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What is alcohol abuse?
- Heavy drinking for women is 3 or more drinks per day.
- A binge for women consists of three or more drinks on any occasion.
- Alcoholics are women who depend emotionally or physically on alcohol
- Preoccupation with drinking.
- Craving for alcohol.
- Need for more drinks to feel the effects.
- Shakiness, seizures, or hallucinations after drinking is stopped
When does a woman have a problem with alcohol?
Alcoholism is a problem if 3 or more of the following occur in 1 year:
- Social, occupational or recreational activities are given up or reduced
because of alcohol use.
- Alcohol is consumed in larger amounts over a longer period than intended.
- You are unable to stop or cut down drinking.
- Drinking is continued despite knowing that it will cause physical
or social problems.
- Spending lots of time making sure you have what you need to drink,
drinking, or recovering from the effects.
- Nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety when alcohol is stopped after
a period of heavy drinking (withdrawal symptoms).
- Increasing amounts of alcohol are needed to feel its effects.
Do you have a problem with alcohol?
CAGE is a four-item questionnaire
representing the terms: Cut back,
and Eye-opener. For women, one or
more positive responses may indicate a problem with alcohol.
Ask yourself the following:
- Have you ever felt the need to reduce the level of your alcohol consumption?
- Have people ever annoyed you with their criticisms of your drinking
- Have you ever felt guilty while you were drinking?
- Have you ever started the day with a drink either to wake yourself
up, in order to relax, or to cure a hangover?
From: Ewing, J.A.(1984) Detecting alcoholism: the
CAGE questionnaire. JAMA, 252:1905-1907.
University of Washington Medical Center
Women's Health Care Center-Roosevelt