How Do You Assess Alcoholism in Your Life?

Dr. Shimi Kang, BSc., MD, FRCPC, Psychiatrist, discusses How Do You Assess Alcoholism in Your Life?

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Dr. Shimi Kang, BSc., MD, FRCPC, Psychiatrist, discusses How Do You Assess Alcoholism in Your Life?
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Shimi K. Kang, MD, FRCPC, How Do You Assess Alcoholism in Your Life?

Duration: 1 minute, 52 seconds

It's challenging to know if alcohol is a problem in your life or not, because it's a common part of our culture, but it's good to remember something we call the “three C's” of addiction.

So, the first C is control. If your drinking is out of control and you plan to drink one drink and end up drinking five, that might be a sign.

The other C is consequences. If drinking alcohol is leading to negative consequences for your physical health, your mental health, your social health, your job, that's another sign.

The third C is craving. When you're at dinner with your kids or you're giving a presentation at work and you're craving alcohol, again, that could be a sign that you have the disease of alcoholism.

Now, the good news is there is treatment and people do get better all the time. There's a spectrum of treatments, so on one hand people get better on their own without professional help, but many people find a lot of help in things like AA or Smart Recovery. Those are support groups.

On the other hand, there are drug and alcohol counselors, addiction specialists and professionals, psychiatrists who specialize in addiction, especially if there's a mental health issue that's driving the alcoholism, which is really common.

Things like anxiety, depression, can lead to people drinking and self-medicating. On the other far end is what we call residential rehabilitation. Those are places that people go to get away from everything, maybe detox and get their health back and really learn alternative coping strategies other than drinking.

If you think you might have a problem with alcoholism, definitely start by talking to your family and friends. Get support.

Talk to your family doctor and they'll do an assessment to see if you need to see a specialist like an addiction specialist or a psychiatrist. There's lots of resources out there so get help and it can be treated.

Presenter: Dr. Shimi Kang, Psychiatrist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Psychiatrist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.