AM I AN ALCOHOLIC?
The sub-questions are designed to help shed light on the basic question.
Read them only if necessary, but don't count them separately. What will eventually happen
is that you will have a discussion with yourself; this is only an outline to give your
conversation some constructive direction.
This survey was written by recovering people. They had the
same questions while they were still drinking or using and probably came up with the same
answers. They survived and so will you. But there needs to be a starting point, and
question No. 1 is as good a place as any ...
1. Is there some particular reason why you are concerned
about your drinking at this time?
- Are you drinking more often that you used to, or greater
quantities when you do drink?
- Are you able to drink more without getting drunk?
- Do you sometimes have the shakes or other discomfort the
next morning, and does a pick-me-up drink help make you feel better?
2. Is one of the reasons for your concern the fact that
some people are getting on your back about your drinking?
- Do close friends say you are acting differently these days,
or that you undergo some kind of personality change when you drink?
- Are they suggesting that you cut down or cut it out?
3. Do you have other friends that you prefer to be around
these days -- people who don't mind your drinking, or don't mention it?
- Are these new friends that you've recently made?
- Are they fairly good drinkers, also?
- Do you have much else in common with them, or are
drinking-related activities your main bond?
- Do you tend to prefer social events where drinking is more
4. Have you had more than two or three memory lapses
(called blackouts) in the past 90 days?
- After an evening or other period of drinking, have you
forgotten where you left your car?
- Or how you got home?
- Have you had to call someone the next day to fill you in on
what you were doing the night before?
5. Do you sometimes regret things that you may have said or
done while you were drinking?
- Are you ever embarrassed to the extent that you want to
avoid certain people, or going back to a place where you may have done some foolish
- Do you wish that you could undo those things, or ever think
that less drinking might help prevent them from happening again?
6. Do you drink more than the people you are with, or do
you ever load up your drinks so others don't notice what you are doing?
- Do you order or mix doubles for yourself while others are
- Do you carry an extra supply with you in case the host runs
out, or the bar closes before you are ready to quit?
- Is there anything unusual about your drinking habits that
might make other people wonder!
7. Have you gotten careless about things that used to be
important to you, or have you dropped certain activities from your routine?
- Do you spend less time with your children, spouse, or other
family members than you used to?
- Are you less interested in some of your former hobbies or
sports or entertainment source?
- Are you reducing outside activities that interfere with your
8. Have you tried or considered changing things in your
life in order to get along better and eliminate some of the problems?
- Have you thought of leaving your spouse, or the family, or
going away for a while to give everybody a little extra space?
- Have you thought about changing jobs, or maybe even moving
to another part of the country where you could make a clean start, without the hassles and
disadvantages from the past?
9. Do you ever wonder if some of the problems that may
accompany your drinking would be lessened or go away, if you decided to stop entirely?
- Are there family arguments that might not flare up so often?
- Would work (or school) tardiness or absenteeism be somewhat
- Are there financial or business setbacks that could be
reduced? Insurance problems? Checkbook or household budget balancing?
- Difficulties in meeting obligations or paying back loans?
10. Have you ever promised yourself that you would really
try to cut down on your drinking without quitting altogether?
- Have you tried skipping certain nights of the week, or hours
of the day, when you wouldn't drink at all?
- Have you tried switching brands or type of alcohol in order
to keep from getting so drunk or losing control so much?
- Have you tried putting someone else in charge of your
drinking to help you cut down?
11. Have you ever tried to quit -- totally -- and not been
- Have you ever set a date or duration when you would actually
try to stop?
- Were there reasons why the effort really never took hold, or
the timing never seemed right?
- Did your promise to quit seem less important when the
deadline to quit rolled around?
- Was it easier to continue drinking than to fight the
situation, and are you still drinking at this time?
12. Was it difficult for you to make this self examination,
and is this a subject you consider too personal to discuss with others?
- Do you intentionally avoid discussions about your drinking
or its complications?
- Do you sometimes have your spouse or other persons intervene
for you, or make excuses about your tardiness or other related problems?
This is the simplest scoring system in the annals of
do-it-yourself testing. Any "YES" answer to a main or sub-question has earned
you membership in a not very exclusive population of several million people with drinking
or drugging problems. The more "YES's" you toted up, the better off you are.
Every "YES" you were able to mentally put down was a striking symbol of personal
honesty. It meant that you have begun the process of self-realization -- a principle in
which virtually all recovery problems are based. Without personal recognition of your
condition, there can be no meaningful recovery.
If you will consider each "YES" to be a minor
victory in this same sense, you might want to take the test again and see how many more
"YES's" you can identify. The enemies of recovery are guilt, denial and alibis.
The allies are acceptance, understanding and honesty.
If the results of the test suggest that you, or whoever you
took the test for, are an alcoholic or other chemical dependent, congratulations. Now
you're getting somewhere.
LIFELINE American Magazine