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Alcoholism is a devastating disease that effects millions of people every year. Recognizing alcoholism in yourself or someone else can be difficult. Alcoholism is defined as a disease that allows a persons use of alcohol to interfere with their life and the basic functioning of their daily tasks, needs and responsibilities.

The clinical way of looking at alcohol is by examining the amount of alcohol a person consumes. A women who drinks more than seven drink per week or more than three drinks a day and a man who drinks more than 14 drinks per week or four drinks in a day would be considered an alcoholic. A drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80 proof liquor.

Warning signs of alcoholism may vary form person to person. Usually though these warning signs will be obvious. The following list outlines some of these signs.

- misses a lot of work or school
- losses interest in family, friends or activities
- depression
- drinking to cope with any problem
- insomnia
- being intoxicated often
- moody
- drinking related health problems

These are some of the noticeable warning signs. More serious behaviors can also serve as a wake-up call. Risky behavior like drinking and driving should be taken seriously.

Alcohol when taken in moderation is a nice way to relax or enjoy a social engagement, where when alcohol becomes a problem it can effect everyone who is close to the alcoholic. Some things that can tell a person they may be having a problem with alcohol are:

- worry over not having alcohol or money to buy it
- hiding alcohol so others do not know you have it
- often wishing to be drunk or get drunk faster
- unable to stop drinking once started
- hearing others comment on your drinking

Alcoholism should always be taken seriously. If you or someone you know has a drinking problem professional help is available in every community. Recognizing the problem is the first step to finding a solution.

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