Health for Today: Early Warning Signs of alcohol problems

Health for Today: Early Warning Signs of Alcohol problems.

Alcohol drink is socially acceptable in most cultures and societies; social drinking is common and acceptable. Social drinking does have some immediate benefits such as calming effects, relaxation and reduction of worries. However, this is where the good news stop, as it is very easy and indeed not uncommon for a social drinker to drift into a harmful or problem drinking.

The following are some early warning signs of alcohol problems:

Craving for alcohol or having the urge to drink, and not being able to function unless you have had a drink;

Feeling  guilty about your drink habit, and starting to drink secretly;

Starting to isolate yourself and distant yourself from family members and friends;

Experiencing some withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, sweat, bodily discomfort or feelings of ‘hungover’ when not having had a drink;

Starting to drink in the morning and drinking alone or in isolation;

Paying more attention to drink and ignoring other responsibilities and obligations;

Becoming irritable and abrupt when not having a drink; leading to arguments and problems in relationships;

In many cases short term memory problems and temporary ‘black out’ may occur .

There are other warning signs, for example, others may have seizures quite early.


Key message: If you have been a social drinker but you are beginning to notice any of above signs, but talk to someone or seek help.


One tool often used to assess people with suspected alcohol problems is called CAGE: if you answer ‘yes’ to two or more questions , please seek help.

CAGE’s four screening questions:

(a) Have you ever felt the need to CUT down on your drinking?

(b) Have people ANNOYED you by criticising your driving;

(c) Have you ever felt GUILTY or bad or about your drinking?

(c) Have you ever had a drink EARLY in the morning or first thing in the morning to keep your nerves steady or to get over a hangover?


If possible stay away from alcohol. Make sure you don’t drive or operate a machine when you drink. You can greatly improve your health and life by re-channeling your energy, strength and life into spirituality, but more importantly into true spirituality.

Only the truth can make you free ( John 8:32)


Dr Ben Bassey is a licensed psychiatrist, a spiritual health counselor and minister of the word of the Truth.

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Dr Ben Bassey is a consultant psychiatrist and a spiritual health Counselor based predominantly in the UK. He is a retired commodore of the Nigerian Navy. He is very passionate about Spirituality in mental health. He is married with two lovely daughters ( Esther & Victoria). He ministers to others regularly through the Abasi Health Foundation, WordPress ministry and the Ministry of the Word: www.abasihealthfoundation. org www.