Drinking alcohol is not necessarily a problem, but drinking too much can cause a range of consequences from heart disease and diabetes to infertility and legal difficulties. For some people, alcohol has multiple, serious long-term, health, relationship, and legal consequences.
If you are concerned about your own alcohol consumption, mention it to your health care provider. You may be asked to take an assessment like the one on the opposite page. Be honest with yourself and your provider.
A score of 8 or more is associated with harmful or hazardous drinking, a score of 13 or more in women and 15 or more in men, is likely to indicate alcohol dependence.
Remember that physical dependence and addiction are not weaknesses in character. It is a physiologic response of the cells in your body and brain and your body and brain will have to work together to find a solution. When you are ready (the sooner the better), you can find the right support to address the problem. You may have to try more than once.