, or 17.6 million people, suffer from alcohol use disorder or alcohol dependence. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that nearly 80,000 deaths a year are a direct result of excessive alcohol use. The observance was founded by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (now Facing Addiction with NCADD). The goal is to increase public awareness and understanding aimed at reducing the stigma that too often prevents individuals and families from seeking help. This year’s theme is “Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow.”

April 11 is Alcohol Screening Day. Why not take a confidential self-assessment?

The NCADD says that warning signs of alcohol abuse include:

  • Drinking to calm nerves, forget worries or boost a sad mood
  • Guilt about drinking
  • Unsuccessful attempts to cut down or stop drinking
  • Lying about or hiding drinking habits
  • Causing harm to oneself or someone else as a result of drinking
  • Needing to drink increasingly greater amounts in order to achieve desired effects
  • Feeling irritable, resentful or unreasonable when not drinking
  • Medical, social, family or financial problems caused by drinking

If you are trying to determine whether you or a loved one might have an unhealthy dependence on alcohol, here are a few other quick questions to ask.

Does alcohol ever:

  • Interfere with or disrupt your ordinary life: work, family or relationships?
  • Have a negative effect on your physical, mental or emotional health?
  • Pose a safety, health or financial risk?
  • Cause anxiety, discomfort, irritability or illness when stopped?
  • Result in arguments?
  • Pose difficulties in limiting or stopping?
  • Continue even in the face of negative consequences?

If you answer yes to a few of these questions, it may be time to seek help.

Members of ESI’s EAP can login to take explore confidential self-assessments and information on substance abuse and problem drinking. Counselors are available at our toll-free member number 24/7/365, too.

Here are good help resources;

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