Life Health Features

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Quiz: Are you a problem drinker?

Take our test to determine whether your drinking could be more problematic than you think.

Published 30/06/2014 | 13:52

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Irish football supporters have a drink before a qualifying game in Germany
John Geraghty
Brendan Behan

The figures, when they were released last Monday, made for stark reading: 1.35 million of us are consuming "harmful" quantities of alcohol while 177,000 of us are dependent drinkers, according to findings from the Health Research Board.

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With each of us downing an average of almost 11 litres of pure alcohol per annum, it is little wonder that the so-called Irish disease seems to be entrenched.

Take the below quiz to determine whether your drinking could be a problem.

The Facts

1.35m: The number of Irish people described as "harmful" drinkers in a report by the Health Research Board.

145pc: The increase in alcohol consumption from 1960-2010.

46pc: Alcohol consumption in Ireland increased by 46pc between 1987 (9.8 litres) and 2001 (14.3 litres) when our consumption reached a record high.

10.73 litres: The average yearly consumption of pure alcohol per capita in 2013.

-15pc: From 1980 to 2010, alcohol consumption in Europe decreased by 15pc, while consumption in Ireland increased by 24pc.

9.2 litres: The average consumption According to Alcohol Action Ireland, if every person over 15 drank to the maximum low-risk weekly limit.


Are you a problem drinker?

Score your answers from 0 – 4:

0 is never; 1 is monthly or less; 2 is 2 – 4 times per month; 3 is 2 – 3 per week; 4 is 4+ times per week

How often do you have a drink containing alcohol?

How many units of alcohol do you consume on a typical day?

How often have you had six or more units if female, or eight or more if male, on a single occasion in the past year?

How often in the last year have you found that you were not able to stop drinking once you had started?

How often in the last year have you failed to do what was normally expected from you because of your drinking?

How often in the last year have you needed an alcoholic drink in the morning to get yourself going after a heavy drinking session?

How often in the last year have you had a feeling of guilt or remorse after drinking?

How often in the past year have you been unable to remember what happened the night before because you had been drinking?

Have you or has somebody else been injured as a result of your drinking?

Has a relative or friend been concerned about your drinking or suggested that you cut down?

An overall score of 0-7 indicates a lower risk of dependency, 8-15 is classed as an increased risk, 16-19 indicates a higher risk and 20+ indicates possible dependence.

Source: World Health Organisation

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