What is Considered Alcohol Abuse?

Brad Madsen

By Bradley Madsen, Recovery Clinical Coordinator  

Summer is here and that means more people are out socializing and enjoying a beverage or two. However, have you ever wondered what constitutes drinking too much? Alcohol abuse is defined as “the habitual misuse of alcohol”, meaning that a person consumes excessive amounts of alcohol.

Here is a pop quiz. For each question you answer “yes,” give yourself a point.

1. Have you ever set out to have ‘a quick drink or two’ but ended up having more drinks than you intended? Or did you stay at the bar drinking past the time you said you’d be home for dinner?
2. Have you ever thought “I really want/need to cut down on my drinking”, but struggled to do so?
3. Have you ever spent more time drinking alcohol or recovering from drinking than you would like?
4. Do you ever crave or have a strong desire to have a drink?
5. Have you missed major role obligations (work, school, or home) more than once because you were impaired or busy drinking?
6. Do you continue to use alcohol despite persistent or recurrent social (or interpersonal) problems caused or made worse by drinking alcohol?
7. Have you continued to drink despite knowing you have persistent, or recurrent mental or physical health problems caused or made worse by alcohol use?
8. Have you given up or reduced social, occupational, or recreational activities because of alcohol use?
9. Have you used alcohol when it was dangerous to do so? (Drinking and driving or drinking despite liver problems).
10. Have you noticed that you have developed a tolerance to alcohol? (It takes more alcohol to feel buzzed than it did in the past. Or you notice you can drink more now without feeling as impaired as you might have in the past).
11. Do you ever feel ill when you don’t drink for a couple of days?

These questions represent the diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorders as defined by the DSM-5 (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition)

Scoring:
2-3 “yes” answers – You may have a mild alcohol use disorder.
4-5 “yes” answers – You likely have a moderate alcohol use disorder.
6+ “yes” answers – You likely have a severe alcohol use disorder.

If you (or someone you know) meet the criteria for an alcohol use disorder, you aren’t alone. According to the NIH, one in eight Americans meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder. Does this mean you are an ‘alcoholic’? Not necessarily, but it does mean that you are putting yourself at risk to develop alcoholism.

If you or someone you care about has problems with alcohol (or other substances), help is available locally. The sooner a person can get help, the better the long-term chance for recovery. Alcoholism is a disease, not a moral failing, a choice, or weakness. If you feel that you need help or guidance, reach out to your physician, or contact the Recovery Center at (712) 655-2300.

The Recovery Center at MRHC is a 16-bed, co-ed chemical dependency facility located in Manning. Services include detoxification, residential treatment, outpatient treatment and consultations or evaluations. Recovery Center staff have adapted treatments to meet the most pressing or newly emergent addiction issues, from alcoholism to the influx of meth to the abuse of prescription painkillers. For nearly four decades, staff have consistently helped clients take their first step toward healthy, drug and alcohol-free lifestyles.

For more information about the Recovery Center in Manning, visit www.manningrecoverycenter.com.

Prime for Life Courses Offered at Manning Recovery Center

Prime for life classes at MRHC

The Recovery Center at Manning Regional Healthcare Center is now offering Prime for Life classes (OWI course for the Iowa DOT) on the third weekend of every month on Friday and Saturday for seven hours.

“We are always looking to expand the services we offer in our local community and surrounding areas,” said Recovery Center Director, Taya Vonnahme, MSN, RN, ARNP, tCADC. “We are seeing a high need for this class and want to ensure our community needs are being met.”

The Prime for Life course can be taken to meet DOT requirements for OWIs in Iowa or by anyone who wants to learn more about drinking and driving for any reason. The classes will cover the following topics:

  • Understanding how alcohol and drug-related problems develop
  • How to prevent problems
  • Why addicts need support

“Our instructors are not only certified in Prime for Life but are also licensed addiction counselors who teach in a manner that is conducive for anyone striving for sobriety,” Vonnahme shared.

2022 Prime for Life course dates include:
July 15-16
August 19-20
September 16-17
October 14-15
November 18-19
December 16-17

Call (712) 655-2300 to sign up for a Prime for Life class.

The Recovery Center at MRHC is a 16-bed, co-ed chemical dependency facility located in Manning. Services include detoxification, residential and outpatient treatment, and education. For more information about the Recovery Center, visit www.manningrecoverycenter.com.

Recovery Center Shares Reasons to Stop Drinking

Brad MadsenBy Bradley Madsen, Recovery Clinical Coordinator

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), one in every four adults report they have engaged in binge drinking in the past month. And almost 100,000 Americans die from alcohol related causes each year. It’s likely that many people know someone who has been affected by alcohol abuse in some way, and while alcohol is legal and socially acceptable, it is not a safe option when abused.

If those facts alone aren’t compelling enough of an argument to quit drinking, here are several more statistics that may surprise you:

  1. 75% of esophageal cancers are attributable to chronic excessive alcohol use.
  2. 50% of cancers of the mouth, pharynx/larynx are associated with heavy drinking.
  3. Chronic alcohol consumption is associated with a 10% increase in women’s risk of breast cancer.
  4. Heavy, chronic drinking contributes to nearly 65% of all cases of pancreatitis.
  5. Among ER patients admitted for injuries, 47% tested positive for alcohol and 35% were overtly intoxicated. 75% of those intoxicated showed signs of chronic alcoholism.
  6. There are more deaths and disabilities each year in the United States from substance abuse than any other cause.
  7. As many as 35% of heavy drinkers develop alcoholic hepatitis.
  8. Nearly 36% of primary liver cancer cases are linked to heavy chronic drinking.
  9. Alcoholics are ten times more likely to develop carcinoma than the general population.
  10. Accidents related to alcohol use are among the leading causes of preventable deaths for teenagers.
  11. In 2018, there were 10,511 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities, totaling 29% of all traffic fatalities for the year. *Source: US Center for Disease Control.

Alcohol Awareness Month is a national public health awareness campaign sponsored by the National Council for Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) that takes place every April. It was developed to increase awareness and understanding of the causes and treatment of one of our nation’s top public health problems: alcoholism.

Unfortunately, of the 14.5 million Americans with a drug or alcohol use disorder, less than 10% receive formal treatment. If you or someone you care about has problems with alcohol (or other substances), help is available. The sooner a person can get help, the better the long-term chance for recovery. Alcoholism is a disease, not a moral failing, a choice, or weakness.

If you feel that you need help or guidance, reach out to your physician, or contact the Recovery Center at (712) 655-2300.

The Recovery Center at MRHC is a 16-bed, co-ed chemical dependency facility located in Manning. Services include detoxification, residential treatment, outpatient treatment and consultations or evaluations. Recovery Center staff have adapted treatments to meet the most pressing or newly emergent addiction issues, from alcoholism to the influx of meth to the abuse of prescription painkillers. For nearly four decades, staff have consistently helped clients take their first step toward healthy, drug and alcohol-free lifestyles.

Click here for more information about the Recovery Center.

Alcoholism Impacts Everyone

Addiction impacts everyone

Brad MadsenBy Bradley Madsen, Recovery Clinical Coordinator

You may think you are too strong, or somehow immune to alcoholism. After all, ‘things like alcoholism happen to OTHER people, it can’t happen to ME.’ But it can. Working in the addiction field, I’ve met hundreds of people who once believed that alcoholism could never happen to them, until it did.

‘But I’m different, I’m a successful/professional person.’ Alcoholism doesn’t care what you do for a living or how much money you have in the bank. It doesn’t care what race you are or how educated you are. If you have recent patterns of abusing alcohol, you are at risk. Take these statistics for example:

  • Lawyers: One in five attorneys struggle with drinking problems – twice the national rate.
  • Healthcare: About 4% of healthcare workers reported heavy alcohol consumption in the prior month. A 2014 study found that 15.3% of physicians struggled with alcohol abuse or dependence.
  • Construction: 16.5% report drinking heavily in recent weeks.
  • Hospitality/Food Service: 11.8% report drinking heavily in recent weeks.
  • Management: Roughly 9% of ‘white collar’ professionals in management positions reported heavy alcohol use in the past month.
  • Real Estate: 5% report drinking heavily in recent weeks.
  • Finance/Insurance: 7.4% report drinking heavily in recent weeks.
  • Education: 4.7% report drinking heavily in recent weeks.
  • Farming: Alcohol abuse among farmers is as high as 32% (over 3 in 10).

Addiction impacts everyone

I hope this illustrates the point that alcoholism truly does not discriminate.

Alcohol Awareness Month is a national public health awareness campaign sponsored by the National Council for Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) that takes place every April. It was developed to increase awareness and understanding of the causes and treatment of one of our nation’s top public health problems: alcoholism.

If you or someone you care about has problems with alcohol (or other substances), help is available. The sooner a person can get help, the better the long-term chance for recovery. Alcoholism is a disease, not a moral failing, a choice, or weakness. If you feel that you need help or guidance, reach out to your physician, or contact the Recovery Center at (712) 655-2300. Recovery is possible.

The Recovery Center at MRHC is a 16-bed, co-ed chemical dependency facility located in Manning. Services include detoxification, residential treatment, outpatient treatment and consultations or evaluations. For more information about the Recovery Center, visit www.manningrecoverycenter.com.