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Summertime Means BBQs And Days On The Lake, But It Also Carries The Increased Risk Of Alcohol Abuse

Summertime is the season for backyard grill-outs, days on the water, and other social gatherings, but it also carries an increased risk for excessive alcohol consumption. The Recovery Center at Manning Regional Healthcare Center (MRHC) has released a short, 11-question survey to help residents determine if their habits include the habitual misuse of alcohol. Some questions include: Do you ever crave or have a strong desire to drink, have you struggled to cut down on your drinking, have you missed work, school, or home activities because of alcohol, and others. Individuals answering “yes” to as few as two of the questions may have a mild alcohol use disorder. While not considered alcoholism, this designation carries the risk of developing it later in life. If you believe you or a family member may need additional help, contact your physician or reach out to the Recovery Center at 712-655-2300 or www.manningrecoverycenter.com. The full alcohol use questionnaire is included with this story on our website.
Here is a pop quiz. For each question you answer “yes,” give yourself a point.

  1. Have you ever set out to have ‘a quick drink or two’ but ended up having more drinks than you intended? Or did you stay at the bar drinking past the time you said you’d be home for dinner?
  2. Have you ever thought “I really want/need to cut down on my drinking,” but struggled to do so?
  3. Have you ever spent more time drinking alcohol or recovering from drinking than you would like?
  4. Do you ever crave or have a strong desire to have a drink?
  5. Have you missed major role obligations (work, school, or home) more than once because you were impaired or busy drinking?
  6. Do you continue to use alcohol despite persistent or recurrent social (or interpersonal) problems caused or made worse by drinking alcohol?
  7. Have you continued to drink despite knowing you have persistent or recurrent mental or physical health problems caused or made worse by alcohol use?
  8. Have you given up or reduced social, occupational, or recreational activities because of alcohol use?
  9. Have you used alcohol when it was dangerous to do so? (Drinking and driving or drinking despite liver problems).
  10. Have you noticed that you have developed a tolerance to alcohol? (It takes more alcohol to feel buzzed than it did in the past. Or you notice you can drink more now without feeling as impaired as you might have in the past).
  11. Do you ever feel ill when you don’t drink for a couple of days?

These questions represent the diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorders as defined by the DSM-5 (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition)
2-3 “yes” answers – You may have a mild alcohol use disorder.
4-5 “yes” answers – You likely have a moderate alcohol use disorder.
6+ “yes” answers – You likely have a severe alcohol use disorder.

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