You know that you have got a problem with booze when:

1 before every party or social occasion your partner asks you “not to drink too much tonight”.

2 you feel that everyone in your company drinks too slowly or doesn’t know how to let their hair down and have a good time like you.

3 you are having extra drinks when you go to the bar, because (see number 2).

4 you hate going to any social occasion if there is no opportunity to drink.

5 you think about drinking constantly, can’t wait to finish work to go and have a drink, can’t wait to be finished ..anything.. to go and have a drink.

6 you hide alcohol around the house, garage, office, wherever.

7 you lie about how much you drink and how often you are drunk, always minimising the amount.

8 you can’t, or find it difficult, to set a limit on the number of drinks and keep to it.

9 you drink too much at inappropriate times, embarrass your family, friends and self.

10 you feel guilty about the night before and have difficulty looking people in the eye.

11 your hands shake in the morning

12 you feel sweaty on waking and for most of the day

13 the previous night’s drinking is a bit of a blur, or worse still a blank.

14 your partner increasingly criticises your drinking

15 your friends increasingly criticise your drinking

16 your co-workers and/or boss increasingly criticise your drinking

17 you don’t count your money in dollars or ponds but in the number of drinks that it will buy

18 you are always the last of your group to leave the bar and the first to suggest another bar or another drink somewhere else.

19 you find it increasingly difficult to talk to people or socialise without having had a drink.

20 you want a drink as soon as you wake up

If you experience a couple of them occasionally it does not necessarily mean that you have a problem with booze. It is when these signs are regular features of your drinking that they are significant. We can all overindulge on occasion but if these occasions are becoming more frequent and you are experiencing an increasing number of these signs then maybe you need to take a hard look at your lifestyle and your drinking. Also you do not need to be experiencing all of these signs to have a problem, a few of them is more than enough. If you do feel that you need help check with your family doctor sooner rather than later. Like most problems, drinking problems are easier to treat when they are detected early.

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