How To Determine When
Someone Needs Professional Help
Many people drink excessively but how to define when a drinker has reached the point that they need an
intervention or professional help is a more difficult decision to make.
Experts are no longer categorizing alcoholics just by the fact that they drink so much alcohol that it affects
their lives but now alcoholism can be divided into varying degrees of alcoholism.
Experts are now defining alcohol use by the level of harm the alcohol is causing.
Alcohol is a drug that affects a persons mind, body, and spirit. Although, alcohol is a legal drug, addiction is
a common problem and carries with it a multitude of social and psychological issues. Using these new categories, it
is possible to get help for the alcoholics at earlier stages.
For definition purposes the term one drink is referring to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of
Moderate Drinking: Moderate drinking particularly red wine appears to offer health benefits.
Moderate drinking is defined as equal to or less than two drinks a day for men and equal to or less than one drink
a day for women.
Hazardous (Heavy) Drinking: Hazardous drinking puts people at risk for adverse health
effects. People who are heavy drinkers generally consume the following: More than 14 drinks per week or 4-5 drinks
at one sitting for men. More than seven drinks per week or three drinks at one sitting for women. Frequent
intoxication in either men or women.
Harmful Drinking: Drinking is considered harmful when alcohol consumption has actually
caused physical or psychological harm.
This is determined by the following: There is clear evidence that alcohol is responsible for harm to the person.
The nature of the harm can be identified. Alcohol consumption has been persistent for at least a month and has
occurred regularly for at least a year. The person is not alcohol dependent.
Did You Know
In recent years, the Justice System has begun to hold drunk drivers responsible for
the damages they have caused. This goes beyond holding them legally responsible and now including
monetary restitution to the victims and their families.
Another new weapon that is being used in the war against drunk driving is an
intolerant legal system. It is a waste of time these
days for a drunk driver to get an attorney and try to get a reduced sentence by pleading to a
Although the laws differ from state to state, most states no longer allow even
first time offenders to get way without feeling the consequences of their driving under the
In most states now even a first time offender faces a lengthy suspension of their
license and at least a weekend in jail.
In order to get their license back, most states require the offenders to attend a
DUI school, which includes an assessment with a professional counselor.
Many states have passes what is called the Habitual Violator Law, which provides
felony penalties for three DUI convictions.
These violators lose their licenses permanently if not for many years and lose
their civil liberties such as the right to vote or own a weapon.
Many times once a person is drinking to the point of needing professional help he or she does not realize the
place they are in and it is up to family and close friends to recognize the signs.
Once the drinking comes to the point that it begins to cause problems at work such as absenteeism or loss of
productivity that can be a sign that the drinking is out of control. Tolerance is another sign that the person
is drinking too much.
After a period of time it takes more and more alcohol for the person get the same level of intoxication and
this tolerance will eventually lead to addiction.
Talk to someone if you find that drinking is becoming a problem. Seek the assistance of
Alcoholics Anonymous. That's what they are there for.
Some other signs to look for include the person drinking alone, making excuses to drink, showing signs of
withdrawal, and drinking more than they had planned.
An alcoholic will black out once they reach a level of alcohol in their body that cannot be processed fast
Typically once a person drinks to the point of blacking out on a regular basis they can be correctly identified
as an alcoholic.