CONFIDENTIAL EVALUATION
(701) 380-5836

For Users

How many drinks a day is too many?

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests that adults who choose to drink should have up to 1 drink per day if they are female and up to 2 drinks per day if they are male. However, if you drink more than this, that doesn’t necessarily mean you are an alcoholic. To have an alcohol use disorder you must meet meet the criteria in the most current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Some of these criteria are:

In the past year, have you…

  • Wanted to cut down or stop drinking, or tried to, but couldn’t, more than once?
  • Continued drinking even if it was causing trouble with your family and/or friends?
  • Stopped doing activities that were important, interesting, or gave you pleasure, in order to drink?
  • More than once engaged in risky behavior while or after drinking (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in a dangerous area, or having unsafe sex)?
  • Noticed an increase in your tolerance to alcohol?
  • Noticed that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, you had withdrawal symptoms?

If you experience any of these scenarios or the others listed in the most recently updated DSM, you should look for help. A professional will be able to give you an evaluation and determine if you do have an alcohol use disorder and how to help you. If you need help finding assistance, call us at 701-380-5836.

Am I an alcoholic if I only binge drink?

9 in 10 adults who binge drink do not have a severe alcohol use disorder. This being said, that doesn’t mean that YOU aren’t an alcoholic or aren’t in danger. Binge drinking is responsible for half deaths in the United States. Binge drinking can still cause health issues. High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and cancer are still on the table for someone who binge drinks, especially if they do it frequently.

If you are uncertain about your alcohol use, you can get a consultation from an alcohol abuse specialist. Call us at 701-380-5836. We would be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

What is the recovery rate for people with alcoholism? 

A survey done by Alcoholics Anonymous revealed that 22% of Alcoholics Anonymous members were able to stay sober for 20 years or longer. In that same survey, 14% were sober for 10-20 years, 13% for 5-10 years, 24% for 1-4 years, and 27% for 1 year. So, yes, recovery IS possible. The speed at which you recover and for how long you’re able to stay sober depends on a variety of factors, like how long you’ve been addicted, how much you’ve been drinking on a regular basis, what type of treatment you’re receiving (e.g. in-patient, out-patient, residential, etc.), how strong your support group is, etc..

The bottom line is, though, that you CAN recover, no matter what.

Can I stop drinking alcohol “cold turkey?” 

Quitting alcohol “cold turkey” can be uncomfortable and extremely dangerous depending on your circumstances. If you have a severe addiction, it is very important that you detox under professional supervision, because the withdrawal symptoms you may experience can be intense. If you have pre-existing medical conditions, it would be wise to get professional help too. Some symptoms you could experience by suddenly quitting are:

  • Anxiety
  • Shakiness
  • Headache
  • Nausea/ Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Confusion
  • High blood pressure
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Fever
  • Seizures

In rare cases, detoxing without supervision can cause death.

Can you have fun and enjoy life without alcohol?

Yes! According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 30% of Americans don’t drink alcohol. Do you think these same 30% don’t have fun and enjoy life? There are plenty of other ways to have a good time without alcohol involved. Some activities you may want to take up could be a new sport (or maybe a sport you are familiar with), music, hiking, game nights with friends, reading, or painting. There are thousands of other hobbies you could pick up too. None of these require alcohol to be entertaining.

Furthermore, quitting alcohol will bring great health benefits! Alcohol consumption is related to inflammatory skin disease. When you stop drinking, your skin slowly becomes less inflamed. Alcohol interferes with your circadian rhythm, and quitting it will help restore that. You’ll probably also snore less, also. You’ll likely lose weight if you stop drinking, because you won’t be consuming as much sugar and as many calories on a regular basis. Additionally, your immune system will be able to recuperate, which will make you less prone to illness than when you had been drinking.

You can have a happy, fulfilling life without alcohol. Ditching alcohol will be the better decision in the long run. Your friends, family, and body will thank you!

For Loved Ones

What are some signs that someone is an alcoholic? 

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests that adults who choose to drink should have up to 1 drink per day if they are female and up to 2 drinks per day if they are male. Just because someone may exceed this suggestion does not mean that they are an alcoholic. To have an alcohol use disorder they have to meet the criteria in the most current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Some of these criteria are:

In the past year, have they…

  • Wanted to cut down or stop drinking, or tried to, but couldn’t, more than once?
  • Continued drinking even if it was causing trouble with their family and/or friends?
  • Stopped doing activities that were important, interesting, or gave them pleasure, in order to drink?
  • More than once engaged in risky behavior while or after drinking (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in a dangerous area, or having unsafe sex)?
  • Noticed an increase in their tolerance to alcohol?
  • Noticed that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, they had withdrawal symptoms?

If they experience any of these scenarios or the others listed in the most recently updated DSM, they might be an alcoholic. A professional will be able to give them an evaluation and determine if they have an alcohol use disorder and how to help them. If you would like to talk to a professional about a loved one, call us at 701-380-5836.

How can I help someone with alcohol addiction? 

Address the problem as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the worse the addiction could get. You should learn about alcohol use and addiction. There is a plethora of resources online, but you can also learn from books and your healthcare provider. The more you know, the better equipped you will be to help them throughout recovery, and you will know more of what to expect.

Talking to a loved one about their problem can be intimidating. You might feel like you will ruin the relationship you have with them or that you will make them angry. Don’t let these doubts stop you from helping your friend or family member better their life.

We have a few tips to help guide you with approaching an addict about their problem:

  • Don’t lecture them. It should be a conversation, not just you talking.
  • Try not to use labels or name calling (e.g. “alcoholic”)
  • Try to use “I” statements. This helps to show how the alcoholism is affecting you.
  • Use facts about your loved one’s behavior. For example, is there anything they do that worries you?
  • Don’t expect them to get better without getting help.
  • Offer to go with your loved one to a counselor or doctor. Having moral support can be a huge push for some people.
  • Realize that you may have to have multiple conversations with them before they get help.

Helping a loved one through addiction can be challenging, but it is 100% worth it.

How do I distance myself from a person who is an alcoholic?

Maybe you have REALLY tried getting someone help and they just don’t want it, or for whatever reason it hasn’t worked out. Maybe their behavior has become so erratic that you need to start putting yourself first. Now, you want to distance yourself from them.

When staging an intervention for the user, make sure you include consequences in the case that they don’t decide to go to rehab. Consequences could be things like taking away their car, making them move out, taking away visitation rights for children, etc.. Giving them these ultimatums can be the kick in the pants they need to get their life back on track.

Can a person really die from alcohol detox?

Yes. It is rare, but it is still possible.

Quitting alcohol brings many withdrawal symptoms. Some milder symptoms are: headaches, anxiety, sweating, and nausea. However, more serious symptoms can include status epilepticus and delirium tremens. Status epilepticus is a more serious form of seizure that can lead to disability or death. Delirium tremens can occur around 2-3 days after a user’s last drink. Symptoms of delirium tremens are: hallucinations, rapid heartbeat, increased rate of breathing, profuse sweating, fever, stupor, high blood pressure, confusion, and loss of consciousness. Delirium tremens can cause death.

The longer a user has been addicted, the tougher it will be to detox. Those with severe addictions will struggle the most with detoxing and coping with withdrawal symptoms. This is why it is very important to make sure your loved one is detoxing under professional supervision.

Where can I get a free consultation and some advice on this situation?

You can call us at 701-380-5836 to talk to a professional and get help with your situation. We would be more than happy to point you in the right direction and provide the help your loved one(s) needs.

Additionally, there are other organizations that may provide the assistance you’re looking for. Alcoholics Anonymous is probably the most well-known support group for recovering alcoholics. There are also support groups for friends and family of addicts, like Al-anon or Alateen. Your local hospitals, treatment centers, and even churches might have support groups for users and their friends and family.

Again, if you need help finding treatment for your loved one, give us a call at 701-380-5836.