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Getting Help

If you think you have a problem with alcohol, do something about it.

Do You Need Help?

For most adults, moderate drinking – defined as two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women – is pretty harmless.

However, excessive drinking creates issues for a lot of people. If you are becoming That Guy or That Girl too often, it might be time to think about cutting back.

At the end of the day, excessive drinking means you’re downing too much alcohol, losing control, and may be putting yourself at risk. You know there’s a problem if your drinking pattern results in harm to your health, relationships, and ability to work and do your job. Check out the following list to determine if you – or a friend – might need help.

10 Ways You Know You Have A Drinking Problem

  1. Believing alcohol is necessary to have fun
  2. Neglecting commitments to friends or family
  3. Missing work or school often
  4. Lying about how much you drink
  5. Feeling depressed, anxious, or irritable, during or after periods of heavy drinking
  1. Getting drunk alone regularly
  2. Having frequent hangovers
  3. Experiencing blackouts
  4. Getting in trouble with the law
  5. Failed attempts to cut back or quit

Does Your Friend Need Help?

Step 1: Prepare

Get educated about the serious risks and consequences of binge drinking. Review books and websites on the topic for more information. Think carefully about your concerns and what you want to say.  Be prepared to offer specific examples of how his/her drinking has affected you or your family, the person’s career, or health. Practice the conversation in advance or write your points down on paper.

Step 2: Have The Conversation

Now here’s the hard part. Sometimes it helps to have the conversation shortly after an alcohol-related problem has occurred, such as an argument or trouble at work.

Give an example of when this person has become That Guy or That Girl. Be supportive. Tell the person what you want him/her to do, whether it’s cutting down on drinking or entering a treatment program. Be loving and kind. Stay calm and remain supportive even if he/she gets defensive.

Step 3: Get Support

If appropriate, you may want to involve trusted friends or other family members. You can also consult with your health care provider, a professional counselor, chaplain or a support group to gather information and advice.

Step 4: Seek Help

It’s important for the person to see a health care provider or other professional to evaluate the seriousness of the problem. In some cases, he/she may just need to cut back on drinking. In others, counseling or treatment may be needed. For more information on finding a treatment center near you, review these resources.

Tips For Cutting Back

If you or a friend needs to cut back on drinking, consider these tips.

  • Set limits & stick to them

    Set limits & stick to them

  • Keep alcohol out of your home

    Keep alcohol out of your home

  • Drink slowly on a full stomach

    Drink slowly on a full stomach

  • Stick to one drink per hour or less

    Stick to one drink per hour or less

  • Take regular breaks from drinking

    Take regular breaks from drinking

  • Stay active & find other interests

    Stay active & find other interests

  • Get support from family & friends

    Get support from family & friends

  • Learn how to say no

    Learn how to say no

Find Treatment

Check out the sources below for information about getting alcohol treatment.

Tricare

Find A Doctor Mtf Locator

Or call your regional contractor:

West Region

United Healthcare Military & Veterans 1-877-988-WEST (1-877-988-9378).

North Region

Health Net Federal Services 1-877-TRICARE (1-877-874-2273).

South Region

Humana Military Healthcare Services 1-800-444-5445 or for Behavioral Health 1-800-700-8646.

Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration

To speak to someone about a treatment referral and other substance abuse information, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Treatment Referral Line at 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357).

VISIT SAMHSA.GOV

Military OneSource

Military OneSource is a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week, toll-free information and referral telephone service available worldwide to active duty, Reserve, and National Guard military members and their families, and to deployed civilians and their families. It can provide help with addiction and recovery as well as a variety of other issues such as health and fitness, emotional well-being, adult or child special needs, etc.

To Access

From the United States: 1-800-342-9647

Outside the United States: (Country Access Code)-800-342-6477 or 703-253-7599

TTY/TID: 1-866-607-6794

En Español, llame al 1-877-888-0727

Military Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK(8255) Press 1

Visit MilitaryOneSource.mil

Alcoholics Anonymous

Support, information, and services for men and women who have had a drinking problem and their families

Visit Aa.org

Al-Anon/Alateen

Support for families and friends of alcoholics

Visit Al-anon

Sources: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention