11 Signs You Take Excess Alcohol

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Alcoholic beverages (alcoholic drinks) are consumed more after work hours, at weekends, and special gatherings and events. The unavailability of these beverages renders most gatherings and hangouts in Nigeria incomplete. Alcohol is consumed for diverse reasons which include peer influence, lifestyle, stress, pleasure, and the like. And these beverages come in the form of wines, beers, and spirits.

Some of these beverages undeniably have their benefits. Consuming a high amount of alcohol is harmful to the health and can lead to a condition known as Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)

Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is also known as alcohol addiction, severe alcohol dependence, or alcoholism (although alcoholism is a severe form of AUD). AUD is characterized by one’s inability to control the urge to consume alcoholic drinks.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA in her fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) stated that AUD could be categorized in three spectra; mild, moderate, and severe. You should be worried if in the past one-year you have found yourself in 2 or more of the following situations as cautioned by APA;

  1. You have had times when you ended up drinking more, or longer than you intended.
  2. You have tried to stop or decrease the level of alcohol intake but you could not.
  3. You spent a significant amount of time and resources on drinking.
  4. You experienced a strong craving for alcohol that you cannot concentrate on anything else.
  5. You found out that drinking made you sick and it often interfered with any of your responsibilities.
  6. You continued to drink even though it was causing trouble in your family or among friends.
  7. You had declined important, interesting or pleasurable activities just to drink.
  8. You had more than once after drinking seen yourself in situations which increased your chances of getting hurt; like driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in dangerous places and so on.
  9. You have continued to drink even though it causes you depression, anxiety, and other health challenges.
  10. You have developed a tolerance for
  11. alcohol that you have to drink much more than you used to in other to get the usual effect you are used to.
  12. You found out that when the effect of alcohol was wearing off, you experienced withdrawal symptoms (hangover); trouble sleeping, shakiness, restlessness, nausea, sweating, racing heart, craving or seizure.

Supposing in the past one-year you have experienced 2-3, 4-5 or 6-11 of these situations, you fall under the mild, moderate or severe spectrum of alcohol use disorder respectively.

If you have resolved to stop drinking, you must first recognize the reasons why you drink or started drinking.  But if you must continue to drink, drink responsibly.

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