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Alcohol was legalized in America in the 1930s, and since then there are many people who drink alcohol regularly, without any problems. However, there are also many individuals who suffer from alcohol abuse and addiction. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that works by slowing down vital functions in one’s body. Alcoholism, also known as addiction to alcohol or alcohol use disorder (AUD), is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic brain disorder. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) explains that “alcohol use disorder is a medical condition characterized by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences.” There are several warning signs that can be indicative of alcohol addiction. Individuals that are addicted to alcohol will prioritize satisfying alcohol cravings above all else.

Quiz: Am I An Alcoholic?

The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) is a 10-item questionnaire that “is a simple and effective method of screening for unhealthy alcohol use, defined as risky or hazardous consumption or any alcohol use disorder.” It was published in 1989 and was based on a multinational collaborative study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO). To answer the following questions accurately please note the definition of one standard drink, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, includes one of 12 ounces of regular beer with approximately 5% alcohol content; 8 – 9 ounces of malt liquor with approximately 7% alcohol content; 5 ounces of unfortified wine with approximately 12% alcohol content; 1.5 ounces of 80-proof hard liquor with approximately 40% alcohol content.

  1. How often do you have a drink containing alcohol?
    1. Never (score 0)
    2. Monthly or Less (score 1)
    3. 2-4 times a month (score 2)
    4. 2-3 times a week (score 3)
    5. 4 or more times a week (score 4)
  2. How many alcoholic drinks do you have on a typical day when you are drinking?
    1. 1 or 2 (0)
    2. 3 or 4 (1)
    3. 5 or 6 (2)
    4. 7-9 (3)
    5. 10 or more (4)
  3. How often do you have 6 or more drinks on one occasion?
    1. Never (0)
    2. Less than monthly (1)
    3. Monthly (2)
    4. Weekly (3)
    5. Daily or almost daily (4)
  4. How often during the past year have you found that you drank more or for a longer time than you intended?
    1. Never (0)
    2. Less than monthly (1)
    3. Monthly (2)
    4. Weekly (3)
    5. Daily or almost daily (4)
  5. How often during the past year have you failed to do what was normally expected of you because of your drinking?
    1. Never (0)
    2. Less than monthly (1)
    3. Monthly (2)
    4. Weekly (3)
    5. Daily or almost daily (4)
  6. How often during the past year have you had a drink in the morning to get yourself going after a heavy drinking session?
    1. Never (0)
    2. Less than monthly (1)
    3. Monthly (2)
    4. Weekly (3)
    5. Daily or almost daily (4)
  7. How often during the past year have you felt guilty or remorseful after drinking?
    1. Never (0)
    2. Less than monthly (1)
    3. Monthly (2)
    4. Weekly (3)
    5. Daily or almost daily (4)
  8. How often during the past year have you been unable to remember what happened the night before because of your drinking?
    1. No (0)
    2. Yes, but not in the past year (2)
    3. Yes, during the past year (4)
  9. Has a relative, friend, doctor, or health care worker been concerned about your drinking, or suggested that you cut down?
    1. No (0)
    2. Yes, but not in the past year (2)
    3. Yes, during the past year (4)

Your score: Add up the points associated with the answers. A total score of 8 or more indicates harmful drinking behavior. If you scored 8-10 or higher, there is a significant possibility you are addicted to alcohol, and it may be advantageous to pursue professional support.

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, or give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.