Alcohol dependence is a serious problem and, according to the world health organization (WHO)recognized as an official disease. From a certain level of drinking, the consumption of alcohol is harmful to our health.
So when do we talk about alcohol dependence – and what should we watch out for?? Infrances.De gives you tips on how to recognize alcoholism.
When does alcohol consumption become a problem??
According to the german headquarters for addiction issues (DHS), alcohol consumption is not inherently bad and, up to a point, not problematic either. However, there are recommendations as to the amount of alcohol that should be consumed in order to adjust one’s behavior. For males, the consumption of up to 24 grams of alcohol per day is considered harmless to health. This is roughly equivalent to 0.5 to 0.6 liters of beer or 0.25 to 0.3 liters of wine with an average alcohol content. For women, the guideline is half – that is, 12 grams of alcohol per day.
The federal center for health education (bzga) explains on your web site that men can safely consume eight standard glasses (ten to twelve grams of alcohol each) per week. Women should keep it to about five to six such standard glasses. It becomes risky when the consumption of men reaches 21 and of women 14 standard glasses per week. Four to five standard glasers per day are considered a high health risk.
It is important to have at least two alcohol-free days per week, otherwise such regular consumption may already indicate alcohol addiction. However, no one should panic just yet. Eventually, many other factors also play a role. You should always pay attention to the reasons for which you consume alcohol. If it only serves the tasteful enjoyment or the cozy get-together with friends, this is still no problem. However, it is difficult and varies from person to person to establish clear dividing lines as to when a person actually has an alcohol problem.
Like the clinic friedenweiler reported, alcohol consumption should never be used to suppress your psychological worries and problems. Under these conditions, it is no longer necessarily a question of the amount drunk, but above all of the function that alcohol represents for a person. "I drink alcohol to become calmer", or "i’m going to have another beer, i’ve earned it" are traps that can indicate alcohol dependence – of course always in relation to the actual consumption behavior. Many people also reach for digestive liquor after a meal – whether this makes sense or not, you can read here.
These criteria indicate alcohol dependence
It is important to know what clues indicate alcohol dependence. That is why physicians and scientists use the classifications of the WHO, which has defined in the ICD-10 (international classification of diseases) any pathology. An alcohol addiction requiring treatment exists if at least three of the following six criteria have been met within the last twelve months:
- Craving (strong desire to drink alcohol)
- Loss of control over alcohol consumption onset or quantity
- Development of tolerance to the effect of alcohol
- Confinement to alcohol drinking and thereby neglect other interests
- Continued alcohol consumption despite clear harmful consequences (health, psychological or social)
- Physical withdrawal syndromes in case of reduction of the alcohol quantity or abstinence
Around 1.6 million people in germany are considered to be dependent on alcohol, ten million people are considered to be at risk of addiction. Most people do not realize when they have crossed the critical threshold. A test by the bzga can help you determine whether you have such a problem. There, a short self-test can be made without further ado, which can be used to classify one’s own alcohol consumption.
The federal center for health education also gives tips that can be followed to limit one’s own alcohol consumption. And even though some of the suggestions may sound banal – if you find it easy to put these things into practice, you don’t have to worry about alcohol addiction:
- Stay within the limit when celebrating: reach for a soft drink every now and then to quench your thirst. Avoid unnecessary drinking games.
- To outwit one’s own desiresdistract yourself when you feel the urge to drink alcohol – the desire will disappear by itself.
- No, thanksif you drink alcohol out of social desire, just to avoid being inhospitable, you can now show strength – just say no. It’s not easy at first, but it can be learned.
- Set goalsset clear goals for yourself. No more than one beer in the evening, or only one beer every other evening. If you manage to reach your goals, you can reward yourself with something nice.
- To find another way of relaxation: do not try to drown your sorrows in alcohol. Discover new ways for your body to cope with stressful situations. Alcohol may numb the senses – but it is not a long-term solution.
- Putting an end to habitual drinkingbreak the habitual loops. Try to change your drinking routine if necessary. Let others in on your plan, too.
Alcohol dependence should not be underestimated under any circumstances. Perhaps many people don’t even know that their consumption behavior harms their bodies in the long term. But with the above points they can test themselves – and possibly take their own steps towards a healthier lifestyle.