8 warning signs dating violence contact with girls in a dating site

Not only can heavy drinking devastate our livers, bones and brain cells, it also increases the risk of depression, divorce and redundancy.Indeed, the Royal College of Psychiatrists has stated that alcohol causes much more harm than illegal drugs like heroin and cannabis.Severe dependence may need medically assisted withdrawal, or detox, in a hospital or a specialist clinic.

'More often than not, it's alcohol making a person depressed rather than drinking because they're depressed – although they may not realize it.

Most people find their mood starts to lift when they stop drinking for a few weeks, which is a tell-tale sign.' But when do your long lunches, after-work drinks or that 'decompression' glass of wine at home become a cause for concern?

Developed in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, the 10-question test is considered to be the gold standard in helping to determine if someone has alcohol abuse problems.

The test has been reproduced here with permission from the WHO. Your drinking is already causing you problems, and you could very well be dependent.

In general, a score of 1 or more on Question 2 or Question 3 indicates consumption at a hazardous level.

Points scored above 0 on questions 4-6 (especially weekly or daily symptoms) imply the presence or the beginning of alcohol dependence.

'They may start with beer or perhaps wine and then progress on to heavy spirits such as vodka or whiskey.'However it's not necessarily what you are drinking or where, it's the amount and the effect it's having on your life (see below).

Some people will be able to cut down, while others will try and then realise they can't – a sign of dependence.'There is a significant proportion of heavy drinkers who don't realise or are in denial that they could be functioning – albeit progressively less functioning – alcoholics.''The main problem is that it's quite easy for some people to slip into drinking regularly – and the soothing effect it gives you becomes like using a tranquilizing medication such as diazepam,' explains Dr Mohiuddin.'But over time, the benefits wear off quicker and you need more alcohol to get the same effect.''Many people associate being an alcoholic with drinking in the morning, the old adage of 'vodka on the cornflakes' or sitting on a park bench with a can of cider – but there are many more subtle signs of dependence and/or alcoholism.'One screening tool used widely by medical professionals is the AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Tests).

To complete it, answer each question and note down the corresponding score. Drinking at your current level puts you at risk of developing problems with your health and life in general, such as work and relationships. You should definitely consider stopping gradually or at least reduce your drinking.

You should seek professional help to ascertain the level of your dependence and the safest way to withdraw from alcohol.

'Not everyone who drinks heavily will become dependent, or an alcoholic,' explains Dr Mohiuddin.

Tags: , ,