How can you tell if someone has an alcohol problem?

Answering the following four questions can help you find out if you or a loved one has a drinking problem:

  1. Have you ever felt you or your loved one should cut down on drinking?
  2. Have people annoyed you or your loved one by criticizing drinking habits?
  3. Have you or your loved one ever felt bad or guilty about drinking habits?
  4. Have you or your loved one ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady nerves or to get rid of a hangover?


If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you or your loved one may have a problem and getting a professional assessment might help you to identify the extent of the problem. If you have more than one “yes” answer, it is highly likely that a problem exists.

Think one “yes” answer is too strict a cut-off?  People who don’t have alcohol problems answer “NO” to the questions above the same way you answer “NO” to the following questions:

Have people criticized you or have you ever felt badly about how much milk you drink?

Do you ever drink milk first thing in the morning to steady your nerves?

Easy to answer “NO,” right?

If you think that you or someone you love might have an alcohol problem, it is important to get evaluated by a professional. They can help you determine if a drinking problem exists and plan the best course of action.

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