Recognizing a Problem with Alcohol

If you are concerned about a friend's drinking, go to How to help a friend.

If you are concerned about yourself, read the following statements and keep track of how many times they apply to you.


Drinking Patterns

  • It is difficult for you to stop drinking after you've had one or two drinks.
  • When you drink, you always wind up drunk.
  • Even after your friends say they've had enough alcohol, you want to continue drinking.
  • You turn to certain "drinking buddies" or to a specific environment when you drink.
  • You crave a drink at a specific time every day, like after class or after work.
  • When you're out with friends, you sneak a few drinks without their knowledge.
  • A significant part of your day is spent obtaining, consuming, or recovering from the effects of alcohol.
  • You sometimes have a drink to help you fall asleep.
  • You sometimes stay drunk for several days at a time.

After Drinking

  • The day after drinking, you have trouble remembering what you did while you were under the influence.
  • You sometimes feel guilty about your drinking.
  • You've done something sexual while you were under the influence of alcohol that you later regretted.
  • You always have a hangover or headache after you've been drinking.
  • When you're sober, you regret things you said or did while you were drinking.
  • After drinking, you have experienced severe anxiety, shaking, or visual or auditory hallucinations.

Consequences

  • Drinking has caused you to be late for class or work.
  • Your performance at school or work has suffered because of your drinking.
  • You have gotten into an argument or a fistfight while you were drinking.
  • Your drinking has led to financial difficulty.
  • You have neglected your classes, job, family or other obligations for two or more days in a row because you were drinking.
  • You have been arrested for intoxicated behavior or driving under the influence of alcohol.

Drinking and Emotions

  • When you're in a social situation and no alcohol is provided, you feel uncomfortable.
  • You use alcohol as an escape when you're angry, disappointed, or otherwise upset.
  • Your personality is altered when you consume alcohol.

Family and Friends

  • Your family or friends have expressed concern about your drinking.
  • You get irritated when your family or friends want to discuss your drinking.
  • You have lost a friend or created a rift with a family member based on their feelings about your drinking.

You've tried to change

  • You've promised yourself to slow down or stop drinking, but you can only keep the promise for a few days or weeks at a time.
  • You have tried switching from one kind of alcohol to another in an effort to cut down or remain in control of your drinking, or to try to avoid getting drunk.

If you answered yes to 4 of the above, you may have a problem with alcohol or have the potential to develop one. Examine your habits honestly. Patterns of heavy drinking in college could lead to a more serious problem down the road. You can reduce your drinking with some of the ideas listed in Ways to Cut Down.

If you answered yes to 5 or more of these statements, there's a strong chance that you frequently misuse and abuse alcohol. NOW is the time for you to change your drinking patterns and behaviors. The habits you develop in college can continue and worsen throughout your life. The resources below can help you; all of UCSC's resources are free and confidential.

(Adapted from Facts on Tap.)


Resources at UCSC

Emergency response available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Student Health Outreach & Promotion (SHOP)
831-459-3772
SHOP provides confidential appointments for drug or alcohol concerns. SHOP is located in the Student Health Center, across the street from Colleges 9 & 10. As you walk up the ramp to the Health Center, SHOP is located in the building on your left, next to the Pharmacy.

Student Health Services
831-459-2500
Confidential walk-in or appointment health care

Counseling & Psychological Services
831-459-2628
CAPS staff provides the UCSC community with a wide range of mental health services, including short-term individual and couples counseling, group counseling, crisis assessment and intervention, and referral services.

Resources in Santa Cruz

Recovery Wave
http://www.santacruzhealth.org/recoverywave/
Santa Cruz County's Alcohol and Drug Abuse help pages. If you think that you, a family member, or a friend has an alcohol or drug problem, you've come to the right place.

Alcoholics Anonymous
http://www.aasantacruz.org/
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.

The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

Narcotics Anonymous
831-429-7436 HOTLINE (24 hour) 
Call for current open meeting schedules. Disabled Accessibility. 

Marijuana Anonymous
http://www.marijuana-anonymous.org/
P.O. Box 1481
Santa Cruz, CA 95061 
SC Hotline/Meetings: 
831-427-4088 
Self-help (non-religious) fellowship group for those who cannot control their marijuana use and are experiencing adverse effects in other areas of their life. No fee is charged.