Recognizing a Problem with Alcohol

If you are concerned about a friend's drinking, go to how to help a friend.

If you are concerned about yourself, read the following statements and keep track of how many times they apply to you.

Recognizing a Problem

Drinking Patterns

  • It is difficult for you to stop drinking after you've had one or two drinks.
  • When you drink, you always wind up drunk.
  • Even after your friends say they've had enough alcohol, you want to continue drinking.
  • You turn to certain "drinking buddies" or to a specific environment when you drink.
  • You crave a drink at a specific time every day, like after class or after work.
  • When you're out with friends, you sneak a few drinks without their knowledge.
  • A significant part of your day is spent obtaining, consuming, or recovering from the effects of alcohol.
  • You sometimes have a drink to help you fall asleep.
  • You sometimes stay drunk for several days at a time.

After Drinking

  • The day after drinking, you have trouble remembering what you did the night before.
  • You sometimes feel guilty about your drinking.
  • Most of the time, you have a hangover or headache after you've been drinking.
  • When you're sober, you often regret things you said or did while you were drinking.
  • After drinking, you have experienced severe anxiety, shaking, or visual or auditory hallucinations.

Consequences

  • Drinking has caused you to be late for class or work.
  • Your performance at school or work has suffered because of your drinking.
  • You have gotten into an argument or a fistfight while you were drinking.
  • Your drinking has led to financial problems.
  • You have neglected your classes, job, family or other obligations for two or more days in a row because you were drinking.
  • You have been arrested for intoxicated behavior or driving under the influence of alcohol.

Drinking and Emotions

  • When you're in a social situation and no alcohol is provided, you feel uncomfortable.
  • You use alcohol as an escape when you're angry, disappointed, or otherwise upset.
  • Your personality is altered when you consume alcohol.

Family and Friends

  • Your family or friends have expressed concern about your drinking.
  • You get irritated when your family or friends want to discuss your drinking.
  • You have lost a friend or created a rift with a family member based on their feelings about your drinking.

You've tried to change

  • You've promised yourself to slow down or stop drinking, but you can only keep the promise for a few days or weeks at a time.
  • You have tried switching from one kind of alcohol to another in an effort to cut down or remain in control of your drinking, or to try to avoid getting drunk.

If 4 or more of these statements apply to you, you may have a problem with alcohol or have the potential to develop one. Examine your habits honestly. Patterns of heavy drinking in college could lead to a more serious problem down the road. You can reduce your drinking with some of the ideas listed in ways to cut down.

If 5 or more of these statements apply to you, there's a strong chance that you frequently misuse and abuse alcohol. NOW is the time for you to change your drinking patterns and behaviors. Because of the brain development occurring in teenagers and young adults, you could be at high risk for having these habits develop into set patterns. The resources below can help you.

(Adapted from Facts on Tap.) 

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Resources at Brown

Brown Emergency Medical Services (EMS) 401.863-4111
Emergency response available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Click here to find out what happens when you call EMS.

Dean of Chemical Dependency, Kathleen McSharry 401.863-2536
The Dean of Chemical Dependency provides comprehensive academic and social support in non-clinical settings for Brown students, faculty and staff affected by alcohol or drug abuse. You can contact her by email at Kathleen_McSharry@brown.edu.

Office of Health Education 401.863-2794  
Confidential appointments for drug or alcohol concerns for yourself or for a friend. We are located on the third floor of Health Services.

University Health Services 401.863-3953
Confidential walk-in or appointment health care. Located at the corner of Brown and Charlesfield streets. Students can walk in to Health Services and get medical care for intoxication.

Early Sobriety Group
A group for Brown students in recovery. The group’s aim is to help students develop the social supports necessary for sustained recovery.

Psychological Services 401.863-3476
Confidential appointments for alcohol or drug concerns and for adult children of alcoholics. Located on the fifth floor of J. Walter Wilson.

Resources in Providence

Alcoholics Anonymous
Confidential and anonymous twelve-step recovery program for people with drinking problems. Meetings near Brown: 5:00pm Mondays and 5:30pm Thursdays in the Common Room of Alumnae Hall. For more meetings and information, go to the AA web site. Some groups listed are specifically for young people.

Marijuana Anonymous
MA uses the basic 12-step recovery program for people who are addicted to marijuana. Online groups are available, as well as publications, frequently asked questions and 12 questions to determine if marijuana is a problem in your life. The literature section has stories by teens, help for loved ones of marijuana addicts, and the dangers of cross addiction. There is a Marijuana Anonymous meeting on Tuesdays from 8-9pm in the Common Room of Alumnae Hall, 190 Meeting Street. For more information, call 401.829-2613.

Narcotics Anonymous 401.461-1110
Confidential and anonymous twelve-step recovery program for people with drug problems. Meeting near Brown: 7:30pm Thursdays, Commons Room of Alumnae Hall. For more meetings and information, call the number or click on the link above.

Al-Anon/Alateen 401.781-0044
Confidential and anonymous twelve-step program for friends and family members of people with drinking problems. Some groups are specifically for adult children of alcoholics (ACOA). Al-Anon meetings near Brown: 12-1pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays at St. Stephen's Church Parish House (on George Street between Brown and Thayer).Click above for more information about Al-Anon and Alateen, or click here for online Al-Anon groups. For other meetings in Rhode Island, click here.

 

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Disclaimer: Health Education is part of Health Services at Brown University. Health Education maintains this site as a resource for Brown students. This site is not intended to replace consultation with your medical providers. No site can replace real conversation. Health Education offers no endorsement of and assumes no liability for the currency, accuracy, or availability of the information on the sites we link to or the care provided by the resources listed. Health Services staff are available to treat and give medical advice to Brown University students only. If you are not a Brown student, but are in need of medical assistance please call your own health care provider or in case of an emergency, dial 911. Please contact us if you have comments, questions or suggestions.