Many people use alcohol as a social beverage and do not appear to have any obvious problems with addiction. But there may be unrecognized health risks that can lead to serious issues.
While a person who has a heart attack may not have had outstanding symptoms, there may have been unseen but identifiable warning signs, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. In this case, as with alcohol and drug problems, early detection is key.
These are some warning signs of future alcohol problems:
- When alcohol use leads to health problems or interferes with treatment for a health condition;
- When alcohol use creates an increasing amount of risk for accident and serious injury.
If you have questions about whether your alcohol or drug use involves risk factors, consider these tests, which may help you or a loved one identify at-risk behavior.
AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test)
This test is endorsed by major health and medical institutions, including the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the World Health Organization. It is being added to doctors' office practices, emergency rooms and other health and services provider settings. Your answers are anonymous.
Drug Use Questionnaire (DAST-10)
The following questions concern information about your potential involvement with drugs excluding alcohol and tobacco during the past 12 months. If you have difficulty with an answer, choose the response which is mostly right. Your answers are anonymous.
When the words "drug abuse" are used, they mean the use of prescribed or over-the-counter medications used in excess of the directions and any non-medical use of any drugs. The various classes of drugs may include but are not limited to: cannabis (marijuana, hash), solvents (gas, paints), tranquilizers (Valium), barbiturates, cocaine and stimulants (speed), hallucinogens (LSD) or narcotics (Heroin).