If you’re an... enthusiastic drinker, you might have wondered at what point social drinking crosses the line into problem drinking. But if you’re worried, you don’t need to be a falling-down, having-blackouts kind of drinker to seek advice and help.
Alcohol-use disorder (AUD) is a medical issue that falls on a spectrum — you can be on the severe end (falling-down drunk, blackouts, relationship problems) or the mild end (wish you could cut back but are having trouble).
The US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, part of NIH, has created the Alcohol Treatment Navigator for people who are worried about their drinking but don’t know how or where to seek help.
The site offers a questionnaire for problem drinkers, including questions as mild as “Have you more than once wanted to cut down or stop drinking, or tried to, but couldn’t?” and a quiz to assess your “drinking pattern”.
You can also find a description of the types of treatment for AUD, from residential treatment programs to medication to family counselling.
But most important, the site provides guidance on how to find high-quality treatment and how to search. Some of their advice is tailored toward Americans, but a lot of it - including such things as what to ask your potential therapist - can be applied by anyone. It’s all private, and the worried drinker can poke around without concerns about being pushed towards something sketchy or non-evidence-based.
So if you’re concerned, either about yourself or a loved one, check out what they have to offer.