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Most Problem Drinkers Aren’t Actually Alcoholics, Study Finds

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When people hear the term “problem drinker,” they probably also think of the term “alcoholic.”

However, out of the 38 million US adults who drink too much, most of them are not alcoholics, according to a new “Vital Signs” report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“For every one person who is alcoholic there are about six who are problem drinkers, drinking enough to adversely affect their lives, their health, their work situation or family situation,” CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said.

drinking alcoholWhile they may not be alcoholics, three-quarters of Americans who drink too much are considered “binge drinkers,” including men who consume more than four alcoholic drinks in one sitting and women who consume more than three.

Excessive drinking can also include “high average drinkers.” This includes men who consume more than an average of two drinks per day or 14 per week and women who average more than one drink per day or seven per week.

The CDC estimates that excess drinking causes 88,000 U.S. deaths each year and costs the economy more than $220 billion in addition to contributing to numerous social and chronic health problems.

But the CDC report also points out that brief screenings and interventions by health care professionals could go a long way in reducing the numbers of problem drinkers. Even a doctor, nurse or other caregiver spending five minutes with a patient to ask about the patient’s alcohol consumption can help. Discussing what the patient wants to do in the future and recommending guidelines for the patient to follow are also helpful.

“It should be a routine part of patient care,” Frieden said. “In the same way we screen patients for high blood pressure and high cholesterol, we should be screening for excess alcohol use and then responding appropriately.”

Alcohol Testing Substance Abuse

Are You An Alcoholic?

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This may be one of the most difficult questions to answer – as the last one who will admit, or realize, that he or she has an alcohol problem is the one with the problem to begin with.

Many people associate alcoholism with the image of someone who will always have a glass of bourbon or scotch or gin in hand, drinking day in and day out; anyone less than that cannot be considered an alcoholic. Not exactly, according to a feature on WebMD.

martinisIt turns out that being an alcoholic is not only determined by how much one drinks, or how often. One can not drink everyday or drink a whole lot but still abuse alcohol, or be at risk for addiction. The feature shares several signs for both.

Signs of alcohol abuse that people should watch out for include having problems at school or at work – such as tardiness, absence, injury or being unproductive. Irresponsible behavior – such as drinking and then driving, is also considered a sign of abuse, as is experiencing blackouts, or not remembering anything after drinking.

One can tell that they may be at risk for addiction if they start drinking more often than they used to – or start drinking more than what they planned to drink. Another sign will involve a change in the amount of alcohol that it will take for one to become drunk, and experience withdrawal symptoms – such as shakiness and anxiety – when one stops drinking.

The first step, of course, is acceptance. It is very important to reach deep within and admit that one has a problem, so that one can get the help he or she needs.

Real Drug Stories Substance Abuse

Julie Ann Kroll’s Battle with Alcoholism

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The body of a woman from Woodbridge, Virginia who has been missing since December 16 has been found. Police and firefighters recovered the remains of 39-year-old Julie Ann Kroll from a 100-ft ravine behind a row of townhouses near the intersection of Forestdale and Beaumont roads in Dale City, according to a report.

KrollThe circumstances surrounding her disappearance were sad and disheartening, to say the least. Apparently, Kroll was intoxicated on the afternoon of December 16 and drove her SUV with her 8-year-old daughter. Investigators believe that she received a call on a mobile phone to stop her SUV and let the child out of the vehicle.

Kroll eventually did stop the SUV as a neighbor shared how he witnessed a little girl get out of the vehicle and go to a neighbor’s house for help; this was around 5:45 pm on December 16. Kroll herself reportedly got out of the SUV, but even as she did so she left the vehicle in drive. The car then drove off by itself and came to rest in a bush. Kroll was then seen walking down the street and did not return to take her daughter. It was the little girl’s father who picked her up in the evening.

Warrants of arrest for Kroll on charges of felony child neglect, driving on a revoked operator’s license and driving with an open alcoholic container were issued by the police.

Neighbors pitched in and organized search parties to find Kroll since her disappearance, to no avail.

According to Jim Patricio, Kroll’s father, Julie Ann had been struggling with alcoholism for many years. Court records show that she had had a few alcohol-related incidents, ranging from charges of drunken driving, refusal to undergo breath analyzer testing from a police officer and driving with a revoked license.