If you are concerned about a woman’s drinking habits, here is the National Council on Alcoholism’s checklist of danger signals aimed specifically at women.
* Do you drink when you are depressed in the hopes that it will make you feel better?
* Do you regularly use alcohol as medicine - to relieve menstrual cramps, help you sleep, calm your nerves?
* Do you need a drink to feel sociable?
* Do you feel more witty and attractive when drinking?
* Do you drink under pressure or after an argument?
* Do you drink to drown out angry feelings or to relax?
* Do you get someone to buy liquor for you because you are ashamed to buy it yourself?
* Do you buy liquor at different places so no one will know how much you purchase? Do you hide the empty bottles and dispose of them secretly?
* Do you plan in advance to reward yourself with a little drinking bout after you have worked in the house or on the job?
* Are you permissive with your children because you feel guilty about the way you have behaved while drinking.
* Do you have “blackouts” - periods about which you remember nothing? Do you phone the hostess of a party the next day and asked if you made a fool of yourself or hurt anyone’s feelings?
* Do you find cigarette holes in your clothes or on your furniture and can’t remember when you made them?
* Do you take an extra drink or two before leaving for a party, though you know that drinks will be served there?
* Do you wonder if anyone knows how much you drink? Do you become defensive when someone mentions your drinking?
* Do you feel panicky when faced with non-drinking days, or when you are without money to purchase alcohol?
* Do you invent social occasions for drinking, such as inviting friends for lunch, cocktails or dinner, or arrange business appointments around meal time or after work?
* Do you carry liquor in your purse? Do you become irritated when unexpected guests reduce your liquor supply?
* Do you try to cover up when you can't remember promises and feel ashamed when you misplace or lose things?
* Do you drive your car though you have been drinking, feeling certain that you are in complete control of yourself?
* Do you have prescriptions for sleeping pills or tranquilizers that you use along with alcohol?
* Do you use alcohol to engage in or avoid sexual activity?
Any woman who answers yes to five or more of these questions has a drinking problem but even few affirmative answers may be a sign of serious trouble.
Alcohol: A Women's Health Issue
This booklet is the result of a collaboration between two components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH): the Office of Research on Women's Health, Office of the Director, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
Publication Year: 2003
ELLEN L. DONALDSON, M.H.R., LMFT, LADC
330 W. GRAY, #100-6C
NORMAN, OK 73069
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