Do any of the following apply to you?
- I ought to cut down on drinking.
- People have annoyed me by criticizing my drinking.
- I have felt bad or guilty about my drinking.
- I have had an eye-opener in the morning, a drink first thing in the morning to steady my nerves or get rid of a hangover.
This CAGE questionnaire for screening of alcohol abuse (including beer, wine and other hard liquor) was printed in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Its interpretation: Four affirmative responses are definitive of alcoholism. More than two affirmative responses indicate problem drinking or possible alcoholism.
If these apply to you, seek intervention before your condition escalates. Short-term effects of alcoholism include:
- Loss of judgment and inhibitions which can lead to doing something you would not normally do such as driving while impaired and inappropriate or dangerous behaviors
- Slowed reaction time
- Blurred vision
Long-term risks include:
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Brain and nervous disorders
- Digestive damage
- Liver damage
- Immune system disorders
- Heart disease, stroke, and heart attack
- Blood pressure disorders and other circulatory damage
- High risk for central nervous system damage to fetuses of pregnant women who drink
All GIC plans offer substance abuse treatment benefits. For HMO and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care POS plan benefit details, call your plan. Your Primary Care Physician can provide you with a referral. If you are a Commonwealth Indemnity Plan or a Navigator/Spirit by Tufts Health Plan member, contact Beacon Health Strategies directly.
This information provided by the Group Insurance Commission.