How do you know when your drinking has become a problem? For many men, drinking alcohol is part of daily life. Happy hours, sporting events, nights out with friends, or even times alone at home are often centered around drinking. While alcohol often accompanies celebrations for many men, it can also be used to cope with stress and problems. Drinking may lead to positive feelings in the short term but problems can develop when stress persists and an individual continues to binge drink to cope.
In many ways, alcohol can be more dangerous for men. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), men are more likely than women to drink excessively. Men are also more likely than women to take other risks, that when combined with excessive drinking, further increase their risk of injury or death. Additional problems include unintentional injuries, high blood pressure, alcohol poisoning, sexually transmitted diseases, and depression. The CDC reports:
- Approximately 58% of adult men report drinking alcohol in the last 30 days.
- Approximately 23% of adult men report binge drinking 5 times a month, averaging 8 drinks per binge.
- Men are almost two times more likely to binge drink than women.
- About 4.5% of men and 2.5% of women met the diagnostic criteria for alcohol dependence in the past year.
To help increase awareness and connect men with the treatment and resources they may need, MassMen is proud to be part of National Alcohol Screening Day. The annual screening and education day raises awareness about substance use while providing the public with beneficial screening and treatment resources. To help individuals assess their drinking patterns, www.HowDoYouScore.org, is an online resource offering anonymous screenings for substance abuse as well as resources for treatment and recovery
Some sample screening questions include:
- How often do you have four or more drinks on one occasion?
- How often during the last year have you found that you were not able to stop drinking once you started?
- How often during the last year have you failed to do what was normally expected from you because of drinking?
If you frequently drink more than you planned, use drinking to cope with problems, or struggle with relationships or work because of your drinking, you may have a problem. Reaching out for treatment, care, or support can help you regain your health and can improve relationships with friends, family, and coworkers. There are many kinds of help that can support your recovery and help you to lead a healthier life. Visit HowDoYouScore.org to find help where you live. Other resources in Massachusetts include:
- Massachusetts Substance Abuse Information and Education Helpline http://helpline-online.com, 800-327-5050
- National Alliance on Mental Illness, Massachusetts http://namimass.org/resources/substance-abuse
- McLean Hospital http://www.mcleanhospital.org/programs/alcohol-and-drug-abuse-treatment-program
- Alcoholics Anonymous http://www.aaboston.org
MassMen.org strives to provide helpful information that empowers men to take action to feel happier and healthier.