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No one has ever seemed so smitten with you. You text more than you actually see each other and she has a hard time committing to your next andy shinhwa dating. So if you spot red flags flapping in the distance, you need to slow things down. Brought to you by. Just the guy I dated. He seemed like a very mature and solid guy on our first date. He wanted to talk constantly, I felt wanted and needed.

The cracks started to show and I just ignored them because I was fixated on him and our relationship. We were talking weekends away and spending more time together until one night of bad sex led to his disappearance. No calls or texts from him and no returning mine, just dead silence. All these lasted for two weeks. I must say that I am in a better space now with Jesus on my side.

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As a marriage and family therapist, you are likely to see many individuals, couples, and families in your practice who are experiencing or are at risk of experiencing significant alcohol-related problems. While a focus on severe problems is typical of an initial societal response to a health problem, 1 alcohol dependence represents only a small portion of the entire range of alcohol-related problems. This framework casts a wide net for treatment efforts, explicitly targeting individuals or families who currently are experiencing or are at risk for experiencing alcohol problems.

Thus, therapists and health care professionals are asked to direct interventions not only to drinkers with alcohol use disorders, but also to problem drinkers and "at-risk" drinkers. Problem Drinking and Risky Drinking As it is commonly used, "problem drinking" often is synonymous with "alcoholism.

Problem drinking represents a broader category than alcohol abuse disorder. The problem drinker may or may not have a problem severe enough to meet criteria for alcohol abuse disorder. While problem drinkers are currently experiencing adverse consequences as a result of drinking, risky drinkers consume alcohol in a pattern that puts them at risk for these adverse consequences. Risky drinking patterns include high-volume drinking, high-quantity consumption on any given day, and even any consumption, if various medical or situational factors are present.

Consumption is quantified in terms of standard drinks, which contain approximately 14 grams, or. Risky drinking can be determined by identifying one or more of the patterns below: As shown in Figure 1, alcohol use and its associated problems can be viewed on a continuum — ranging from no alcohol problems following modest consumption, to severe problems often associated with heavy consumption. Population estimates for alcohol use disorders do not include the millions of adults who experience less severe alcohol-related problems or who engage in risky drinking patterns that could potentially lead to problems.

Criteria for alcohol use disorders are relatively clear, but establishing a "cut-off point" to separate problem drinkers from nonproblem drinkers is difficult, making population estimates more problematic. These base rates for alcohol problems and risky drinking are high in the general population, but they are considerably higher in clinical populations. Given the high rates of co-morbidity between alcohol use disorders and other psychiatric disorders, and the strong association that exists between drinking behavior and mood regulation, stress, and interpersonal and family problems, a high proportion of individuals, couples, and families who present for therapy may be experiencing or may be at risk for alcohol problems.

One of the clearest demonstrations of how alcohol use negatively impacts the family is the widely documented association between alcohol use and interpersonal violence. If you wish to address alcohol problems in your individual, marital, or family practice, this heterogeneity requires that you are equipped with: A means to identify individuals with alcohol problems or those at risk for problems.

Procedures for further assessment to determine the nature and severity of the problem, and to guide treatment decisions. Knowledge of a range of educational and clinical interventions that can be matched to the nature and severity of the problem.

The next sections of this Guide and the Appendices will supply you with these requisite tools and information. Epidemiological data confirm the well-known discrepancy in rates of alcohol problems for men and women. Men are nearly three times more likely than women to have alcohol use disorders and about twice as likely to experience mild to moderate alcohol problems and to engage in risky drinking. However, women have higher rates of morbidity and mortality from alcoholism than men. Before making any treatment decisions, a multi-dimensional problem assessment, which covers alcohol use patterns, dependence signs and symptoms, and alcohol consequences should be performed.

The tools we recommend for screening and assessment are flexible enough to be used with adults in individual, couple, or family therapy contexts. At times, you will be required to screen and assess alcohol use in adolescents, but such assessments are beyond the scope of this Guide. For information on the assessment and diagnosis of alcohol use disorders in adolescents, see http: Appendix A features copies of exemplary instruments for both screening and problem assessment, creating a complete "Clinical Toolbox" for you to use in your practice.

Identify individuals or families experiencing alcohol-related problems. Identify individuals or families at risk for developing alcohol-related problems. Determine the need for further assessment and intervention. Given the relative ease of conducting a screen, the high rates of alcohol problems in those presenting for treatment, and the availability of effective interventions, all adult family members who present for therapy should be screened routinely for alcohol-related problems.

Since recurrent psychological, relationship, or family problems often are secondary to alcohol problems, screening for alcohol problems in settings where these problems typically are treated is especially important.

If an individual presents for therapy with a self-identified alcohol problem, it is prudent to skip the screening step and move directly to further assessment of the alcohol problem. However, screening should be conducted routinely with other presenting adult family members e.

Even in the context of individual therapy, it is useful to routinely gather information from the client about the alcohol use of their spouse or other adult family members who are not present to determine whether a family member's drinking may be contributing to the client's problems.

Screening Instruments A number of standardized screening instruments are available to help you quickly identify current and potential alcohol problems. These brief screening tools are designed to identify as many potential cases as possible, while at the same time minimizing false positives. Screening generally takes less than 5 minutes. Screening questions should be addressed to each adult family member, with collateral reports used when necessary, or in addition to self-reports.

The instruments can be either self-administered, for clients who have sufficient reading ability, or used in a face-to-face structured interview format. Based on the presenting problem, time constraints, family constellation, and other factors, you will need to determine whether the screening protocol is most effectively delivered in an interview format during the session, or whether it would be more effective to have individual family members complete paper or computer-assisted assessments.

The interview format allows you to probe further and reconcile inconsistencies, but it may not be an efficient use of limited session time — especially when multiple family members need to be assessed. Screening alone does not provide enough information to make either a diagnosis or an informed treatment decision. If an individual or family screens positive, i.

Since screening instruments are designed to err on the side of inclusion, i. Primary goals of the problem assessment are to: Determine whether the drinking is related to the presenting problem — either directly or indirectly. Determine the severity of the alcohol problem, and in some cases, provide a diagnosis. Obtain a detailed picture of the cognitive, affective, and motivational aspects of the drinking behavior.

Determine which of the available treatment options is most appropriate. Guide decision-making related to the treatment plan. Three essential domains that any alcohol assessment should cover are: Although our overview is limited to a review of assessment strategies and instruments related specifically to alcohol problems, a broader assessment that covers other areas of psychological and interpersonal functioning is recommended prior to clinical intervention.

Clinician skill and preference, as well as client literacy, will determine whether self-report instruments or interviews are selected. Level and Pattern of Alcohol Use Self-reports of the frequency and quantity of recent alcohol use remain the most reliable indicators of alcohol consumption patterns available. However, if the person is intoxicated at the time of assessment or has a severe drinking problem, consumption measures may not be accurate 25 and should be corroborated with other markers of drinking behavior, such as biomedical markers or collateral e.

Standard questions about how much and how often someone drinks yield typical frequency number of days drinking , typical quantity amount consumed , and derived from these, a quantity-frequency index representing the average amount of alcohol consumed in a specified time period.

One advantage of this type of assessment is its brevity. Daily diary records tend to eliminate much of the bias associated with retrospective recall. However, they are often kept during a narrow window of time e. A major strength of diary reporting is that it may be used simultaneously to assess contextual information related to the respondent's drinking occasions e. Prompted Daily Recall and Timeline Methods.

These methods use prompts, calendars, or charts to collect recalled drinking behavior on specific dates or days of the week. The drinker generally is asked to estimate the number of drinking hours, which can provide critical information for accurately estimating highest Blood Alcohol Levels BALs achieved.

Although more time-consuming than Q-F methods, timeline methods have been shown to yield more reliable estimates of drinking behavior. Dependence Symptoms and Severity of the Problem Assessing dependence symptoms is critical to determining the appropriate treatment option See Figure 2 - Decision Flowchart: From Screening to Intervention. Two validated self-report instruments are: Even if your goal is not to make a formal diagnosis, diagnostic instruments such as the two listed below, provide excellent questions to guide your assessment interview: While many screening instruments and diagnostic clinical interviews contain interview questions designed to identify negative consequences, having your clients complete a self-administered questionnaire will provide a detailed picture of negative consequences across a variety of life domains, and in the case of marital or family assessment, from different family member perspectives.

A thorough assessment of consequences also can be useful when evaluating treatment effects, since these measures have been shown to be sensitive to changes in drinking-related problems over time. The Drinker Inventory of Consequences 32 DrInC is a item checklist of potentially adverse drinking consequences that provides summary scores in five areas: Collateral report forms are available as well. The next step in the process is to choose an intervention strategy that matches the nature of the identified problem.

By broadening the target population for alcohol-related interventions to include people with risky drinking patterns and mild to moderate alcohol problems, you will address a wider range of concerns that families may have about drinking. The goal of treatment also is necessarily broadened. From an alcohol problems framework, the overall goal of treatment is "To reduce or eliminate the use of alcohol as a contributing factor to physical, psychological, and social dysfunction and to arrest, retard, or reverse the progress of associated problems.

Brief interventions are time-limited strategies that focus on reducing alcohol use and thereby minimize the risks associated with drinking. Several studies have substantiated the effectiveness of brief interventions for non-dependent problem drinkers. Although most brief interventions use a cognitive-behavioral approach, you can integrate these interventions into your overall treatment model, regardless of your theoretical orientation.

Once you have identified an alcohol problem and have determined that a brief intervention approach would be appropriate, you are faced with a series of clinical decisions. The next sections of this Guide will walk you through the steps required to achieve a successful response from an individual, couple, or family client with an identified alcohol problem. What type of drinking problem does this family have and how severe and acute is it? Should I address the drinking problem at all?

If so, when should I do so? If I address the drinking, to what degree will I be able to help the family? Should I involve the drinker or other family members in alcohol-specific specialty services instead of, or in addition to, the treatment that I provide? If I take some of the responsibility for addressing the drinking, should I work only with the drinker for a while, or should I also continue working with other family members?

If I do continue working with the family, to what extent should the children be involved? Figure 3 provides an outline of the initial decisions you will need to make before proceeding with any intervention. Decide Whether Identified Drinking Problems Should Be Addressed Although it might seem counter-intuitive to ignore an important problem, there may be reasons for doing so: Treatment may be directed to another severe or acute problem, such as child abuse or the terminal illness of a family member.

You may have a limited number of sessions or limited time during which the family is available for treatment. You may be concerned that any discussion of drinking problems will result in the termination of treatment. Although this outcome is uncommon when drinking issues are raised in a respectful, client-centered manner as described later in this Guide , you may choose to postpone a direct discussion of drinking if you are convinced that it would cause the family to leave treatment.

Decide on the Timing of Your Response Respond immediately if drinking is causing acute medical, psychological, or interpersonal problems and refer for acute services.


in Intimate Relationships: "problem drinking" often is A spouse may decide that living in a relationship with someone who is drinking daily or. In the early stages of alcoholism, it is not always apparent that the person has a drinking problem. See tell-tale signs you are dating an alcoholic. Questions to Ask to Determine an Alcoholic It’s sometimes difficult to tell whether someone has a drinking problem or whether they’re simply a social drinker who occasionally over-indulges.

Berrington in Intimate Relationships: "problem drinking" often is A spouse may decide that living in a relationship with someone who is drinking daily or. My attraction to addicts is uncanny—I joke that I can find a room filled with people and instantly be drawn to the ones with a drinking problem.