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Home » Expert Q & A » Alcoholism » Alcoholism: Donna Hunter

When is it alcoholism?

  • anonymous Asks ...
    anonymous

    If my mom drinks a bottle of wine every night is she an alcoholic? I am worried about her but she says I am being crazy. I am not sure because she has a good job and she takes care of me and my brother really well but I can see that she is really tired and hung over every morning.

  • Donna Hunter Says ...
    Donna Hunter

    I wish it was easy to tell if someone is an alcoholic by how much they drink. When we identify alcoholism we look at a few different things.

    First, does the person experience withdrawal symptoms. Those are a group of physical things that happen if the person does not drink on their regular schedule

    Second we try to find out if their tolerance changed. That means they either need less or more alcohol than normal to get the effect they want from drinking.

    Third we look to see if there is a problem in their personal life, like people concerned about their drinking, fighting. We ask about their jobs, are they getting their work done, have their been complaints. We ask about their physical health.

    But what I hear in your question is you are concerned about your mom because you see her drink every night and you see that she doesn't feel well every morning. I don't think you are crazy to believe mom has a problem. It is hard to be on the outside watching someone struggle with a problem. You might want to check to see if there are any al-ateen groups locally where you could get some support as you deal with all of this.

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