Equally dire are the social effects of alcohol abuse:
- job loss,
- domestic violence,
- loss of loved ones and home.
Alcohol intake can cause serious consequences even among adolescents. Alcohol-related accidents are one of the main causes of death in this age group. Furthermore, alcohol can also cause deaths at a young age due to drowning, suicide and homicide. Adolescents who drink are more likely to have an active sex life, have sex more frequently, and risky intercourse is more common than among their teetotal peers.
An addicted drinker experiences more or less severe physical symptoms if she abruptly stops drinking, including:
- hand tremors,
- visual hallucinations,
- sleep disturbances (insomnia).
If the doctor suspects that you suffer from alcohol-related problems, he will ask you many questions about your habits, or will ask you to fill out a questionnaire. The doctor may ask you for permission to have an interview with your family or friends, perhaps your family members contacted him to explain their concerns.
However, the information that emerged during the visit is strictly confidential: the doctor cannot disclose information concerning you without your consent.
One of the most used questionnaires is the so-called CAGE questionnaire (cage means gabba, in English), which has shown great sensitivity in identifying subjects with problems related to alcohol consumption.
- Annoyed, Have you ever been bothered by people who criticized your excessive alcohol intake?
- Guilty, have you ever felt guilty or uncomfortable about drinking alcohol?
- Eye opener, Have you ever drank a glass when you wake up to fight anxiety or eliminate a hangover?
- Two or more affirmative answers indicate the need for further study.
Blood and urine tests
The most commonly used test is the dosage of alcohol in the blood (alcohol), which gives information on the amount taken in the last few hours.
In the case of frequent drinkers, there are some parameters that can suggest this habit:
- Macrocytosis (large red blood cells)
- Elevated GGT (a type of transaminase)
- Moderate elevation of AST and ALT and an AST: ALT ratio of 2: 1
- High carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) or desialated transferrin, considered one of the most reliable tests at the moment, for diagnosis and to identify relapses.