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Dr. David L. Anders is a practicing physician who provides a light-hearted view of those who have a tendency to drinking "just a little too much." As he says in the Introduction of "You Might Be A Problem Drinker If..." Almost everyone who drinks alcoholic beverages has at one time or another asked introspectively, "Why did I do that?" when reflecting on the activities of the night before. And suddenly, guilt is replaced by an attempted justification, with a self-assurance that, "It couldn't have been that juvenile," and if it was, everyone else there had imbibed more than you so you were off the hook. Nevertheless, at such times, you may ask, "Did I go too far? Do I have a drinking problem? Am I on the slippery slope to ruination?" and then you again comfort yourself with a reassuring "Nawwww!" and promise to behave next time. It is in these moments of insecurity that this book may be a useful tool. Ever since the days of the Great Flood, astute observers have identified a link between the consumption of excessive amounts of ethanol-containing beverages and undesirable alterations in human behavior. Over the years it has become fairly intuitive that such antics document not just a single event of regrettable activity, but actually establish the likelihood that other similar episodes have previously occurred - a pattern of behavior that serves up evidence that a true problem has been created by what is simply too much alcohol and too little discernment. Modern medicine has long searched for a test that could be rapidly self-administered, the results of which could let the test-taker know whether the potential for a problem with alcohol exists. Never missing an opportunity to transform something simple into something far more complex, researchers have attempted to quantify these episodes of indiscretion and the results of such astoundingly poor judgment. In the quest to refine the definition of "just how much is too much," many different questionnaires of varying levels of complexity have been developed that can be administered to individuals to determine if the use of alcohol has become a problem. But let's be honest. Defining someone who has gone past their limits at the bar is a little like defining pornography - "We know it when we see it." Should it really take a hour-long test to define someone who no longer knows when to say no? I think we can all agree that sometimes only one piece of information is necessary to identify a problem, if it's the right piece. For instance, the newspaper headline, "Man arrested for frisking department store mannequin" may tell us with a high degree of statistical probability all we really need to know about his drinking habits, without the expense of ordering a blood alcohol level or administering a fancy written test. Having studied this problem, I have come to realize that there is not just one Holy Grail question to solve this pursuit, but rather dozens, hundreds, if not thousands of single test questions, any one of which may be adequate in identifying that poor soul who no longer has control. I've summarized those questions in the pages that follow, a series of questions, any one of which may identify an area in your life which points to a potential problem. So find a comfy chair, sit back, and CHEERS! Or, as my gastroenterologist friend says to his patients before colonoscopies, "Bottoms up!"
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