Is it an alcohol use disorder? Test your knowledge
Updated On: Jan 31, 2017
On the Education page, Read the research-based information provided by the National Institutes of Health, including symptoms of an alcohol use disorder and drinking habits associated with low- and high-risk drinking.
What symptoms can you spot in John and Mary’s stories?
Is their drinking low- or high-risk?
Mary gets home from working a 10-hour day in a series of long days. Her friend, Susan — who is alcohol-free — had asked her to go to an antique fair, but Mary figures she deserves a drink after such a long day.
After her first glass of wine, she still feels tense. She pours herself another. Soon, she feels relaxed and enjoys some much-deserved couch time. After an hour, Mary has two more glasses of wine. She thinks it’s OK because she doesn’t have to go into work tomorrow. In the past, two glasses of wine would have made her drunk, but Mary feels sober after four. She crawls into bed but doesn’t sleep well.
In the morning, Mary wakes up in a cold sweat and feels a bit nauseous. She is tired and decides to sleep late instead of going to church. Later that day, Mary receives a call from Susan, who checks on her after noticing she was absent from church. During their conversation, Susan tells her that she and their friends have noticed that Mary has missed church frequently in recent months. She adds that Mary also hasn’t completed an antique furniture refurbishment — a longtime hobby of theirs — in close to a year.
After evaluating what she has been doing with her time, Mary realizes she typically has two drinks a night and sometimes more. Until this year, she usually only indulged in alcohol one or two nights a week. She wonders if she should cut back on her drinking.
After an argument with his wife, John goes to his neighborhood bar. He figures he’ll have a drink or two, stay out for couple hours and let the situation calm down.
At the bar, John complains about how uptight his wife is getting. She’s mad because he forgot to pick up his son from his soccer game on Saturday. It was an honest mistake; John was at the bar watching football and drinking beer with his buddies, and he just forgot. It’s not like it happens a lot.
John is having a good time at the bar and orders beer after beer while watching the game, then discusses it with his friends until closing time. He has had about six beers, but it’s been almost six hours, so he gets in his car and drives home. He has driven after more drinks plenty of times and always made it home just fine. Once home, his wife is upset that he stayed out all night.